CLEVELAND (AP) — Matt Loede, a broadcaster, writer and fixture on Cleveland’s sports scene, died Wednesday after a two-plus-years battle with cancer. He was 46.
Loede’s wife, Shanna, said on a social media posting that he was surrounded “by love as he passed. He was funny, sweet, generous, loyal, faith filled and he had a talent for bringing people together. He made my life beautiful.”
Loede worked as a freelancer with AP Radio for decades, receiving the 2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award.
Despite his diagnosis, Loede barely stopped working and continued to keep a positive attitude while undergoing chemotherapy treatments and hospital stays. He was still covering Indians games this month.
Loede’s courage promoted an outpouring of local support and led to media colleagues holding a fundraiser on his behalf in 2019.
A devoted pro wrestling fan, Loede was thrilled when he received a video earlier this year from superstar and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who after learning about both his cancer fight and diagnosis with COVID-19 told him to “keep punching.”
“Thank you for being a fan, No. 1,” Johnson said. “But most importantly I want to tell you to stay strong. You are a fighter. You inspire a lot of people around you, including myself.”
Loede wrote several books, including two on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Funeral arrangements were still being finalized.