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KETR staff remember, honor Greenville's Brad Kellar

In this undated photo, KETR reporter Brad Kellar poses with KETR news director Freda Ross.
Texas A&M University-Commerce
In this undated photo, KETR reporter Brad Kellar poses with KETR news director Freda Ross.

The senior reporter at the Herald Banner for many years, Kellar's unexpected death has resulted in an outpouring of sorrow and respect from across Hunt County and beyond.

People in Greenville and across Northeast Texas reacted with sorrow and dismay to the news that longtime Herald Banner reporter Brad Kellar died unexpectedly on Monday.

Kellar came to East Texas State University from Dallas’ Lake Highlands High School, and in the decades that followed, built quite a life in Hunt County. He learned news reporting as part of his education in the broadcast program at ET, worked for KETR during and after his schooling, and eventually, at the Herald Banner, established himself as the senior journalist in Hunt County, an unofficial title he held for many years.

 Brad Kellar
Jared Horn
Brad Kellar

KETR devoted the Tuesday morning newscast to Kellar. During Tuesday’s broadcast of Notably Texan, host Matt Meinke dedicated “Friends We Leave Behind” by The Whitmore Sisters to Kellar. KETR’s current full-time staff offer these reflections on Kellar:

Matt Meinke, Notably Texan Host/Production Director

“Brad was one of my first colleagues when I started out at KETR in the early 90s, filing his nightly news reports from Greenville. He was shining example of the importance of local journalism, someone who kept his ear to the ground for all things happening in the Hunt County area. He and I would sometimes reminisce about his memories of studying under the same radio and television professors at ETSU, and more recently, he would often share and interact with the playlists from Notably Texan. Brad will be dearly missed and never forgotten as a fixture of the Northeast Texas media landscape.”

Kevin Jefferies, Operations Manager

“After several years as a part-timer and volunteer, I finally began full time at KETR as News Director, and I leaned heavily on Brad. Not only was he a voice that had been heard daily in KETR’s local news (and of course, his stories read every day by many more in the Herald Banner), but in leading by example, he taught me a great deal on how to find the who, what, when, where, and why of local news. To this day, I can recall vividly his tag line for every story he voiced for KETR…’I’m Brad Kellar, for KETR news’…as Brad pulled double-duty in relaying news for our humble slice of Texas. I’ve always hoped that folks here in Northeast Texas understood and appreciated how valuable Brad was to us all…and I know many did. Beyond Brad’s unquestionable work ethic, he was witty, eloquent, and down to earth. His column following happenings of the Kellar Estate was a thing I looked forward to while it ran, and it gave us all a real glimpse into the human that Brad Kellar truly was. He opened the door, let us in, and showed the beauty and love to be found in our everyday lives by relaying the tales of his own. It was always fun and heartwarming to read. Brad, you lifted us all while you were here, and you will be missed dearly. Thank you.”

Mark Haslett, News Director

“Most folks don’t know how many hours newspaper reporters work, especially at small papers. And those hours often happen when ‘normal’ people are relaxing and enjoying life – evenings, late nights, weekends. If anyone in Northeast Texas media worked harder than Brad Kellar, I’m not aware of it. That kind of workload makes some people bitter or grumpy. But I could always count on Brad to be smiling and friendly whenever I saw him in Greenville. The outpouring of affection and respect we’ve seen today reflects on his character. His devotion to his family touched me personally. And as a fellow Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ll miss the way his dry humor on social media during Cowboys games took the sting out of many a disappointing loss. I hope he’s gathered around a celestial grill with Robert Newhouse, Harvey Martin and Tom Landry today.”

Jerrod Knight, General Manager

“Brad Kellar was a trusted voice for Hunt County news throughout all his years of association with 88.9 KETR. Longtime listeners certainly remember his contributions as he shared some of the most significant and powerful stories affecting Northeast Texas with KETR’s audience each weekday over decades. A consummate local journalist, Brad touched the lives of many people in many ways, and I’m honored to have known him and to have worked with him for as long as I did. His dedication to his craft and his nose for news will be dearly missed.”

The intentions and prayers of KETR staff are with Kellar’s family and other loved ones, and with all those who miss him.