Wendy Rieger, a longtime News 4 presenter and reporter, died Saturday morning after a battle with Cleoplastoma. Wendy was holding her husband Dan’s hand. She is 65 years old.
For almost 35 years, Wendy had a way of illuminating the screen. You never know what you are going to get.
Except …. yes, you know what you will get.
For all these years, Wendy Wendy has been: smart, funny, compassionate and trustworthy.
He has shared with us over the years about his homes, cats, boat, love of wine and the area from the waters of Maryland to the mountains of Virginia. And, of course, the culture of Washington.
Wendy came to Washington to study at American University in northwest DC, beginning her career in radio with her strong, euphonic voice emanating from radios on WAMU and WTOP.
When he started on News4, it was clear that Wendy was in front of the camera.
In the photos: 30 years of Wendy Ryger
You may remember Wendy’s unique coverage of hurricanes up and down the East Coast. He reported from the Olympics in Brazil and a royal wedding in the UK, and he chased news from New Zealand to Vietnam.
Also, for 20 years, she has been a fun friend to check-in at 5pm every day. His first desk partner was Susan Kidd, who later spent 14 years with a guy he called “Handley.”
The chemistry between Wendy and Jim Handley was magical from the start. The News 4 team could hear their screams from the make-up room to the newsroom.
Wendy was spontaneous and funny, but she also knew her stuff.
The makers always knew that Wendy could break complex foreign policy messages or break the political story. He was one of the first television journalists to cover the environment through his breakthrough series, Going Green.
Oh, can she write? His scripts were of the quality his colleagues wanted to achieve. Our late colleague Jim Vance described Wendy’s talent as “very talented”.
The last story Wendy wrote was a heartfelt reflection on our late colleague Joe Cripps. She is going to miss his funeral that week because she is not feeling well.
It was revealed that the brain tumor was the cause of her symptoms. The diagnosis came a few months after Wendy underwent open heart surgery. Wendy spoke to News 4 viewers about the operation because she wanted to warn people to pay attention to their symptoms.
Through all of this – on and off TV – Wendy showed us what kind of strength she had. When he signed into broadcasting 33 years later, we saw our strong, intelligent, creative and passionate friend looking back with pride and confidence.
Wendy Ryger has been covering news in DC for over 40 years. Now she is ready to start a new chapter in her life. In this video, Wendy shares what she plans to do, what she’s going to miss on NBC4, and tips for journalists.
Her cancer returned a few months after that magical day.
In a note to the newsroom, he wrote: “You know, I have lived my life big and loud. That is my nature. And I had an explosion. But a silence deep and strong has come over me. I had no idea I could be so quiet. Life is not always a test. This is a teaching. I must learn this lesson with grace. And I will.
You did, Wendy. You did it with the kindness and dignity that we will never forget.
A note from the News4 family about Wendy Ryger’s death
Today we lost our brilliant, vibrant, wonderful Wendy Regger.
Wendy loved life as much as she loved her. She had so many feelings, she shared them with everyone she could. For over 30 years, NBC4 Washington audiences have benefited from her unique style, which is a mixture of humor, ingenuity and grace, and we all know her best.
Wendy was diagnosed with brain cancer almost a year ago. He underwent surgery and treatment and then retired in December, with the intention of tasting his whole life and starting a new chapter. Her cancer returned aggressively several weeks ago, and this morning she died while holding her husband Dan’s hand.
We extend our love to Dan, who has been our colleague for decades, and to his brothers, nieces and nephews and many friends.