NBC anchor Lesley Swick Van Ness, 42, dies while vacationing with family

A news anchor at an NBC affiliate in Illinois died after she fell ill and was hospitalized while vacationing with her husband and their two young sons in Florida.

Lesley Swick Van Ness, who worked as an anchor for WGEM-TV as well as an executive for its corporate parent, Gray Television, was pronounced dead on Monday in Naples, Fla.

“In the eyes of a small community she was a celebrity,” Tom and Neat Brower wrote in response to an online obituary.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we share some devastating news with you,” Jennifer Dale, the vice president of recruiting at Gray Television, said in a statement that was posted on Muddy River News.

“Lesley Van Ness, who we have been so fortunate to have as part of the Gray family, passed away this (Monday) morning.”

Dale continued: “Lesley had been on vacation with her beautiful family in Florida when she fell ill and was hospitalized last Thursday.”

“Lesley and her husband Tom have two precious young boys,” the statement read.

“Please keep all of them in your prayers. We will keep everyone posted on arrangements.”

Van Ness’ colleagues remembered her as a force to be reckoned with.

Ariel Zilber | New York Post