Rogue Valley broadcast legend Leon Hunsaker passes away

MEDFORD, ORe. —The Rogue Valley has lost a broadcasting and meteorology legend. We’re talking about Leon Hunsaker.

Friend, colleague, mentor, and researcher. Those are just a few of the words to describe who Leon Hunsaker was to Claude Curran.

“I am really sad to lose a great friend and a colleague, both,” said Curran.

His family tells us Hunsaker, a long-time resident of Hugo in Josephine County, passed away early Monday. He is one of the most recognizable meteorologists in southern Oregon and northern California history.

“A very good scientist, he had a masters from MIT in meteorology and he was faithfully committed to the discipline,” said Curran.

While Hunsaker was a longtime meteorologist here at KOBI-TV in the Rogue Valley, his career extended far beyond television. Hunsaker was also Chief Meteorologist for Pacific Gas and Electric, or PG&E as it’s known, in San Francisco during the 1940s and ’50s. He was also on local and syndicated radio.

“He did a lot of things and he had a high standard for all of them,” said Curran.

Well into retirement, Hunsaker was still a tireless researcher. Claude Curran is a retired professor at SOU, he says he knew Hunsaker for over 4 decades. The two exploring the epic 18-61 Sacramento Super Flood, even detailing the findings in a 5 on 5 interview with us back in 20-18.

“A great personality, he fun to be around, he could laugh at himself to a certain extent and very intelligent and committed to what he did, if he wasn’t committed to it, he wouldn’t do it,” Curran said.

Hunsaker would have been 99 years old in May.

All of us at KOBI-TV NBC5 extend our deepest sympathies to his many friends and family.

© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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