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Goodbye to my mentor and friend, Doug Lund

Doug Lund’s legacy lives on in the hearts of loyal viewers who watched and adored him for years, and in my heart, he remains a cherished mentor and father figure who helped shape my career and my belief in myself.

Two pictures side by side of Angela Kennecke and Doug Lund. The left picture is of them when they anchored together in the early 90's and the right photo is of them sitting at the KELOLAND news desk recently.
Steve Hemmingsen, Doug Lund, and I pictured in the early 90’s.

When I was a novice reporter, I had the privilege of working with three KELOLAND legends: Dave Dedrick, Steve Hemmingsen, and Doug Lund. Each of them, more than twice my age, taught me valuable lessons as I navigated the world of local TV news. Hemmingsen’s tough love pushed me to become a better writer. He would often clear the pages of my stories and rewrite them concisely and matter-of-factly. I vividly remember the day he stopped rewriting my scripts—it was the day I knew I had become a decent writer.

However, it was Doug Lund’s kindness that left a lasting impression on me and taught me how to mentor others. In a business that didn’t always foster kindness, Doug truly cared about me. He listened attentively and offered advice, providing constant support even when the audience wasn’t kind. During a terrible divorce, when my children were small, and I was on the anchor desk, Doug was there to listen and offer support. A talented musician, he would serenade me in the newsroom on my birthday, a tradition he continued long after retiring from KELO. He would still stop by the newsroom as the “voice of KELOLAND” to do his recordings.

We made a great anchor team both on and off the set, and he became much more than just a mentor; he became a father figure to me. He always asked about my children, and when I mentioned their dream of riding in a convertible, he and his wife Linda showed up at my house a few nights later to give them a ride in theirs. 

I started with this Maya Angelou quote because Doug personified it. He always made me feel valuable and was one of the few who praised my work in a business full of competition. He helped me to believe in myself.

When Emily died, Doug reached out and asked what he could do. I immediately asked him to do a reading at her funeral. Doug had known Emily since birth and always kept up with my kids. There was no voice better suited to help memorialize her. He recorded a heartfelt video message when I left KELO in 2022. I have saved a few video highlights from working with Doug over the years. 

I have not seen much of Doug recently, despite my texts and messages to him. Occasionally, he commented on my Facebook posts. His health had been failing, and he wasn’t open to having visitors. I wish this very great and very human man didn’t have to suffer in this way. I’m reminded that none of us gets a free pass in life from suffering and death. Doug’s legacy lives on in the hearts of loyal viewers who watched and adored him for years, and in my heart, he remains a cherished mentor and father figure who helped shape my career and my belief in myself.

Faith, Hope & Courage,


8 responses

  1. Donna Jensen Avatar
    Donna Jensen

    Doug was in our lives since childhood. He was in my husband’s class and was best friends with a boy I previously dated. We have had several class reunions where he and Lawrence Gruseth entertained all of us with music and jokes. He will be missed.

  2. Hemmingsen Avatar

    very good, angela. I promise not rewrite it…or even change one word this time.

    1. Angela Kennecke Avatar
      Angela Kennecke

      That’s a huge compliment coming from you!

  3. Melissa Flynn Avatar
    Melissa Flynn

    Beautiful tribute to your friend and mentor. Sorry for your loss.

    1. Angela Kennecke Avatar
      Angela Kennecke

      Thank you!

  4. Oh Angela, beautifully written!! How blessed were you to have this kind of mentor/father-like figure in your life!! Sorry for your loss of this treasured friend!

  5. Sandy Tiff Flint Avatar
    Sandy Tiff Flint

    Doug was #1 in my TV News Anchors, and if you were fortunate, I was, to meet face to face there was a HI, and a big smile on his face. Never personally met him, but always thought I KNEW HIM. I saw him and his band at the State Fair and Sioux Empire Fair. God, I know, picked out the best WINGS for Doug, and I know he is singing, playing drums, and keeping ALL THE ANGELS and God up-to-date on NEWS. May he now RIP, as the pain stopped when his BIG HEART took its last beat. God Bless you, Angela and your family with the loss of your daughter and your KELO friend/father figure and mentor.

    1. Angela Kennecke Avatar
      Angela Kennecke

      What wonderful memories to share! Thank you!

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