Tom Wills family says what you see is what you get
Tom's Daughter, Abby Yelton
Tom's Daughter, Jennifer Wills
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the past 40 years, he's been a staple in our lives, bringing us the daily forecast. In fact, you might even consider Tom Wills one of your family members. But what about his own family? In preparation for his retirement on July 31, we wanted to know what Tom is like off the air.
Tom's wife, Pam, says he hasn't changed a lot in four decades of forecasting weather on WAVE-TV. "His hair hasn't changed a whole lot in 40 years. It's a little shorter on the sides, but he wears it the same way."
Looking through family photos, the pictures tell the story of a man who is loving, caring and just an all-around good guy.
Basically, at home, he's the same Tom Wills we've all come to know.
Pam can vouch for that, and she should know. She's been married to him for some 37 years. "He's just the way he is on TV. I think one thing that's been an impenitence in that is that he is doing what he loves, and he has for 40 years. He knew from the time he was a little boy that he wanted to forecast the weather, and he just loves doing it."
Tom's daughter, Abby Yelton, says her dad is always calm, never aggressive. She says it takes a lot to get his temper going, but she does recall one occasion when Tom's attempt at being aggressive "backfired."
It seems that Tom needed braces one year, and since he would be appearing on TV he needed the inside kind.
Abby says "The famous story is that one time...he got braces and since he was on TV -- he had to have the inside kind -- and because we were acting up -- he got fed-up and he yelled down the stairs, "You kids need to thud up!' -- so, which of course resulted in laughter instead of the intended.
As for growing up the child of a local celebrity, Jennifer Wills, says "other people think that it's very strange, ya know, oh gosh your dad's on TV, but when it's all that you've ever known your whole life, it's not as weird, you know? You kind of grow up thinking isn't that what everybody's dad does?"
Like any good parent, Tom wanted only the best for his children, including a college education, so for years and years, he put aside personal gain and saved enough money to put them both through school. And, go figure - both girls got scholarships.
Yeah, well that's kind of his fault too...cause he's an extremely intelligent guy and so we got a little bit of his genes in that respect.
Seems like he could have been able to retire earlier, but after 40 years in front of the camera, only time will tell if Tom truly accepts being retired.
One things for certain, it'll be an adjustment for both Tom and Pam. "I've been retired for three years," Pam said, "so, I've had the run of the house. And it'll be different. But I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be good - and really good for him. He's ready for a rest."
(Copyright 2009 WAVE-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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