How do you define the Spirit of the Northwest?
For 31 years at KIRO 7, the Spirit of the Northwest was Chris Legeros.
"I realized that if I listened to the advice of my co-workers, the end result was invariably better," he once said. "If I treated the people I interviewed with dignity and respect, they generally responded in a positive way."
Chris, who died Friday at age 62, did that daily -- not just with the people he interviewed, but with his friends and colleagues.
When new reporters arrived, Chris helped explain what made the Northwest so special, and showed ways they could succeed. As technology changed, with Twitter and two stories a day becoming standard, Chris adapted with grace.
Friends who worked with Chris for decades never heard him speak badly of someone -- even when doing so would have been understandable.
That's what made his note last August so heartbreaking.
"I won't bury the lead," he wrote. "I've got cancer."
His oncologist explained the pancreatic cancer was treatable, but not curable. The best he could do was buy time with treatment and be thankful for the weeks and months he had.
And he was.
Messages poured in by the dozens on Facebook. People he reported about three decades earlier contacted Chris to say they were praying for him. Friends formed Team Legeros for the Pancreatic Cancer Walk and wore purple Team Legeros wristbands as his life was extended with chemotherapy.
"In some ways this disease has been a blessing because it has shown me how many people love me and it has given me time to say I love them back," Chris said earlier this year.
As a kid in Edina, Minnesota, Chris had a love for animals and later enrolled in pre-veterinary school at the University of Minnesota. But then Watergate came along and the news business seemed fascinating. Chris wanted the chance to tell great stories.
"That, and I couldn't get fired up about organic chemistry,” he said.
The oldest of four children in a proud Greek family, Chris landed an internship at WTCN TV and WWTC radio before his 1974 graduation. He then moved to KCMT-TV, a station serving west-central Minnesota, and battled TV equipment that sometimes failed in the 20-below-zero temperatures.
Chris was there for two years before moving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he reported and anchored as Chris George for KGAN-TV. It also was in Cedar Rapids where he met the former Julie Dowd, who was attending nursing school. They were married in 1981 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church.
Less than two years later, a friend told him about a reporting job at KIRO 7 in Seattle, a place he and Julie had never been. In January 1983, he called with the good news: He'd been offered a job and could start the next month.
In his 31 years reporting at KIRO, Chris received some of the highest broadcasting honors, including awards from The Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, Best of the West and the Washington Education Association. He also won three Emmy awards and was an honorary member of the Army Reserve's 50th General Hospital unit after reporting on it during the Persian Gulf War.
But the moments he loved most came with Julie and their daughters, Elena and Anna.
One of his favorite news broadcasts was the one where Elena joined him on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. In 2013, he walked Anna down the aisle at her wedding to Alex Fleet. After his diagnosis, Chris had relatives from across the country come to visit.
When Chris was inducted into the Silver Circle by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences earlier this year, his family was among the 300-plus crowd that gave him a standing ovation.
"After my diagnosis of pancreatic cancer last August, one of my daughters asked me if I was 'scared' and 'afraid' to die," Chris wrote in March. "I kind of surprised myself with how quickly I answered 'no.'
"One of my earliest memories of going to church was attending kindergarten Sunday School at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis. We sang 'Jesus Loves Me' over and over again in English and Greek.
"I believed the words then as I do now."
Whenever St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church needed someone to emcee an event, Chris was there. Whenever they needed an auctioneer, Chris volunteered. He served espresso at the annual Greek festival, and often shared the fun of the event on KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
"The world would be such a better place if we had more Chris Legeroses," Father Photios Dumont said.
The KIRO 7 newsroom was better whenever Chris was there, too.
There was the Sunday when the 11 p.m. anchor couldn't make it, so Chris, who was in the field covering a story, got the call to fill in at 10 p.m.
"He said 'OMG, OMG, OMG,'" producer Kyla Grace said, fondly recalling the often-used Legeros line.
"And then he didn't miss that night -- didn't stumble over a single script."
When anchor Monique Ming Laven interviewed at KIRO in 2006, she asked the news director who was the best storyteller. He pointed to Chris.
"Chris asked me about me and asked me about my family," Monique recalled. "He said one of the difficulties is the demand of the news business and being away from your family. But he said we're lucky that here in this building we have another family."
Even on one of his most difficult days, when Chris learned he had pancreatic cancer, his thoughts were with his friends at KIRO 7.
