Top 10 stories of 2023: SW La. loses beloved meteorologist

Published 2:42 pm Saturday, December 30, 2023

Ben Terry, the beloved morning and midday KPLC-TV meteorologist, died on Aug. 13 after a years-long battle with colon cancer. He was 40 and a fan favorite in the hearts of Southwest Louisiana residents.

In a KPLC video celebrating his life, he was described as a “brilliant weather forecaster and an even better human” — to which Westlake Mayor Hal McMillin said he could attest to.

He met Terry on the KPLC set while giving outdoor hunting and fishing tips to viewers before beginning his campaign for mayor.

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“We immediately bonded over SEC football, for one thing,” McMillin said. “I think part of his appeal was that he was raised in a small town.”

Terry was born in Kosciusko, Miss., and graduated with honors from Kosciusko High School in 2001. He graduated as valedictorian from Holmes Community College in 2003. He then attended Mississippi State University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in broadcast meteorology.

Following his college graduation and work in Jackson, Miss., Terry moved to Lake Charles and began his career as a meteorologist for KPLC-TV.

He was active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and joined the Mardi Gras Krewe De Embrasser Le Bon Vie. He was also active in Relay for Life and served as chairman.

So beloved, a group called “The Friends of Ben Terry” held a fundraiser to help him offset costs for his cancer treatment. As part of the fundraiser, McMillin oversaw the auction.

“I have been doing auctions for 15 years and never have I seen the response that I saw at the fundraiser for Ben Terry,” McMillin said. “The love in that room. There was a moment that you could just sense the good Lord was there.”

Terry was as “fine a gentleman you could have ever met,” Sulphur Mayor Danahay said. “Professionally, he was in a class of his own. He will always be admired for his strength and courage in the life he shared with us. Our community deeply mourns his passing.”

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and his wife, Becky, also expressed their condolences. “We honor you and we thank you for making such a positive impact on this community,” Hunter said. “You will always be loved and you will always be remembered. You made this city a better place.”




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