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Final farewell to ABC7 photographer Artie Williams

August 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was a day of sadness and celebration, as family and friends bid farewell to Artie Williams, a beloved Eyewitness News colleague.

Artie, who worked as a photographer at ABC7 for 30 years, died a week ago while doing something he loved - scuba diving.

Members of the ABC7 family filed into a Santa Clarita church on Tuesday morning, joining Artie's mother, relatives and hundreds of friends.

"Kind, gentle, a big teddy bear, a lovable man who made work so easy for me," said Eyewitness News Health Specialist Denise Dador.

Eyewitness News Anchor Marc Brown described Artie as a man who could make friends with anyone.

"I don't care who you are. It could be a gang member, it could be a politician or a detective or an NBA all-star, whoever it was, when you met Artie Williams, you remembered him," Brown said during the service.

Artie, a man with a big smile and an even bigger heart, touched a lot of lives.

"There isn't anyone who Artie knew at the station who doesn't have an Artie story about remembering their kids' birthdays, inquiring about the health of their spouse or checking in with them after a tough day to make sure they were OK," said ABC7 President and General Manager Arnold J. Kleiner.

"If we take anything away from his life, it is that we should be kind to each other and really reach out to each other, and that it really makes a difference," said ABC7 News Director Cheryl Fair.

Artie loved sports and had a passion for the Lakers. His warm, friendly presence in the locker room earned the respect of players and staff.

"Artie loved the Lakers. We're here because we loved Artie, and those of us that worked with him, he brought a smile every day," said Lakers spokesman John Black.

Over the years, Artie offered a helping hand to fellow journalists and members of the community. While we mourn his death, we treasure the memories.

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