LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Nationally syndicated radio personality Kidd Kraddick died over the weekend from what early reports say was an enlarged heart with blocked arteries.
Many that listened to him radio show felt they knew him personally, and the loss has affected people across the nation, including people right here in East Texas.
"It was very surprising to hear that he passed and how he passed," said Michelle Riggier, a Kraddick fan interviewed at a Lufkin park.
"I was shocked. He's so young and I'm so used to hearing him every morning that it was shocking and sad," Margaret Carlin, another local Kraddick fan.
I was shocked was a common response by many that followed the radio host every morning on their car radios.
"I was deeply saddened this weekend to hear about Kidd Kraddick and his passing," said Dan Patrick, a DJ for Lufkin's KFOX 95.5.
The news was also hard to those in the radio industry.
"It was shocking. It took me by surprise," said Ginger McDaniel, a former KFOX employee. "I was like, surely not, and then I found out it was true and it was heartbreaking."
KFOX 95.5 hosts Kraddick's national morning show.
Patrick said today was a hard day for all those that knew him because Kraddick made sure that everyone who listened felt like family.
"It was more than just a regular connection," Patrick said. "Some people knew Kidd and knew things that he did in his life because they would listen to his show for four hours every morning; better than they did their own family."
And as good as Kraddick was on the radio, Patrick said Kraddick's ultimate legacy will be about the kids that he loved so much."
"Above and beyond that - his work with Kidd's Kids," Patrick said. "It was his organization, his charity. He started it, and it is something that he and the cast members have already talked about is going to continue on."
It is a love that has made Kraddick a legend to many who knew him.
Patrick says that the future of the show is unknown at this time. For the rest of this week, the plan right now is to air the Best of Kidd Kraddick Show every morning. An officials announcement should be made by next week.