Who is Tom, husband of Lesley Swick Van Ness?

BELOVED WGEM TV news anchor Lesley Swick Van Ness died unexpectedly in April 2023 at the age of 42.

She is survived by her husband, Tom Van Ness, and their two young sons.

Lesley Swick Van Ness was survived by her husband Tom and their children


Lesley Swick Van Ness was survived by her husband Tom and their childrenCredit: Facebook

Who is Tom, husband of Lesley Swick Van Ness?

Aside from being the husband of Lesley Swick Van Ness, Tom is known for his career in sales, marketing and advertising.

He reportedly started his career at the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News before returning to Quincy, Illinois to work with his home newspaper, The Herald-Whig, according to his News25 bio.

Outside of his job, little information is available about Tom’s personal life as he often stays out of the limelight and social media.

What Was the Cause of Lesley Swick Van Ness Death?

Van Ness was a popular television news anchor who worked for WGEM-TV from 2003 to 2016.

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After WGEM, she began working at Quincy Media as a Talent Acquisition Specialist and later at Gray Television as Director of Talent Acquisition.

Tragically, she died on April 10, 2023 at the age of 42 in Naples, Florida while vacationing with her family.

The cause of her sudden death was not made public, but Jennifer Dale, the vice president of recruitment at Gray Television, said in a statement that it happened after she “fell ill and was hospitalized” while on vacation.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we share some devastating news with you. Lesley Van Ness, who we were so fortunate to have as part of the Gray family, passed away this (Monday) morning,” Dale wrote via Muddy River News.

“Lesley and her husband Tom have two precious boys. Please keep them all in your prayers.”

What did people say about the death of Lesley Swick Van Ness?

Since Van Ness’ death was announced, several of her friends and family have released statements remembering the “local celebrity”.

Among the first were her former WGEM colleagues, who described her as “a force to be reckoned with”.

Lesley Swick Van Ness died on April 10, 2023


Lesley Swick Van Ness died on April 10, 2023Photo credit: WGEM

“She was a strong personality. She could go to the editorial office and take over immediately. She just had a commanding presence about her. Being on the news desk was a great experience,” said former WGEM presenter Matt Schmidt.

“She wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work and wasn’t afraid to work the overtime, especially if it was something that really impacted the community,” added WGEM meteorologist Brian Inman.

Some have also posted notes on her obituary, including her friends Neat and Tom Brower.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to Lesley’s family. Thinking of Leslie brings back memories of a beautiful child swimming in the Hamilton pool,” the Browers wrote.

“Time passed quickly and I saw her as a news anchor on WGEM channel 10. She was a celebrity in the eyes of a small community. That was a well deserved title. She did her job with integrity. Lesley will always have a place in our hearts.”

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Another person named Stella Daskalakis Thurkill added: “Lesley has always been so helpful to me when I needed advice or a listening ear and when I first started looking for a job. We always had great conversations and I admired her decision to be with her family and pursue a new career in broadcasting.

“I am absolutely shocked by her death. To you, your family, I send all the love and prayers and support I can muster. You don’t know me, but I really admired Lesley. May her memory last forever.”


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

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