"I'm sorry if I ended your day with a 'downer,’” he wrote in a staff-wide e-mail. “I apologize to those who will see their shifts change to cover my absence. My hope is that you will all remember me in your thoughts and prayers.
"May the Spirit of the Northwest be with you always.”
Below are remembrances from Chris’ friends and co-workers at KIRO 7. If you would like to share a remembrance about Chris, please send us an e-mail. Also, this is a link to pancreatic cancer resources. The website has information on symptoms, resources for people recently diagnosed, and notes on how you can help research efforts.
If you want to make a donation in Chris Legeros' memory, his family asks that you donate to All Saints Camp. You can send a check to 205 Camp Rd NW. Gig Harbor, WA 98335. Chris' funeral is Friday morning and will be livestreamed on kirotv.com.
The world lost a great man and beautiful soul today. Whenever you worked with Chris, it was a good day at the office. He would always put a smile on your face. RIP my friend, you left an incredible legacy.
A. Scott Anderson
My memory of Chris is watching him on KIRO during some big snow storm either on the road or standing in the cold with a big jacket and hat giving all of us the latest heads up on the traffic conditions. I always looked forward to seeing him on the news. Go with God Chris and may your family and friends have the peace that passes all understanding.
My heart is very heavy today. I’ve known Chris ever since I started working at KIRO almost 30 years ago and he had the best demeanor and a ready smile to share. He always greeted me in the hallway with, “Welcome to KIRO … we’re working together,” which was part of a marketing tag line we had back in the day.
Even though his physical presence is no longer with us, his spirit will live with us forever and I’m so glad he touched my life. God bless you my friend.
I worked at KIRO as Marketing Director from 1986 until 1994. Chris Legeros was not just my friend back then. He was my best friend.
When I first met Chris, I didn't know anyone in Seattle, and hardly anyone at the station. We got to chatting one day, and immediately hit upon common ground. Same age? Check. Both Minnesotans? Check. Two kids the same age as each others? Check. Same neighborhood? Check. In fact, we found out that we lived across the street from one another!
And that was the start of a beautiful friendship. I could only afford one car then, and Chris was working the dayside reporting shift. So we carpooled back and forth to Bothell every day for about 3 years. Great conversations, jokes, anecdotes, wishes and dreams…we covered it all.
Our daughters Rose and Elena grew to be best friends. We both eventually moved away from that neighborhood, but the friendship remained. I remember hitting the Seattle Auto Show for a few years with Chris, both fantasizing about the hot sports cars we wanted, but knew we would never get while we had families. But we certainly were legends in our own minds as we sat in those cars!
I can’t think of anyone who didn’t like Chris. He never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was admired, respected and loved by all who knew him…and even those just watched him on the newscasts. We stayed in touch over the years as I moved away, first to Minneapolis, then to Detroit. There was always a Christmas card (he had the GREATEST cards!), a note, an email, and finally connecting on Facebook. And whenever I visited Seattle, Chris and Julie were tops on my list to visit. I feel so lucky that I got a chance to talk with him just a few days before he passed. We said the things we always wanted to say; how much we loved each other, and how grateful we were for being friends. I’ll never forget it.
I know my life is better for having known him. His laughter and smile will remain with me forever.
Chris Legeros was a producer's dream... a stellar storyteller and an even more stellar human being. He brought laughter, kindness and humanity back into a business that be harsh and cold-hearted.
Chris was a bright light when I first walked in to KIRO nearly 25 years ago, greeting me with his trademark smile and a warm handshake. Nervous to the core, he quickly explained that he too had moved from Iowa to Seattle and I would love it here. He was right of course - as he was about so many things. When we visited a month ago, we swapped old war stories about the way the TV biz used to be -- racing back to the station in time to get film processed for air, pounding out stories on a manual typewriter - and using pay phones to stay in touch with the desk! We laughed a lot that day - as one always did with Chris. It has been an honor to know him, and a privilege to call him friend. He is always in my heart. One of the very best of the very best.
Chris Legeros was one of the first people I met at KIRO. I ran into him while I was interviewing for a job. Chris came up, hand extended and said, “Welcome to KIRO-TV, I’m Chris Legeros. Who are you?” By the end of that conversation, Chris pretty much knew everything about me.
A few days after I started at KIRO, Chris congratulated me and said something like, "you're going to like it here. We're like family. Aloha!"
