At the age of 27, Neena Pacholke, a former standout player for the University of South Florida basketball team, was discovered deceased in her residence.
Later on, Pacholke’s sibling attested to the fact that she committed suicide.
Reportedly betrothed, Pacholke worked as a morning anchor for an ABC News affiliate local news station in Wausau, Wisconsin.
According to the Wausau Police Department, a welfare check was done at Pacholke’s residence by police. She was deceased when the police entered the residence and discovered it empty when no one answered the door.
“Sometimes you just don’t know what people are going through, no matter how much you think you know someone,” she said. “My sister had access to every resource you could imagine. She was loved by everybody. She was so good at her job … She just radiated love and positivity, and she just cared so much about pouring into other people, and always put other people first. I think she did that at the expense of not caring about herself.”
At Southern Mississippi, Kaitlynn is the assistant women’s basketball coach.
“She was just like a little ball of sunshine, and her smile was massive,” Kaitlynn said. “And she could just make you feel like you were the most important person, whether she knew you for five minutes or her whole life. … We would be out at coffee and someone would recognize her, and she would lighten them up the way she’s made me feel the last 27 years.”
A post on the WAOW.com website read: “Neena Pacholke, our beloved morning anchor passed away suddenly Saturday. The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well. Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly.”
“We ask you to please keep her family in your thoughts at this time as we all cope with the loss. We will have much more on the life and legacy Neena had later in the week. If you would like to send your condolences or share your favorite memories please head to our Facebook page,” the outlet added.
In addition, WAOW sent their sympathies via Twitter:
“We are absolutely devastated to share with you all that Neena passed away suddenly. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts. Feel free to share any favorite memories or condolences in the comments below,” the station tweeted.
“Sending love to Neena’s friends and family. Such a tragic loss. remember wherever and whoever you are, you are loved and worthy & your life matters. You can reach the suicide and crisis lifeline 24/7 by calling or texting 988. More resources here: https://namiga.org/crisis-info/,” Savannah Levins replied to the tweet.
Years ago, Micah Kroll, who played with Pacholke at USF and knew her well, stated that her buddy has the capacity to see “the positive side of everything.”
“She just lightened everyone’s mood, put a smile on everyone’s face, and she was always there for us. Any one of us, she would drop anything and be there for us,” Kroll said.
“My heart just sank. I had the pleasure of meeting Neena during my time in NYC. She was such a bright light and extremely kind. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of her family, friends, and colleagues,” Amy Zimmer added.
In a tweet, Pacholke’s previous squad also expressed their sympathies, adding:
“The Bulls are heartbroken to learn of the sudden loss of our beloved former teammate Neena Pacholke (2013-16). Our thoughts and prayers are with Neena and her family during this extremely difficult time.”