THUNDER BAY – The city’s sports scene will never be the same again.
On Monday, long-time Thunder Bay Television sports director and anchor, Randy Scheffee, died at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with his children at his side.
Scheffee, who started at Thunder Bay Television as a sports reporter in 1987, was 57 years old.
A life-long fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals, Scheffee was an icon to television viewers in Ontario’s northwest, the insider people turned to for the latest on the Lakehead Thunderwolves, Thunder Bay Border Cats and Thunder Bay Chill.
He was the consummate professional, said long-time Thunder Bay Television news director Gary Rinne.
“Randy will be missed by everyone who worked with him and those who came to know him in the community during his 32 years on television. He was extraordinarily affable, dependable, and a friend to all,” Rinne said.
“I'll never forget how excited he was to come to Thunder Bay for what he described to me at the time as his 'dream job.' He was a 25-year-old kid in a candy store. Randy lived and breathed sports, and retained that passion right to the end.”
Scheffee, survived by his daughter, Rhiannon, and son, Tye, was always one of the most popular fixtures in the Thunder Bay Television newsroom, mentoring a new generation of sports reporters and anchors every couple of years.
Originally from southern Ontario, he grew to love Thunder Bay, making it his home for more than three decades.
He took over as sports director in 1998.
During his tenure, Scheffee covered everything from the Allan Cup winning Thunder Bay Twins in 1989 to the arrival of the Thunder Bay Border Cats in 2003 to the Thunder Bay Chill’s Premier Development League-winning team in 2008.
He did his job with a passion rarely found in any profession these days.
“He was the ultimate good guy, who was friendly, dependable and had a good heart,” said Jonathan Wilson, a colleague of Scheffee’s for more than two decades, now serving as TBT News’ assignment editor.
Former co-worker Glenn Schiiler, who currently works as an anchor and reporter at TSN, got his start alongside Scheffee and always kept in touch over the years.
"Randy was the best guy, always a smile on his face and I can’t imagine how tough this is going to be on his family and all of his work family as well. He’s a legend of Thunder Bay and will never be forgotten,” Schiiler said.
“I honestly don’t think anybody could ever say a bad thing about Randy because he treated everyone with such a positive and caring attitude no matter if you knew him three days or 30 years. I know he always helped me early on in my career in any way possible and always wanted the best for me. (It’s) just such sad news to hear."