Bill Strothman spent 28 years at KOMO. Even though he had retired he was still working part-time as the eyes of Air 4.

He was well-loved by those who knew him. Well respected by those who worked with him.

April Zepeda knew Strothman worked the morning shift, so when the news broke and the fiery pictures showed up on her screen, she texted him, and called him.

It just switched right over you know where it doesn't ring? And it just started to feel really dark really fast. I had a really bad idea, she said.

She would soon learn her longtime friend, co-worker and confidante was gone. A man who had spent his career covering the news-- had become the news.

It leaves such a hole in my heart and... but it doesn't even compare I know to what his family's going though, she said.

April worked with Strothman for 11 years at KOMO - four of those in their north bureau.

When I picture him in my mind it's always like this with a camera on his shoulder, she said.

To say he was good at his job would be an understatement. He was incredible. So accomplished was Bill that he won 13 Emmys. He was KOMO's chief photographer, where he was also named National Press Photographers Association's regional photographer of the year.

He was so impressive and inspiring to other photojournalists, we turned the camera on one of our own.

He used his talent as a photographer plus his ability to listen to get people to be comfortable and tell great stories, said KING5 photojournalist Eric Wold, who had known Strothman for 20 years - often covering the 'same stories.

I missed him when he left the north bureau, when he retired from shooting day-to-day news, and I'll miss him even more now, said Wold.

He had such an amazing skill and a great eye. But he was an even better man, said Zepeda.

Yet despite all the awards and accolades, being a family man was the job he lived for.

I'm confident he was thinking of Nora, Heidi and Dan in those final moments. I just know it. I know it, said Zepeda.

Strothman s son Dan followed in his footsteps and works as a photographer at KOMO. Strothman is also survived by his wife Nora and daughter Heidi.

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