Former Adams County news anchor dies suddenly on vacation with family

JM McBride

A former news anchor for WGEM-TV, Lesley Swick-Van Ness, has died from a “sudden illness,” the station wrote in a tribute story.

According to the story, Swick-Van Ness “passed away from a sudden illness Monday morning while vacationing with her family.”

A cause of death was not given for Swick-Van Ness, 42. According to WGEM-TV, which is located in Quincy, Illinois, she worked as a reporter, weekend anchor and weekday evening anchor for the company before becoming a recruiter.

Tributes flowed in for the former anchor.

”She was a powerful personality. She could walk into the newsroom and instantly take over. She just had a commanding presence about her. Sitting on the news desk was an awesome experience,” said former Matt Schmidt to WGEM.

Swick-Van Ness filled her Facebook page with pictures of her husband and small children.
Television cameraPhoto bySam McGheeonUnsplash

Ed Reams wrote on Facebook, "I'm heartbroken to have lost a really good friend this week. Lesley Swick Van Ness was a great friend and an awesome human. We worked closely together for years at Quincy Media, recruiting young journalists and employees to the company. We would travel all over the country and in that time, I grew to know her and we became friends who could talk about anything from work to life. She was the picture of health, positivity and energy. She loved journalism & broadcasting, her husband Tom, her two sons, her family and her many friends. She helped countless journalists and employees find their first jobs in broadcasting. I still can't believe she is gone. RIP, Lesley!"

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