Chris not only became my co-worker, but also a friend. He welcomed me into his family of friends - seeing his wife Julie as my nurse just before surgery made me feel that everything was going to be ok. We celebrated birthdays, weddings together - just like family.
One of the lasting images I have of Chris is from his daughter’s Anna’s wedding reception. Chris was gathering as many people he could to participate in a traditional Greek dance. Chris was in a circle, one arm around his new son-in-law, the other arm on his daughter’s shoulder. Laughing, the Silver Fox throwing his head back, enjoying the moment.
In the years since that job interview, I have seen Chris extend that same welcoming hand to people coming through the newsroom, saying, “Welcome to KIRO TV. I’m Chris Legeros.” It always brought me back to our meeting.
It will be hard not seeing Chris or knowing that he’s a phone call away. It will be hard not hear his laugh echo through the newsroom. And it will be hard saying goodbye to such a close family member.
A lot of people knew Chris better than I did. But in the short time I got to work with him, we shared a lot of weekend shifts. He never complained. He loved sharing other people’s stories and had a way of making the day fun. I visited him last December, and he showed me these incredible gingerbread houses he and his family made – an annual tradition. He had also just gotten a drone for Christmas. He told me promptly flew it into a tree and got it stuck there. Sure, I’ll remember his professionalism and his knack for storytelling, but what I admired most was his ability to have fun, to see the good and to love his family.
I grieve for Chris, whose life was too short.
I grieve for his family and friends, who have lost the comfort of his companionship.
Last, I grieve for myself and his other colleagues, particularly the photographers at KIRO, who may find that the adventures we went on with Chris in pursuit of our stories were some of the best times and most fun we may ever have on the job.
I am profoundly saddened by the loss of this good man.
Chriswas my cousin, a year younger than me. We were a gang in Grammie’s and Poolie’s basement, swiping cokes and drinking them with relish, eating the insides out of Oreo cookies. Our grandparents made it feel that this was our home and we knew and loved every corner of it, the Oriental rugs, the yummy things in the freezer and the moth balls in the winter closets. We were all equally loved and valued by our grandparents, they shaped us as cousins and Chris as a man. They would be very moved and proud of the way that he handled this last year of his life, the spiritual and family values that they taught us were what Chris leaned into.
A photographer and a Reporter have a very unique relationship. We spend 8 or 9 hours side by side. Chris and I worked together 14 years and shared many stories and thoughts. Three moments stand out...
1) Lunch with Chris in early 2002. I remember the time only because my wife was pregnant with our first. Chris and I were eating lunch in Yakima after covering a story there. I expressed my concern of the upcoming responsibility of providing for another human. Chris reassured me that no matter how much work, heartache, and stress you endure in the parental process... it's all worth it. He talked about the happiness that his daughters had brought him. It's all about family. I thought of the conversation a couple years later, as Max waddled across the floor and my heart filled with so much joy it felt as if it would burst.
2) Mercer Island circa 2012 or 2013. Chris and I were chatting while waiting for an interview at a Park and Ride. Chris's schedule had been changed from a cushy Monday through Friday gig. He of course didn't complain about it. After some coaxing, he did admit that he was exhausted and his new schedule was much more taxing. He also was in the process of detailing his house for his daughter's upcoming wedding. Chris was determined to fight through whatever obstacle was put before him, even if it meant working an early morning Saturday shift, after a Friday that lasted late into the PM. He was determined to continue working and providing with his daughter's wedding in mind. It's all about family.
3) A couple months ago I called Chris. Every time there was a group supportive photo, or some type of function, I was curiously absent. I wanted Chris to know that despite this, I was thinking of him and pulling for him. It wasn't a long conversation, probably no longer than 15 minutes. I knew his time was limited, and I frankly didn't think I deserved any of it. I told Chris everything I wanted to say. Understandably Chris was in a very reflective mood. He pondered the balance he had lived between work and family. I reminded him that everything he did was with the best interest of his family in mind. There is nothing selfish about working a 12 hour day. Chris said the treatment he had endured earlier that day had really drained him. I asked him where his energy level was on a 10 scale. He said a 1 or 2. Despite this, he was looking forward to seeing a movie that night with both his daughters who were in town to spend time with him. I drew attention to what would almost seem like a theme to his life. He was going to fight through the obstacle before him, with his loved ones in mind. It's all about family.
Chris was a scrapper who fought cancer till the end. He did it with much dignity. Chris was a great Journalist. I would argue he was an even better man.
I remember when one of Chris’ daughters went off to college and how proudly he spoke about her. His smile was always so contagious, and his sense of humor was the best. The last time I saw him was outside a Seattle Sounders game … he wasn’t going to the game he was covering it with photographer Peter Frerichs.One of the kindest people ever. His loss is heart-breaking. Silver Fox you will be missed.
I was shocked to get a call from Chris a couple of weeks ago. I'd dropped him an occasional email of support as he fought that damned disease, but knowing what he was going through (I lost my dad to cancer), I never expected him to call. That was quite a gift he gave, and typical of his generous spirit. Like the gift he gave everyone, that energy and warmth of his presence. We talked about the pain he was in. And yet, his attitude was amazingly positive. He's the kind of person who makes you want to be a little better yourself. I'm going to miss him.
We lost a truly great person. Chris Legeros was caring, kind and genuine, and it was such a blessing to work with him. Whenever you entered the newsroom, Chris made you feel so welcomed with his smile and the way he greeted you. I will miss you, Silver Fox.
It was beyond a pleasure to work with such a professional reporter. Chris always embodied the definition of gentleman. He fought his battle with grace and never lost his faith! They don’t make them like Chris anymore. Heaven just received a smiling angel. My God bless you Chris and your family. You are a treasure!
I am thankful to have had a chance to work with Chris. He was a class act in everything he did. He was a talented journalist and dedicated friend. More than a decade ago a news director gave me the chance to choose where I wanted to sit in the newsroom. I quickly asked to sit by Chris and Essex. Chris taught me how to be a better reporter -- he taught me more about how to live a good life.
Our KIRO family lost, and heaven gained, one of its brightest stars at 7am today. My dear friend Chris Legeros has "passed away" from the pain of this corporal world, and "passed into" the light of a new day in the presence of the God he believed in, had great faith in until the end, and that we share.
I will miss you my friend. I will think of you daily and I cherish your memory always. I'm at a loss for better words
Chris was warm and genuine.
No matter what he was doing or how stressful the day was, he would always help you.
I sought him out for advice a couple of times. He always gave it with a smile. I will miss that smile.
Chris was not only proud to be Greek, he also celebrated diversity in our newsroom. When he anchored a newscast that I was reporting in, I remember him tossing to me in the field and saying my last name in Spanish. It made me smile. He loved and respected all of us.
Chris fought such a courageous battle against cancer and he did it with such grace. I am so sad that he's not with us anymore. May he rest in peace.
I'll never forget when he'd tell me to have "courage" Thank you, Chris.
He empathized. He encouraged. Chris truly leaned into life. Sorrowfully missed.
We lost a thoughtful, classy, compassionate, and talented colleague today.
When Chris Legeros popped out of the competition's car, it was always a welcome sight. His warm smile felt like home and his news chops made me us all up our game.
The Greek Festival this weekend won't be the same without Chris but we shall celebrate him. He set the bar high as a reporter, a father, and a person of integrity.
May he rest in peace.
I was a graphic artist at KIRO TV and often covered arraignments and trials as a courtroom artist. In fact, my first flight in Chopper 7 was with Chris to cover a trial. We shared a few nervous moments of turbulence that day... and a few laughs! Great guy to work with, very professional and always had a positive attitude. We lost touch over the years but I will always remember his smile. Safe travels my friend.
Chris was easily one of the most talented, caring, and fun “teammates” I've ever had the pleasure to know. No one could duplicate his infectious enthusiasm for life's blessings big and small or his wicked sense of humor. May God rest his soul and comfort his family. He remains one of a kind.
James Lynch, II
It is a very sad day in Seattle and in the community of journalists all over the country.
Chris Legeros was part of a vanishing breed of journalists. He put in his time, learned his craft, became one of the best and all the while ... he thoughtfully served his viewers and his community. He was one of the friendliest field reporters I've ever encountered and one of the most capable. I always knew, whenever I saw him on a story we were covering together, I had to be on my game because he would never settle with being second best. There is always competition among reporters, but with Chris the competition was always friendly and he will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with his family and with those who were fortunate enough to work more closely with him than I. RIP Chris Legeros.
