GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Charlie Heit was no stranger to broadcast in Central Montana. For years he delivered forecasts across the air on TV and radio. There was never a dull moment with Charlie around and he was sure to always make you smile.
He started his television career at KFBB in the mid-’90s in the engineering department as a switcher, Charlie quickly learned those ropes and moved up to directing our morning newscasts. When the opening for weather became available, we knew Charlie would be the perfect fit.
Garnering the nickname 'Chuckles', Charlie could make any situation a happy one. Some of his co-workers have even described him as 'un-naturally happy'. In fact, Montana's worst weather days were only made brighter because of Charlie.
He especially loved dressing up as our mascot 'The Bee' at the Montana State Fair and sharing stories with the Great Falls Community.
In 2008, Charlie's talents were recognized across the state when he was named Weatherman of the Year from the Montana Broadcasters Association.
Before Charlie landed his job as a switcher at KFBB, Charlie served as a videographer at Malmstrom Air Force Base. Prior to that, he served his country in the medical field during Vietnam. Charlie earned a Bronze Star for his actions on the field when his platoon went under fire in Vietnam. His family tells us Charlie, a conscientious objector, went into enemy fire to save them, without a weapon.
Charlie returned home and continued his service with the MT Army and MT Air National Guard before retiring as Master Sergeant.
His talents weren't limited to just television. Charlie's booming voice could be heard across the airwaves on KEIN and KMON.
Radio is what actually brought him and his wife Missy together. The two met at KEIN where Charlie was working on-air as a radio personality and Missy was a copywriter. They married and had two sons. One lives in Billings and the other lives in Idaho Falls, ID. They've been married for 34 years.
To say he left a mark on those who knew him is an understatement. Here's a look at just some of the things people had to say about him:
"Charlie was always welcoming and fun to be around when I would visit KFBB. Loved his job and the people he worked with. A true sweetheart. He used to have a standing cardboard cut out of Brett Favre next to his weather center. Always good for giving a rivalry ribbing to me when I was around"
"Charlie was one of the greatest guys you could ever meet. He started in engineering as our morning switcher and moved on to direct the morning show and eventually started doing weather. His upbeat attitude and his indomitable good nature were an example to all of us worked with him. He will be greatly missed."
"Charlie was one of the good guys. He really loved broadcasting and was in large part a broadcasting historian for Great Falls & Montana"
Charlie, you will be forever missed, but today we smile because of you. Rest easy Chuckles.
December 10, 1950 - February 17, 2021