Friends and colleagues remember Richmond radio icon Kat Simons: ‘There’s just no one like her’

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 01, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond radio community continues to mourn the sudden death of longtime radio host and Mix98.1 deejay Kat Simons.

Simons' death was announced on Saturday by the radio station where she worked as a midday deejay for more than 25 years. Her cause of death was not made public.

Community members who knew Simons and worked closely with her spoke Monday about the impact she left on them.

“Women in radio, we just got together all the time to make sure that we were taking care of each other because it was definitely a boys' club when we first got started,” longtime Richmond radio personality Melissa Chase said. “She was sort of the mom for women in radio. And she supported us in so many ways.”

Melissa Golden, Vice President of Henrico Humane Society, worked with Simons while volunteering at the nonprofit’s annual Pet Expo for 15 years.

Golden remembers being a guest on Simons’ radio show, and her unique ability to make everybody feel special.

“You never felt like it was an interview with Kat,” she said. “It felt like a conversation.”

Golden remembered listening to Simons before becoming her close colleague and friend.

“She’s an institution. I grew up here. And before there was Pandora and Sirius, there was just the radio,” she said. “It was a big deal to listen to Kat Simons on Lite 98.”

Virginia This Morning co-host Bill Bevins worked with Simons for years on the radio.

Bevins said he’ll remember Simons for her kindness.

“You could tell it was the real thing to the point where some people would say, nobody’s that nice,” he said. “But she was. She absolutely was.”

WATCH Richmond remembering radio icon Kat Simons

Remembering Richmond radio icon Kat Simons

Bevins said Simons left her mark by working with several charities, including The Alzheimer’s Association, SPARC, the Children’s Hospital, and Henrico Humane Society.

“The sincerity came through. She actually cared,” said Bevins.

Bevins said she would bring people into the studio who she wanted to help.

“She was like a one-person Red Cross. She was amazing like that,” he said. “If you think of somebody who needs help, whether it’s an animal or a person, then Kat will come to mind.”

Golden said Simons was “complimentary” to Henrico Humane Society, an avid animal lover, and an advocate.

She said she hoped someone with a similar passion for animal rights and community involvement would continue on her legacy.

“I hope other people involved in animal welfare will carry the torch in her honor,” she said.

Simons is remembered for not just her trademark “velvet” voice, but her volunteerism throughout the community of Richmond.

Friends and colleagues remembered the ways in which Simons showed up to help others.

“There’s just no one like her,” Golden said. “I don’t know if you could put her legacy into words.”

Email the CBS 6 Newsroom to share your Kat Simons' stories.

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