Weatherman “Dr. John” Walls Has Died

April 6, 2015


There was a time in Portland TV when there were only just a handful of weather people and it wasn’t all that long ago.  Because there were so few, you got to know those guys very well!  When I was growing up (mid 70s to late 80s) and watching the weathercasts in the evenings, it was usually Jim Bosley at KATU, Jim Little at KGW, and Dr. John Walls at KOIN.  That was it.  David Apple did weather at KPTV from time to time, but I hardly watched because back then there wasn’t much I watched on KPTV other than Star Trek reruns.  If you remember KPTV had no network affiliation until sometime in the 1990s so the programming wasn’t very exciting for a 8-15 year old.

I just found out today Dr. John has died.

His obituary is here:

I did get to meet him just once, in the mid 90s; a few years after I started at KOIN (I was there 1993-2000).  He stopped by to visit some ex-coworkers.  He sounded EXACTLY like I remembered him when growing up…very cool to meet someone you watched EVERY night on TV.  Back then there was no Internet, no cell phones, no texting, no cable (for me), no Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc…  You just plunked down on the couch and watched TV in the evening or you actually talked to other people/kids in person.  Well, maybe a game of Space Invaders on the Atari 2600, but that was it for entertainment.

My best memory of him is the weather maps!  Remember how he’d calmly glide from one to another to another yet his speech never wavered?  He may have even had a thick black pen to highlight stuff, but I don’t remember that.

If you are older than 35-40, you probably remember him…what are YOUR thoughts?

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen