Kelly Plasker, a weather forecaster on KCBD-TV in Lubbock, Texas, “died suddenly” on August 30, 2020. She was 42 years old. Plasker is survived by her two children.
Plasker was the weekend weather forecaster on the NBC affiliate in Lubbock. A statement from the station’s vice president and general manager Dan Jackson confirmed Plasker’s death in an August 30 Facebook post. Jackson said in part, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of KCBD weekend morning forecaster Kelly Plasker. Kelly was a dedicated member of the KCBD weather staff, well-liked by viewers, and admired by her co-workers. Our deepest sympathies go out to Kelly’s family in this time of great loss.”
A tribute to Plasker aired on KCBD on the night of August 30. The narrator said, “In her three years on air, she showed us her passion for weather, which came through in her forecasts that kept us all safe and prepared for the day ahead.” Following the broadcast, the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was shared.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They provide free, private help 24 hours a day.
One of Plasker’s Co-Workers Described the Broadcaster as Having ‘a Smile as Big as Texas & a Heart of Gold’
A Facebook post from KCBD anchor Sharon Maines described Plasker as having a “smile as big as Texas and a heart of gold.” Maines added that Plasker’s “heart was broken from the suicide death of her son Thomas, and then her father’s sudden death just months later.” Maines added, “Her grief was a daily struggle but she put on that smile and persevered. If any of you are struggling please please please talk to someone.” In a subsequent post, Maines described her August 31 broadcast as “one of the hardest shows I have done in my 44 years on air.”
ABC News’ Ginger Zee paid tribute to Plasker, tweeting in part, “Don’t know that I could’ve been swayed in my darkest moments but I’m grateful I’m here & can share: you aren’t alone.”
Plasker’s Son Was Described as a ‘Very Loving Young Man Who Deeply Cared for His Friends’
Plasker spoke about her son’s death in June 2018 in an interview with KCBD. She said her son, Thomas, died two weeks before his 20th birthday. Plasker said, “With somebody in the house, he still felt so alone that he made that choice.” She credited the Lubbock Police Department’s crisis team with helping her through her son’s death.
Thomas Riley Locke’s obituary read in part, “Thomas was always a very loving young man who deeply cared for his friends, family, or a stranger in need of care. Although school was not a big priority, his high level of intelligence was undeniable.” The obituary names Thomas Locke’s father as Jon Locke. The tribute names Thomas Locke’s stepfather as Brandon Jones. On her Facebook page, Plasker described herself as single.
Plasker Wrote a Lengthy Facebook Post About Her Past Prior to Her Death
On the day of her death, Plasker wrote a lengthy Facebook post that began with the words, “I got thrown off course in high school by a man twice my age. My band director, using his time at Frenship high school to find his new ‘soul mate!'”
Plasker described the man as looking at her “in ways that men should not look at children.” Plasker said she was “picked off” by a predator, as predators can find people “without much family support or resources.” Plasker said she became involved in a five-year relationship that involved “grooming” and was “abusive.”
Plasker wrote that she struggled in future relationships because she felt as though she “wasn’t worthy” and that she “was never going to be good enough for anybody with which I can make memories and grow old together.”
She said the man convinced her to not leave Lubbock, Texas, and that he “snuffed out” her future ambitions. She said that later in the relationship she learned the man was “playing house in two different cities.”
Plasker wrote that she and another woman were “victims of his inappropriate use of authority as an educator.” She said she had been contacted by other women with similar stories.
The post concluded with the words:
Thanks all I needed to get out there as my final confession for the sins I am responsible for adding to the cross.
I love you my friends. My brain is broken and I cannot take it anymore.
In a post from the same morning, Plasker wrote, “I love you all but my love isn’t enough and only hurts the people I love most.”