A public memorial for Fox 4 Kansas City meteorologist Don Harman, who died last week of suicide, will be held Dec. 17 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Kansas City Union Station's Grand Hall, according to the Kansas City Star.
Harman, 41, was found dead Nov. 29 at his home in south Kansas City by his wife, Monica Johns. Police confirmed the death a suicide after much speculation emerged that night and continued into the next. Harman had been the station's meteorologist since 1999. He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Avery.
Harman, beloved by many viewers for his funny and exuberant personality, had evoked massive emotional response because of his death, both before and after it was officially confirmed. Viewers flocked to Facebook and Twitter to ask questions about the cause of death, why such a joyous person as Harman would take his own life and offer condolences.
The outpouring spiked early Wednesday morning when anchors Mark Alford and Loren Halifax responded by posting a message on Fox 4's Facebook page and relaying a similar message during the 4:30 a.m. broadcast that implicitly confirmed the meteorologist's death. Harman's death was officially confirmed on the station Web site several hours later via a statement that read:
Don Harman, a beloved meteorologist and personality on the FOX 4 morning show passed away Tuesday evening. To all of us, Don was like family, and the news comes as a great shock to all the folks he worked with here at FOX 4.
President and General Manager Cheryl McDonald said We are very saddened by this tragic loss. Don wasn't just our Meteorologist, he was a part of our family and we loved him. Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed.
Don brightened our mornings for more than 10 years and he made his mark on Kansas City television. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we ask that in this time of sorrow that you respect them and their need for privacy in their moment of grief.
A few hours after the official statement, the Associated Press confirmed the cause of death as a suicide. The next day, at the behest of Harman's family, who remained very private about what had happened beforehand, the broadcast team shared with viewers that the reason Harman took his life was because he had battled depression for years. The team urged viewers to seek help as soon as possible if they or anyone else they knew suffered from it.