Harry Wappler Dies

Steve Pierce sent this to me just a few minutes ago.  Longtime KIRO-TV weathercaster Harry Wappler died last night.  Those of you in most of the Portland television market have probably never heard of him…but think of him as “Seattle’s Jim Bosley”.   And I think some of you in Clark and Cowlitz counties may receive KIRO’s signal via cable.  I spent the last 7 years of my life before Portland growing up in Chehalis, so I was able to watch all the Portland stations AND all the Seattle stations all through the 1980s.  He’s a legend up there, maybe not for being the ace weather geek, but for his comfortable, friendly delivery on television.  He was exactly the same in person.  My first introduction to the television weather world was at KIRO-TV in the winter of 1990-1991.  I did a 3 month internship there while attending the UW.  I worked with Larry Rice and Nick Walker (he was only the lowly weekend weatherguy then!).  It was an exciting time…a TV station with weather maps and cool weather graphics that you could create on a computer!!!  For my internship “final” I interviewed Harry and wrote a paper about it.  He was a very nice guy who was willing to sit down for 20 minutes and talk to a college kid he had never met.  I always interned on weekends and mornings; he worked evenings.  People like that always impress on me how important it is to slow down, take the time,  and help others out when you can.  And no matter what your position in life, how much money you make, or how much power you hold, you’re no different than everyone else.  Okay that’s a little deep, but I just got the feeling that’s how he operated up there.  Rest in peace Harry!

Here’s a link and some pictures on the KIRO website:  http://www.kirotv.com/station/23224361/detail.html

19 Responses to Harry Wappler Dies

  1. Looks like a good “storm chasing” day in the western plains states….Lots of severe weather in Eastern Colorado…


  2. Brian says:

    As someone who lives in Washington, I have a lot of memories of Harry. He seemed like such a gentleman. Mark, you picked a good winter to intern, that was a legendary winter for us (and probably for Oregon too). What did you learn during that winter that helped you in your career?

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    Nobody really notices when a sportscaster or a reporter changes channels. But when a weatherman changes channels people do notice. The reason I think this happens is that for positive or negative weather impacts us all every day. Sports and news usually just tell us what happened. But the weatherman tries to tell us what will happen in the future. When Mark forecasts a snowstorm or a 100 degree day for tomorrow on the next day it impacts our lives. If they are accurate and affable then we view them as a friend out to help us get through the day with less difficulty because we remembered our umbrella when Mark said it would rain. So long Harry from all us weather geeks.

  4. W7ENK says:

    Slightly off topic, but…

    Happy Earth Day, everyone! I just hope that filling my gas tank today out of necessity isn’t sacrilegious, bringing about bad karma or some form of overt attack by furious woodland creatures… :worried face:

  5. Andrea says:

    Excellent piece on Harry! He would have been proud to read how he influenced you in a very positive way!

  6. W7ENK says:

    8 hours; The silence is deafaning… Hello???

    ECHO! Echo. echo… 🙂

    Okay, I’ll turn off the light when I leave the room… but first Imma go futz with things while no one’s looking!

  7. W7ENK says:

    Oh, this is too bad! I grew up spending summers at my family’s summer house in Olympia. We would watch Seattle TV up there and I remember seeing Harry on KIRO-7. Indeed, he will be missed.

    Thanks for the info, Mark and Steve.

  8. Mr Data says:

    Scud clouds? Never heard oft hat one befor.

    Sorry if I don’t have as much sympathy but I never saw him and never grew up here as long as compared to most of you bloggers. 😦

    I didn’t even get into watching the weather till the El Nino of 2002! 😮

  9. pgiorgio says:

    Nicely said Mark. I’m sure he would be proud of you for saying that about him and I think its safe to say the 20 min. he took to interview you was beneficial to others exponentially.

  10. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Just before the next great wind storm, when the low and mid level clouds clear off to the north in the night, and the scud clouds are roaring northward and you see the stars….I will think of him then, along with the Boz, Capell…RIP

  11. CMO8019 says:

    I grew up watching Harry, Steve Pool and Jeff Renner in the 80’s and 90’s. He will be missed.

  12. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Mark, it sounds like he left a lasting impression on you. Rest in peace, Harry.

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