How do you properly honor a man, like Lee Kinard?
He was a trusted WFMY News 2 journalist for decades, a mentor, a familiar face, a friend. You might start by looking at the people he inspired - future journalists.
The former WFMY News 2 anchor died over the weekend at 86 years old.
Lee Kinard didn't just put on a broadcast voice, show up on television, and read you the latest headlines. He was there, in your home, having a genuine conversation with you - the same man on air as he was, off.
For more than four decades, Kinard thrived in the Golden Age of broadcast news. But if you pulled back the curtain, friends say, what you saw is what you got.
“I think that is what endeared Lee to the community, he was the type of guy that when you watch them on TV, you think - I wonder how it would be if I approached him in the grocery store? Well if you approached him in the grocery store, he would stop and speak to you. Those are the things that you always remember,” said retired WFMY News 2 photographer George Harrison.
Harrison says Lee Kinard taught every coworker how to be a good journalist, and a better person.
“He was the kind of guy, he would say, it doesn't make any difference if two people see this story or a million people see it. Your name is on it and you always want to be the best,” he said.
“I admire the fact that he was one of those pioneers that loved the profession,” said Elon University professor Anthony Hatcher.
While he didn't know Lee personally, he watched him over the years, picking up lessons he now teaches to journalism students at Elon.
“I got the impression that Lee Kinard cared enough about what he did for a living, that he did his homework, he did his research. He cared enough about the audience that he wanted to be right,” Hatcher said.
Both Harrison and Hatcher say, Kinard was an example to journalists everywhere - teaching them passion, responsibility, accuracy, all with a smile on his face, and a love for the community he served.
Kinard worked at WFMY News 2 for 43 years. When he retired in 1999, he focused on education working with UNC-Greensboro, getting people to vote, and raising money for those in need.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now