CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Long-time KRIS-TV director Tom Acuna died Friday morning following a battle with cancer.
Acuna started with KRIS Communication in 1984 as a master control operator. It wasn't long until he discovered his love of directing. He became the director of the Sunrise show and the Noon edition.
"Tom would also be the one that took the lead when it came to new shows," KRIS-TV production manager Jaime Saiz said. . "He did the premiere of the Coastal Living show and took control of that.”
Acuna also had his hand in many sporting events around Corpus Christi, directing high school football, Islander basketball and Corpus Christi Hooks games. When HBO Boxing was in Corpus Christi, Tom played a part in directing those events as well.
Former co-worker Vanessa Trevino said Acuna's leadership was unparalleled by anyone else. He was known to be the mentor to anyone that needed one.
“He was the guy to go to if you had an issue, if you had a problem, if you didn't know what to do, if you didn’t know how to do it, you just go to Tom,” Trevino said.
Here are some other remembrances about Acuna from other KRIS Communication employees who worked with him.
"When I first started there, he was always willing to go out of his way to help with any question that you had, about anything," KRIS photographer Jay Pena said. "I’m going to miss him a lot."
“You encouraged me," Kendle Bombersbach, Coastal Living producer said about Acuna's mentorship. "You gave me so much helpful advice and you were always so positive."
“You have always been such a ray of sunshine and a light to all of us. Not only because you're an amazing director, but an amazing person,” said Joslyn Doiron, co-host of Coastal Living.
“Tom, you were such a big personality for such a little guy and we just loved you so much," said Clarissa Serna, co-host of Coastal Living. "I’ve only known you for about a year and a half maybe two years since I've been at the studio and you changed my life.”
Tom was also known for his physical capabilities. He liked to stay in shape riding his bike to work and playing rugby.
“He’s just a good teammate," said Robert Hays, friend and rugby teammate on the Corpus Christi Crabs. "Played many, many games of rugby with Tom. Always the go-to guy. You want somebody to score a touchdown in football, we call it a try, pass it to Tom.”
From KRIS 6 and Action 10 News, our thoughts and prayers go to Tom's family.
He will surely be missed.