To say I was shocked to see that KQV Newsman Steve Lohle died suddenly today of an apparent heart attack was an unterstatement.
The last time I spoke with Steve was last year when I called to tell him that my short-stint as a Metro traffic reporter was over. As usual, when a friend was getting screwed, Steve would utter a cloud of obscenities that would make you laugh. When I was on the air last year there were a couple of "lines" we'd share with one another and I could hear the smile in his voice.
Guys with booming voices and penchant for humorous fits of cussing got to stick together, you know.
Steve was the kind of guy who "saw it all" in radio news. He had been at KQV since 1974. Once he knew he could trust me, we hit it off. He was my best friend in the KQV newsroom, and with folks like Maloney, Goldman, Hagman, Cloonan, Effort, Riley and Ballarotto, there wasn't a loser in the bunch.
Dan Wineberg solemnly talked about Steve at the top of the 5 p.m. hour then played a canned interview between Maloney and Lohle. Steve, as usual, was shy "being interviewed" then came alive when he laughed.
KQV General Manager Robert W. Dickey called Steve "The Voice" of the Station. Dickey also mentioned that Steve "confided in him" that he wanted to "go" like Tim Russert almost a week to the hour prior. Dickey and I agree: God was listening.
I vividly remember taking the call from Steve when he informed the newsroom that his wife Barbara had given birth to his son Colin, who is now 10. We often talked about fatherhood as he was a "late in life" Dad. Over the years after I left KQV, I'd call to check in on Steve. He'd always answer the phone in a gruff manner. When I'd say hello, he'd say "Tommmmy." Then we'd share stories.
Wineberg's voice justed cracked just a smidge when he read "The Late Steve Lohle" at the conclusion of the taped interview just before 5:15 p.m. It's hard to comprehend.
Steve Lohle was my best friend at KQV. Please say a prayer for this wonderful man and his family.