Lezak: KSHB Meteorologist Pens Farewell Salute to His ‘Mom’

Mom & MeMom!

Yesterday I lost my mother (Kay Rubell) after her hard fought battle during the past six months.  She had two major surgeries back-to-back last August, the second of which saved her life, but mired her in a long struggle.

We were already so very close, but through these past six months we grew even closer and had some deep and meaningful conversations.  Someone told me the other day, “You do realize that she’s your biggest fan.”

I’d never thought of my mom that way, and I cry every time I really think about it.  

gloomy_skies_by_ankh_infinitus-d48w6jwMy mom kept scrap books of my entire career from the first moments in 1985. I loved her so much!  We called each other “best friend” every time we talked which was 20 times a week recently as she battled so hard to live, including my last conversation with her which happened last Tuesday night!  She asked how my Super Bowl forecast was going, would it be accurate?

In 1996 she came to Kansas City to make me Thanksgiving Dinner and my General Manager at the time thought it would be a great idea to have her on the air every morning with me showing off a part of our beautiful city.

SONY DSCOne day she was out at Crown Center ice skating. The next day she was on the Plaza. And, the last day she was live on TV at my house trying to make Thanksgiving dinner. It was delicious. My mom wasn’t a great chef, but she taught me how to make two amazing dishes;  Chicken Kiev from scratch and gourmet hot fudge sundae’s. Seriously, the best hot fudge ever!

My mom grew up in a suburb of Chicago and she and my late father moved to Southern California to have a family in 1959.  She had three sons, my older brother Jeff, my younger brother Scott, and myself.  She has a younger sister in New York City, an older brother in the Chicago area, and a younger brother living in the Borrego Springs, CA.  She was married to Earl Rubell, her husband of 21 years and they had just recently moved into their new home, an Assisted Living Facility in Santa Monica.  They had sixteen grandchildren and four Great Grandkids, three of which are living in Australia!

Her favorite place was 18th Street Coffee House in Santa Monica, CA, and this is where we will be having a Celebration of her life on February 21st.

I wish I could have told her that is what we would do. She used to go there four times a week for her “Kaypuccino” as they called it, almost all foam and ½ nonfat shot.  Through it all she was an original!

I miss you mom! You were my very best friend! 



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7 Responses to Lezak: KSHB Meteorologist Pens Farewell Salute to His ‘Mom’

  1. hot harley says:

    very very nice piece gary.
    we all must remember we only get one real mom and one real dad. They can’t
    be replaced. Ever!
    my thoughts are with you and your family.
    Your friend

  2. KCMonarch says:

    It sounds like you made her very proud. Take comfort in knowing there is no better gift a child can bestow on their parent. Sorry for your loss.

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Wow, Gary, this is way too fresh for me, having lost my Mom October 30th. I can’t tell you the number of times a week, flying down the highway, I think of something, pick up my phone and say to myself, “I need to tell MOM that……”
    And what a brilliant way to memorialize her…. at her coffee shop. Thats how it should be. I made the comment, when my time comes, put me in my favorite jeans with my favorite blazer, stick a cigar in my pocket and come to the party!
    Prayers with you, my friend.

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  5. chuck says:

    She sounds like a wonderful person and mother. You were very blessed and we are all sorry for your loss.

    “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

    Washington Irving

  6. Lynnanne Zager and Celia Zager Owens says:

    Dear Gary,
    Thank you so much for posting this. My Mom, Celia was a very close friend of your Mom and talked to her often and saw her a couple of weeks ago.
    I just called her and read her what you wrote over the phone and then made a copy to bring to her today.
    Hopefully, she will be able to come to the Celebration of Life for Kay.
    Your Mom was filled with love and light. She loved my Mom and Charlie (who passed last year) and they were so grateful to find her and have this friendship for the last 20+ years!
    Our heart goes out to all of you during this time!

  7. Bill Evans says:

    Thanks for a wonderful tribute to your mom. I remember mine after reading your comments very fondly and she’s been gone a while now.


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