Christi Ball Loso
I am so sorry the world's lost Chris, for he made it a better place. I had the privilege of working with Chris at KIRO in the early 90s, and he was among the very warmest, kindest, most patient and persevering individuals I'll ever know. So dedicated to his work, to getting the story right, and to practicing his trade in an ethical manner. Rest in sweet peace, Chris.
KIRO hasn't been the same and will never be the same without you. Your laughter filled the newsroom, your positivity was electric, your smile contagious. You always found that certain way to tell the story with wit and humor. Nobody told the story like you. I remember long ago on bring your kids to work day, your daughter followed you, and she made it into your story. I always thought that was so cool! You are always one of the best in the news business. I loved working with you! You really were the Spirit of the Northwest! I am so happy that you were able to spend time with your family the past year and make that trip to Florida, something we talked about before you got sick. In your life, your sickness, and your passing, you showed everybody that you need to live life to the fullest! I am happy your pain is gone, and you are at peace. Courage!! Aloha Nui Loa.
Nick, Tula and Tina Margellos
Chris, you will be remembered as the kind, caring, compassionate, witty and fun person that you were. You touched many lives. My parents and I met you at church in 1977 when you moved to Cedar Rapids, IA to pursue your career at KGAN as a reporter/weekend news anchor and became fast friends. We have many fond memories and funny stories of you and Julie the 6 years you lived here and enjoyed receiving your crazy Christmas cards every year. Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and prayers go out to Julie, Elena, Anna and your entire family. May your memory be eternal.
My heart is deeply saddened of the news today for Chris but joyful knowing that he is no longer in pain. I met Chris 20 years ago when I was homeless on the streets of Seattle and frequently eating meals at the Millionaires Club over the past two decades. I had become homeless on and off and would encounter Chris on the streets of Seattle. He always had a beautiful smile and encouraging words for me and offered me assistance which I could not accept due to my pride. I wanted to get word to him that I am in transitional housing and trying to save money for a permanent place and an automobile, and for him to know that my encounters with him brought so much hope and peace when I met him. God bless his family, God bless KIRO TV for a beautiful man with a beautiful heart. Lord Jesus, he's one of your angels now. Amen.
There was an afternoon about a year and a half ago when Chris talked about what made working in news so fun.
It's the people, he said. The people whose stories you get to share, and the people you work with who make the moments so enjoyable.
For each of us, Chris made our work days enjoyable just by being himself. He was exceptionally kind, even when he didn't need to be. He was thoughtful. He was fun. He was so genuine. And he faced the most difficult circumstances with grace. We will remember his courage, and his smile will be missed every day.
Every time I worked with Chris he was always upbeat and kept me laughing even when things got super hectic as it often does in the business. He was real pro and a great co-worker. It was a privilege to have worked with him.
Monique Ming Laven
If there was ever a man who should have lived to be a grandfather, it was Chris Legeros. Such a big man to be so gentle. And kind. And tender-hearted.
We lost a deeply good person today. It was far too soon, though, to be honest, there would never be the right time to lose his light. The tears come quickly right now, but anyone who knows Chris undoubtedly has some laughter to share too. He brought so much happiness to our lives.
He wrote the best stories, he asked the best questions, and he said the most hilarious things. Just ask any Greek to explain why he asked not to mention the Malaka Islands by name during a newscast.
We have lost "The Spirit of the Northwest." Chris jokingly referred to that old tagline for KIRO, and so we called him that (along with Silver Fox, which he embraced with a smile and often accompanied with a slightly ridiculous red hat with earflaps). We would be so lucky if there were more spirits like his in the Northwest and everywhere else. Chris, I love you.
And to Julie and the girls, thank you for sharing your wonderful man with us for so many years.
Chris Legeros served KIRO TV and the viewers of Western Washington for 31 years. As you would expect from a man of his caliber he gave all of us his greatest gift at the end: He modeled for us the ability to keep a great attitude and a big smile even in the face of unthinkable adversity. Chris was clearly a man with great faith, courage and humility. He truly possessed the heart of a servant. May we all remember Chris that way and allow his greatest gift to serve as a reminder in our daily walk.
It's a cliche -- usually -- when people say that someone "always had a smile." From the day I arrived at KIRO, Chris always had a spirit of cheer, even when stress levels were high. He always walked into the studio when he'd anchor a newscast and tell me in a low, shushed voice,
"Hello Mr. Palmer. May the spirit of the Northwest be upon you." Chris would repeat it every time we saw each other for the first time that day, like he was bestowing some sort of Northwest blessing! He knew that made me chuckle. What Chris grew to know over the time he was battling cancer is how much of a blessing he was to US.
Officer Morris Parrish
I came to know Chris and his family. He was a true gentleman and would often been seen walking down the hill from his house to catch the bus at the stop near his house. He’d always wave, say hello and ask how things were going for us at the department. We’d joke about the traffic that often detoured past his house when the state highway would backup. A summer ago on foot patrol at a local park, I found Chris and his daughter enjoying the lake side and day. Chris was soaking up the sun but admitted that his cancer had returned. He was smiling as he said it and said he was enjoying life as it was. I last saw Chris this last spring. Despite being thinner, he still had his smile and acknowledgement for me and the staff at the Lake Forest Park Police Department.
On a personal and professional level, I am diminished by the loss of Chris. Our community is a dimmer place with his loss and his family will be with us in thoughts, prayers and happy memories.
I met Chris back in the early 1980s, where he was known as “Chris George” and was the weekend anchor for KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He reported on the weekly public antics of my comedy troupe. Once he moved to Seattle, we met at a dinner for broadcasters, and I told him about remembering those reports; we then spent much of the dinner discussing the large Greek community in Iowa & who we knew in common. (And how “Legeros” was considered “too ethnic” a name for Midwest television – according to consultants.) A generous, courteous and curious professional – he will be remembered & missed by so many.
This morning we lost one of the truly “good guys.” Chris Legeros was as gentle a soul as he was a dogged reporter. The thought of KIRO 7 without him pains us to the point of tears. But Chris would be the first person to make us smile. The memories of the devoted husband, father, and friend to all will comfort us. And he'll remain our very own Spirit of the Northwest. God keep you my friend
Chris Legeros, My dear friend, I also have Terminal Cancer and you and I fought the tough fight together. When you had your good days and the bad days, we got it!!! So many things we shared were the same, reactions to chemo, losing hair, sick, hard to get away from the restroom, but when we had good days it made it all worth it!!! We devoted everyday of our life to help others, make people laugh, to be strong for family and friends. You always knew we were okay, we knew our destiny and what lies ahead for us. It is really toughest for the loved ones we leave behind!! But they know you are still always with them. Whenever they want to talk to you they just talk, you are always there to hear them. You did great with your time on this earth. All anybody can ask for is to leave a mark on peoples’ life. Yeah, you did that to me and sooooo many others!!! I was honored to go thru this journey with you, now your next journey begins, I look forward to joining you on the next journey too!!! I will miss you my friend and look forward to talking to you tonight in my prayers and dreams, you did good buddy! We could not be more proud! Until we see each other again, all my love.
Chris was the guy in the newsroom who gave every new person a smile, a handshake, a tour and a few extra quarters for the vending machine when he walked you through the cafeteria. Unlike so many in our business who grew downtrodden and jaded, after decades of service he still came in enthusiastic and always reminded us to smile and believe in what we were doing. You were taken so soon, and we are all better for knowing you.
He was such a warm, gentle person who deeply cared about others and his work.
In the short time we shared a newsroom, I was inspired by Chris’s humor, his graciousness, his smile, and his love for life and people. I remember one day I had the pleasure and privilege of subbing in on a morning newscast with him, and he was cracking up both me and the producers with his fantastic, having-fun-at-it energy. He could deliver a funny script like nobody else! Chris, thank you for bringing light and laughter to our days. We miss you.
The last time I saw Chris was at the Emmys in June. He came up from behind, tapped me on the shoulder -- Bear hug, huge smile, big laugh -- so grateful to be there with family and friends celebrating his induction into the Silver Circle. I feel blessed to have known Chris -- honored I had the chance to work with and learn from him for almost a decade. He was a masterful storyteller and an extraordinarily person; never an unkind word, funny, a loyal colleague, kind, generous, totally devoted to family and a man of unwavering faith. When I think of him, I will see him smiling and hear that Legeros laugh! Thank you Chris for being such bright light in this world. R.I.P my friend.❤
Bruce Van Brocklin
It was 1983. A new reporter arrived from Minneapolis, never having seen Seattle. It wasn't long before you found out he was different. An eager beaver, willing to go where other reporters demurred. He didn't just report a story ... he owned it! And oh what stories … floods, snowstorms, live shots from the impossible. And he never complained! He quickly became a favorite in the newsroom. And in later years, a mentor to younger reporters. he didn't just report ... he was an anchor, too. When someone called in sick, there was Chris, anchoring multiple newscasts with aplomb.
When he got his life ending diagnosis, he didn't just fade away, he invited his friends to join him in his journey, and they did! He truly experienced a long and heartfelt goodbye.
Chris is not gone, he lives in our hearts every day in what he gave those of us fortunate enough to share his life journey.
Now, free of sickness and pain, he lives in the life everlasting where we will all join him someday.
Chris was someone who was always on your side. How is that possible? It's because he had the uncanny ability to put himself in your shoes, to see your point of view. He would ask, "How are you doing?" and want to know the real answer. And so for him, living out the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" seemed to come natural to him. And in most cases, what he did for others was a lot more than what he would have others do for him. He was a giver, an encourager, an advocate, a friend.
When I left KIRO-TV, Chris was the one who said, "I'm giving you a party -- and it's at my house." And what a party he gave! His hospitality knew no bounds, and he went out of his way to give me an unforgettable going-away bash, and a memory I will always cherish.
I have lived in Atlanta, GA for the past 16 years and haven't seen Chris in awhile. But every Christmas I always looked forward to his creative Christmas card -- a picture of his family in some zany setting with a clever caption. The one that sticks out in my mind is from several years ago--a photo of him and his wife at a fruit and vegetable stand, holding a wooden fruit box with their two little daughters inside, sticking their heads out and smiling radiantly. The big sign behind them revealed the name of the establishment --"Chris's Produce." Get it? His produce? In the box? The pride he felt in his family was obvious, and you could feel the love in those annual holiday photographs.
Chris is also in an old video my family digs out and plays now and then. It was taken in the hospital the morning my daughter was born. The video pans over from our newborn baby to the TV set tuned to Channel 7 where we see Chris in the anchor chair beaming, "We have some good news to bring you this morning, the birth of a new baby girl to our friend and colleague Nick Walker, just ...(looking at his watch) ... 22 minutes ago." Chris is a show stealer.
Chris was there for me, as he was for so many others, in the beginnings and in the ends. I am confident that for him, today's "end" is only a new beginning.
Thank you, Chris, for always being a friend to me, Harry and the Wappler family. I have had many friends who knew you only though watching TV ask me today if the person they saw on the screen was really as warm, witty and kind as you appeared. All I can tell them is yes, and more.
You were so generous to me when I was starting my career in TV and so supportive of my father during my mother's own fight with cancer.
We will miss you and will always remember how you made the day brighter for everyone who had the honor of knowing you.
Chris would often greet me each morning with “Welcome to work!” Or “Spirit of the Northwest to you!” He always had a smile, quick wit and really knew how to tell a story, in person, and of course on air, where it was second nature to him. And he was fun – we posed together while I was wearing my ugly Christmas sweater and he was happy to wear a rainbow wig so I could get a picture of him. I feel lucky to have known him.
Morning, noon and night, Chris Legeros served the KIRO News Team so well. He was a true team player. It was a pleasure to work with him. Chris brought a sharp eye for news, a quick wit, and that handsome head of salt-and-pepper hair! He will be remembered … long, and well.
John Arthur Wilson
A pause from work and campaigning to honor a former broadcasting compatriot, Chris Legeros. We were both native sons of Minnesota, and we spent time together, while working for competing stations, on news stories around the region. I admired Chris for what he was, and what he wasn't. Chris was a people person, he understood that was at the core of any decent TV story, and he was a storyteller who could tell his tale with elegant economy of words. (I'm still trying to learn that!) But there were some equally important things Chris was not: star struck with himself, pompous, callous to those he worked with. As he so embodied in his long, tenacious battle with cancer, he was human, caring and quietly courageous. I can only imagine the loss to his family and the many fine folks at KIRO. May we hold them all is our prayers as Chris awaits his queue from the director of the Big Newscast in the Sky. Rest in peace, my friend.
Chris Legeros was simply one of the best reporters ever to tell a story.
I loved his zeal to crisscross the Pacific Northwest in search of a great story. He was always first to volunteer to venture out of town to cover a story. By the time he returned, his assignment had become an adventure. After all these years, Chris Legeros has friends and admirers in every corner of Washington.
Chris never met a stranger. He could talk to anyone. From the homeless to the high and mighty, his interview questions were always fair and his reporting was always honest.