Remembering award winning journalist Gwen Ifill

Here is a look at how she touched lives here in western Massachusetts

Gwen Ifill of PBS watches a clip of "Saturday Night Live" during a live taping of "Meet the Press" from NBC October 5, 2008 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday marked a sad day for the journalism world. Veteran PBS journalist, Gwen Ifill passed away. She used to live here in western Massachusetts, and she touched many lives along the way.

Gwen Ifill
(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Ifill , co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates, died Monday of cancer, the network said. She was 61-years-old.

Ifill attended the old Classical High School in Springfield. Her father was a pastor, and she frequently moved throughout New England.  After starting her career as a newspaper reporter, Ifill switched to TV, working for both NBC News and PBS.

In 2007, the President of Bay Path University, Dr. Carol Leary, presented Ifill with an Honorary Doctorate after delivering the commencement speech to that year’s graduating class.

Dr. Leary spoke with 22News about Ifill’s character, saying “She was very warm, genuine and authentic.”

Dr. Leary said, “We’ve lost one of America’s best broadcast journalists…and we ‘ve lost a woman who could have had many more years of impact on our country.”