Sharie Shima: 1961-2014TV broadcaster had ‘huge amount of popularity’By Erika Engle
Family, friends and legions of fans are mourning the death late last week of longtime local television weather forecaster Sharie Shima. She was 52.
The weekday weather anchorwoman was the first woman in Hawaii to earn a certificate in broadcast meteorology in 1997 while at KITV, where she worked for eight years before joining KHNL-TV in 2001.
Shima would be recognized and greeted by members of the public more than other TV news personalities in the field, said Ed Matthews, a news photographer who worked with her at KHNL. She was "very approachable," he said.
In 2005 she was named co-anchor alongside Howard Dashefsky for the weekday 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, in addition to her weather duties for KHNL and sister station KFVE.
At the time, Vice President and General Manager John Fink described her as "someone the audience relates to and (who) has a huge amount of popularity in the marketplace, is very bright and very well versed on the things that are going on in Hawaii."
She would continue to serve as weekday co-anchor at 6 and 10 p.m., and as weather anchor on four newscasts on KHNL and KFVE for close to a year, yeoman's duty repeated by no other news personality of the time. She was able to return to solely focusing on weather responsibilities in 2006.
During her years at KHNL, Shima also co-hosted "Sam Choy's Kitchen."
Shima had won numerous awards for broadcast excellence, including regional Emmy awards.
Hawaii News Now on Monday attributed her death to a "long illness." A family spokeswoman said no details would be released about the circumstances of her death, in keeping with her last wishes.
Shima's employment as a local weather anchor ended in 2009, the year her mother died, when television stations KHNL, KFVE and KGMB were consolidated under a shared services agreement.
"I'll never forget, it was my birthday, August 31st. I was called upstairs to the general managers' office, and he said, ‘You know, you're going to be laid off,'" Shima said, in a faith-based video uploaded to YouTube in 2010.
She was shown packing up belongings and expressed fear about moving to California, not knowing where she was going to live.
"If God doesn't speak to you, if he doesn't tell you, what do you do? You have to trust in the unknown," she said. "It's such a cliche sometimes, in Christianity, but this is it. This is the time."
Matthews, who worked alongside Shima from 2007 to 2009, said in an online post that in 2010 she told him she had undergone "lifesaving" surgery.
Angela Keen, a former TV news colleague, described Shima as "the consummate professional. She knew weather, and she was always in your corner. She was never competition; she was always there alongside you."
"There was nothing like what Sharie brought to the TV audience. She was a real human being with local ties, a very smooth local demeanor, but you just thoroughly enjoyed" watching her on the air, said former colleague Duncan Armstrong, now an audiovisual director for University of Hawaii Athletics.
She was a 1979 graduate of Castle High School in Kaneohe, according to Sandra Ordonez Tsujimura, who identified Shima as her classmate. "God bless her and her family," she said in her Facebook post.
Shima is survived by her stepfather, two sisters and two brothers.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased