POSTED: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 6:54pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The most loved anchor in East Texas is saying "see ya later," to KETK NBC.
On Wednesday, after nearly seven years at KETK, Jennifer Kielman announced the Thursday, September 12, 10:00 p.m., newscast would be her last.
"I am a mix of emotions. I am sad to leave, but I am happy to start the next chapter of my life," said Kielman. "I am getting married in a few weeks in East Texas. My future husband and I want to go on an adventure in life. We're going where the wind takes us after the wedding. Leaving KETK was my choice, and, it was a very hard choice. My health is on the upswing and it's my time to go. Only God knows what the next chapter holds. "
Jennifer graduated from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois in 2004. She then took a job at WAOW in Wausau, Wisconsin, where she spent two and a half years as the weekend anchor and reporter. In 2007, she joined the KETK NBC news team as the 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m., anchor.
Jennifer wants to thank every viewer and fan she has gotten to meet, speak with and reach out to during her years at KETK.
"I have been through so much. You rallied around me when things were good. But, more importantly, you rallied around me when things were really, really, really bad," said Kielman. "I have never lived in a community with such loyal viewers and felt so loved on a daily basis. I will forever remember your kindness. Your constant prayers, little notes, prayer blankets, the most amazing banana pudding, cookies, phone calls and e-mails will always be treasured. I want you to know, I read every card and every email. Each one touched my heart more than you will ever know. Your prayers and stories gave me strength and hope. And, they still do. For that, I will forever be grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."
More importantly, Jennifer also wants to send a special message to all the cancer survivors and those currently fighting cancer.
"To all the survivors I've come to know fighting cancer, keep fighting," said Kielman. "I'm proof you can get through it and you can be stronger on the other side! Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle. Cancer doesn't define you, don't let it consume you. Keep smiling, keep laughing and keep living. It's just a speed bump, not a road block. "
Jennifer promises to keep in touch with those in East Texas and is so excited about what her future holds.
"I'll make sure to keep you all posted on the latest happenings with me," said Kielman. "Only good things to come! And as always, with a big ol' smile on my face."
Danny Elzner had this to say about Jennifer, "You showed us faith and courage in the way you fought cancer. I’ll continue to pray for you as you continue to inspire hope in others. May God always bless you!"
Scott Chesner will always remember Jennifer by this phrase, "I'm burning up in here! Someone please check the air!'
Nicole Underwood wants to tell her story about Jennifer, "When I first came to KETK back in 2008, I worked in a different bureau than Jennifer, but she always treated me like a friend, even though we rarely saw each other. When I began working in the Tyler office at in 2010, we became much more close. She is truly one of the most amazing people I know. She has such a good heart, and has been such a wonderful friend to me the whole time I have worked with her. I was lucky enough to have the desk next to Jennifer and I will miss her witty comments, our conversations and her positive attitude, but I am excited for her future. Good luck, my dear friend, you will gain friends and fans wherever you go!”
Reagan Roy wants Jennifer to know, if she ever needs some Nellie's Shortbread, she's just a phone call away, "Jennifer has the most beautiful soul of most anyone I have ever met. It's hard to come into a news station and not know anyone, but she treated me like family from day one and I wish Jennifer and her fiance happiness, prosperity and most of all a loving, fulfilling life together."
KETK is sad to see Jennifer go, but even more so, excited for what her bright and prosperous future holds.
One of Jennifer's favorite quotes is, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about dancing in the rain."
Go dance in the rain, Jennifer, with Lucy and Butters!
From all of us at KETK/FOX51, we love you and we'll "see you later."