At 67, Steve Stucker — who has been a weatherman with KOB for 33 years — will be retiring at the end of March, ending his nearly five-decade career in the weather reporting profession.
Stucker was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and attended Northwest Missouri State University.
He has worked in several markets, including Saint Joseph, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Amarillo, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Santa Fe, and Albuquerque.
He has been married to his wife, Rose, for 30 years and they have four children and three grandchildren.
Stucker is an institution at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which he typically covers while sporting a multitude of pins and a signature cap, and is known for bringing his dogs on-air with him during his weather reports. He’s also the president and founder of Beds4Kidz, a Christian organization that “collects and distributes new and gently used beds to New Mexico children and their families.”
From the names — and health statuses — of his current bevy of pups, to his off-air hobbies, here’s a round-up of things to know about Stucker before he retires.
The Journal conducted this interview by email, and Stucker’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
How did you get into weather?
“Longtime radio career. A local TV station asked me to audition.”
What do we need to know about the current weather dog(s)?
“Radar is ill and won’t last much longer but we are nursing him along. Koukla is the Chihuahua pup and is an active handful.”
What work accomplishment are you most proud of?
“Hmmm. Perhaps staying in the same spot for 33 years. Not taking other offers to work elsewhere. Establishing real roots and becoming part of the New Mexico community.”
What was the hardest day for you as a weatherman?
“There have been many, but probably driving to work through the Bosque fires years ago. Concerned we would lose so much.”
What’s your secret skill or hobby?
“Beekeeper & Harley rider.”
Where did the idea for your nonprofit Beds4Kidz come from?
“It honestly came from God. I had NO clue there was such a big need. Once we understood, it was just a natural progression to develop the charity.”
How’d you get into balloons?
“A friend invited me to volunteer in the media tent the year before I started at KOB. I had such fun and really loved the atmosphere.”
How many balloon pins do you have?
“Too many lol! Can’t count because the number changes every time I go out. I’ve given away more pins than I’ve collected.”
Where’d you get the balloon hat and how long have you had it?
“My late father-in-law found it at a booth at fiesta. He bought it for me. I’ve worn out maybe 10 of them through the years.”
How’d you end up in Albuquerque?
“(I) moved to New Mexico 40 years ago when I was hired to build a new radio station.”
Red or green?
“Green. But I’m good with Christmas too. Any chile is good in my book”
What’s your favorite place to get a breakfast burrito?
“At fiesta it’s Hello Deli. But I love SO many spots. They are like my kids, so I can’t really choose a favorite!”
Where do you go for the best views of the city?
“My backyard is awesome. Driving into Albuquerque from the west on I-40 is spectacular!”
What are your plans for retirement?
“To be very active in full-time ministry.”
Are you planning to stay in the area or move somewhere else?
“I hope to be able to stay in New Mexico.”