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Longtime Salt Lake Bees announcer Steve Klauke dies at 69

Klauke had just retired from broadcasting in September.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Steve Klauke puts the microphone out the window as he prepares to do the play-by-play of the Salt Lake Bee's baseball game, on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Longtime Salt Lake Bees announcer Steve Klauke died Tuesday morning. He was 69.

“Steve Klauke was a dedicated long-time employee and world-class broadcaster,” Larry H. Miller Company co-founder and owner Gail Miller said in a statement. “Steve will forever be remembered as ‘the voice of the Bees’ and holds a special place in our hearts. We will always treasure and honor the immeasurable impact he had on the sports community in Utah and beyond.”

Klauke died after being hit by a truck while crossing a street Monday evening, Lt. Dean Carriger of Sandy Police Department said.

Carriger said Klauke was walking west near the corner of 10600 South and 1300 East on Monday night just before 8:30 p.m. A pickup truck was turning right onto 1300 East as Klauke was crossing the street at the crosswalk on a green light, Carriger said. That’s when the truck hit Klauke.

The longtime announcer was sent to the hospital and died sometime overnight, Carriger said.

Klauke spent 29 seasons broadcasting Bees games. He had just retired in September.

“Obviously I would have liked some other things to go my way,” Klauke said last June. “But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. It was a different and unusual path to get here.”

Many organizations around Utah are mourning Klauke’s passing.

“The Utah Jazz family is heartbroken by the sudden passing of Steve Klauke, voice of the Salt Lake Bees for three decades, longtime member of the Jazz broadcast team, and father to Jazz equipment manager, Adam Klauke,” the Jazz said in a statement. “A legendary sports broadcaster, Steve was admired and loved by many. He will be greatly missed, and his contributions will continue to have an indelible impact on the Utah sports community.”

Several officials with Weber State University, where Klauke also announced more than 400 football and men’s basketball games during his career, voiced their appreciation for Klauke’s involvement not just with the Bees, but with various Wildcats and Big Sky Conference events.

“I’m speechless,” Weber State athletic director Tim Crompton said in a statement. “Weber State and Utah have lost one of the greatest sports broadcasters and one of the best individuals I’ve ever known. On behalf of our entire athletics department and Wildcat fans, our hearts go out to his family. We were truly fortunate to have known Steve. This is a tragic loss.”

Wildcats men’s basketball coach Eric Duft added that Klauke had become a “very good” friend over the last several years.

“His talent for calling games and professionalism in all situations made him a top-tier broadcaster,” Duft said in a statement. “More than that, however, Steve was an incredibly good person. He will be missed. Weber State Basketball lost a family member and we will be praying for his family during this difficult time.”

Klauke is survived by his wife, Sue, and two children, Adam and Lisa.