We remember longtime KMOV cameraman Don Lucy II
Compiled by the staff of STLSportsPage.com
Two KMOV-TV and St. Louis sports icons – one on camera and one behind the camera forever connected by KMOV-TV and their love for a certain car – are now gone. Lucy (shown in the Corvette in the photo, left) died unexpectedly this week.
His name might not be familiar to you unless you read the KMOV-TV news credits, but with all the things he accomplished working there, his work is familiar to everyone at Saint Louis.
“This man has brought us more magical sporting moments in St. Louis than anyone I can imagine in regional broadcast history,” said longtime friend and former colleague Lou Tevlin. “Although sports fans didn’t know him – and frankly, with his calm demeanor, many members of the media didn’t know his name even though he ate at the same media catering halls – Don’s work has been in their living rooms, their man caves, on their tablets and mobile phones for about forty years.
A private vigil for Don Lucy II will be held tonight, with a celebration of life tomorrow at noon at First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL.
The service will be held Monday, June 21, 2022 at 12:00 p.m., at First Baptist Church Maryville, 7110 State Route 162, Maryville, IL.
KMOV celebrated Don Lucy II last year when he celebrated 40 years with the station, and then today (Monday) they paid tribute to the man who meant so much to the station for over 40 years.
To watch the tribute to Lucy. To look at CLICK HERE.
Tevlin, owner of Integrity Sports (sports player management) worked with Lucy during Tevlin’s many years at KMOV and they remained close friends until the end. He wanted to pay tribute so that Lucy’s son, Donnie, could know how much he meant to him and to the city of St. Louis. Courtesy of Tevlin, here is that tribute:
Don Lucy II commemorated by Lou Tevlin on June 18, 2022
Don Lucy II grew up in the soot-filled air in the shadow of industrial giant Granite City Steel. What seemed like a bleak start never anticipated a breakthrough into the bright lights of a truly legendary career at St. Louis Television.
With the most amazing work ethic of anyone, in any company at any time, Don Lucy II single-handedly built his own American Dream with a wife Juanita looking for a queen of beauty and an amazing son, Donnie.
Don Lucy II showed the deepest focus, will and perseverance (which is how he won the hand of Junita the beauty queen) of anyone I have ever met. When Don Lucy II got down to it, he succeeded! Honestly, think of the greatest focused faces, stares in sports history: Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, ok and Tony La Russa. Don was equal in his intensity. To the uninitiated, Lucy II may seem disinterested in your need for him to perform a technical miracle at the last minute to save your butt. Don heard you. Don didn’t miss a thing even though his eyes never left the switcher/board. His brain was multitasking before the word was coined.
I dubbed him “The Wizard” in the mid-1980s as I marveled watching him work. In the production truck, the Montreal Expos @ the Cardinals. Game shows were far less common in those days, but Lucy II was already an elite network-grade TD (technical director, who runs the directors’ call). So teams visiting Busch would ask Don to switch their games simultaneously, in real time, to the Cardinals broadcast/stream. When Cardinals fans saw Bob Forsch on the mound in a close shot, Don sent the Expos to broadcast a different camera angle, a close-up shot of Gary Carter at bat with name fonts and stats. Try running two games with different commands in your brain for 3 hours live? “The Wizard” was born when I realized the Expos had two shows – one in English and one in French with separate French fonts and Don Lucy II had all three “downstream” streams on his mixer. An electronic maze of wires that had less capacity than a basic application today. Absolutely amazing!
In the quietest and most modest way, Don Lucy II’s instinct, knowledge and brains personally battered the stock market for decades in a way that few Wall Street pros – if they were being honest. – could match. Don main chose his stocks and quietly, in complete confidentiality, watched them grow.
It is not what some uninformed people today call “privilege” – No! It’s the opposite of anyone interested in Facts: it’s called WORK!!!
Because DON LUCY II worked over 80 hours a week for 40 years (repeat that…pause/think about it)…countless St. Louisians – indeed generations – received their news without “technical difficulties” and enjoyed some 40 seasons of St. Louis Cardinals Championship Baseball (Ozzie to Arenado) iconic footage with indelible moments delivered by the quick reflexes and quick wit of Don Lucy II. At the Arena, Don Lucy II showed you Monday Night Miracle-era St. Louis Blues from Wickenheiser to Hull & Gretzky while delivering to living rooms, sports bars, and later tablets and cellphones …the Blue Notes’ long road to a Stanley Cup championship.
St. Louis sports fans have never missed a magical moment because Don Lucy II pressed the wrong button, for the wrong camera, at the wrong time. If it happened… no one can remember.
Imagine Albert Pujols – a surefire Hall of Famer on the 1st ballot – never scratched. In the clutch, under pressure, with high tensions and the ego is often even bigger, inside a sardine can of a production truck, next to a stadium for hours, in live, it’s a pressure cooker!
Don Lucy II never knocked… and he didn’t in life.
You have to see the Cardinals & Blues moments – from the magical to the mundane – because Don Lucy II has only slept a few hours (or less) per night for the past FOUR decades.
A rather quiet, serious man – the kind of guy we all pray is in the cockpit of our next flight, when our life is in his hands… was really a gossip with some cherished friends in whom he had the greater confidence.
His love of investing in “just the right classic cars” that would appreciate beyond imagination – except maybe Don’s imagination.
(You all get it, right? Cars are usually depreciating)
At Sports Dept @ KMOX-TV, after hearing the story of Tim Van Galder’s long-lost 1966 Corvette, Don set out to find the exact car, VIN number and purchased the vehicle from the amazement of TVG.
Oh man, could Don fly too! Yes, as a track and cross-country runner for Granite City High and later as an aviator owning a range of aircraft ranging from pre-WWII biplanes to Bonaza’s and many more to the over the years. Don Lucy II worked on many network shows, often traveling to games so he could keep up with his mind-boggling workload. Remember Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams? Don flew out to meet an obscure 80-year-old baseball player in North Carolina or somewhere because he was curious about this man. So you get a glimpse of the often stoic Don Lucy II as a dreamer and romantic. Don was shy yes, humble absolutely… but I don’t know a single great director who doesn’t have imagination and dreams.
You will notice throughout this tribute that I refer to him as Don Lucy II. I did it intentionally because Don did it intentionally. In tribute to his father Don Lucy. You see, Don and I are the second generation of St. Louis TV. Our fathers, born before the Great Depression, were called upon to win World War II as members of the greatest generation, then returned to the United States to raise families and become “just” pioneers in the new media. of television. So when people asked how long our father had been on television, we answered… because it was the radio!
The loose lineage of Marconi & Sarnoff delivered in sparks, transmitters, microwaves to satellites and eventually the internet, digital 4K connects Don Lucy II to some of the great technical directors in broadcast history. Certainly in Saint-Louis, Don Lucy II will always be number one!
A sudden and shocking death at 62, a close friend, a longtime colleague and for the legions of those who respected and relied on him is hard to fathom. As a man of faith I know that our Heavenly Father is the ultimate achiever and makes the decisions… but on this side of the picture, the life of Don Lucy II has faded well too early.
KMOV Video Tribute – CLICK HERE
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Photos and videos courtesy of KMOV-TV.