Taft, who has served as an ABC7 meteorologist for more than three decades, died peacefully Thursday night. He was 77 years old.
RELATED: Jerry Taft, ABC7 meteorologist at age 33, dies at age 77
Jerry is retiring in 2018, announcing that he is ready to spend more time with his family and play golf in Florida. Jerry is survived by his wife Shana and his children Skylar, Storm, Dana and Jay.
VIEW: ABC7 anchor Alan Krasheski shares fun moments with Jerry Taft
When Jerry came to ABC7, he was part of the first morning show with Alan Krasheski.
“What made him so likeable to many of us was that every time he made a mistake on the air, every time he had that laugh, and sometimes the laughter that was appropriate for us on the air, you couldn̵
Memories of Jerry Taft: Looking back when he burst out in uncontrollable laughter
“Nothing triggered him, and if that happened, Jerry had the ability to overcome it,” Kraszeski added. “That transparency to treat us. He was human. He didn’t try to cover it up. He wasn’t embarrassed.”
ABC7 anchor Cheryl Burton said, “Jerry can make any dark moment sunny.”
“Jerry was evil smart. He was brilliant,” Burton said. “People had no idea of his service to the country, his bravery.”
VIDEO: Favorite moments on ABC7 with Jerry Taft
Former ABC7 presenter Katie Brock remembers “Jerry’s big laugh”, but said she “has an even bigger heart”.
“Jerry was the type of person, if he notices you have a bad day, someone has a bad day, he will come in. He will sit down and talk. He would like to know what’s going on. And in Jerry’s bizarre way, he always had a story that puts everything that happens in perspective, “Brock said.
WATCH: Former ABC7 anchor Cathy Brock, Ron Maggers share memories of Jerry Taft
Former ABC7 presenter Ron Maggers talks about his personal relationship with Jerry over the years.
“I think it happened on the air. But the other thing that would happen to Jerry on set was that he would have a thought that would have fun and start giggling, maybe laughing. And then, Giangreco will leave, he disconnects him from the camera to the point that he will fall apart and he can’t go on with the prognosis. Those were the moments we loved more than anyone, “Maggers said.
WATCH: Mark Giangreco talks happy moments with Jerry Taft
Mark Giangreco’s ABC7 Chicago sports appeal recalled a commercial broadcast with Jerry.
“My first day in Chicago, I met him. He said, ‘Hi, I’m Jerry. I make the time. That’s how much money I make just so they don’t fuck you up, “said Giangreco.
Meteorologist Tracy Butler said Jerry played an important role in the ABC7 Chicago team.
It is with a very heavy heart that I share the passage of our dear Jerry Taft with you. Jerry played an important role in my coming to @ ABC7Chicago. I hear that laughter. Wow … I hear that laughter. I miss you, my friend. My deepest sympathy for his family. pic.twitter.com/ZoQN91xvTL
– Tracy Butler (@ TracyButlerABC7) July 24, 2020
“I hear that laugh,” Butler said.
She recalled his work in holding the Dimes Sunshine Rally march.
“Jerry has been dedicated to the Dimes March for decades, and the Rally of the Sun was a rally where we would all gather in April and meteorologists from all over Chicago would gather and forecast the big March of the Dimes Walk. “Jerry has been in charge of this for years, and I know he’s so respected by meteorologists in this town and all over the country,” Butler said.
Butler remembers that Jerry has always been “at the forefront of technology.”
“I think he was one of the first on Twitter at our station and the boy some of his early posts were certainly comical. So many of us remember him for that laugh,” Butler said.
Traffic anchor Rose Varon also remembers Jerry’s famous laugh.
“I can hear him, I will always hear him. You will never forget him because he was so contagious. He would laugh, you would start laughing and you can’t stop laughing,” Varon said.
Former ABC7 presenter Linda Yu, who has known Jerry for more than 40 years, said she thinks the audience loved him so much because he could never be embarrassed.
WATCH: Former ABC7 anchor Linda Yu shares memories of Jerry Taft
“Everything from when he was trapped hanging upside down in his apartment in his gravitational boots, to the time his ex-wife threw a plate of Mostacholi in his face at a public restaurant, to him running outside with the crowds outside State Street Studio and waves like crazy when his clicker doesn’t work on the air, “Yu said.” He didn’t try to pretend things would go smoothly. He would just throw it in the air and go to the set. “
ABC7 meteorologist Cheryl Scott remembers feeling intimate from meeting Jerry, but was immediately calm afterwards.
“He was so kind. He was so sincere. He welcomed me with open arms. He was so nice and within seconds to minutes, and on the other days we worked together, we shared laughter,” Scott said.
WATCH: ABC7 meteorologist Cheryl Scott shares memories of Jerry Taft
“I know everyone at ABC7, including me, is just so blessed and happy to know him and work with him,” Scott said.
Incredibly sad day for our abc7chicago family – Jerry Taft was so much fun – to work with & call a friend. I pray that we all take comfort in the sweet memories. ️ ️ https://t.co/xiefqoCEB6
– Dion Miller (@ dmillerabc7) July 24, 2020
Sad day for our family @ abc7chicago, with the passage of long-standing meteorology and Chicago legend #JerryTaft. Unfortunately, I couldn’t work with Jerry for very long, but I quickly learned that his laughter and kindness were bound to make you smile! Rest in peace, Jerry. pic.twitter.com/29AmfyhhUg
– Jesse Kirsch (@ JesseKirschABC7) July 24, 2020
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