Legendary broadcaster Bob Neumeier, a Massachusetts native who had a prominent career in Boston, died Saturday at age 70.
Neumeier, who was hospitalized in 2014 after suffering a stroke, had recent health troubles.
Neumeier's wife Michele Ucci told the Boston Globe her husband suffered from congestive heart failure and heart disease, and had been in hospice care for the past eight weeks. Neumeier died peacefully at his home with Ucci by his side.
“He was a fiercely private person,” Ucci told the Globe Sunday during a phone conversation. “He did not want anyone to know these last eight weeks except a few people, family and a couple of friends. He just said, ‘When I go, you know what? Everyone can know.’ This is that time. I took care of him for eight weeks, and Saturday was very hard, but he’s at peace now.”
The Weymouth native and Syracuse University graduate -- who was known as "Neumy" to his colleagues and sports fans familiar with his work at NBC Sports Boston, as a host on WEEI, or as a horse racing expert for NBC -- was a fixture for decades on the New England sports scene and was a staple of NBC's Triple Crown coverage.
Tributes poured in Sunday for the longtime sportscaster from former colleagues who respected his work and affable nature.
"Bob Neumeier was one of those guys who could do everything in our business," said Michael Holley, who worked with Neumeier at NBC Sports Boston. "He was a very creative TV reporter when he was doing TV reporting. When he worked here at NBC Sports Boston, he did TV anchoring. He was awesome there."
Holley added, "I was fortunate enough to follow him on Sports Talk Radio with Dale [Arnold] and Neumy. I listened to them all the time. And he just had a combination of substance, and wit and playfulness that is pretty rare in the business... a great guy, always in good spirits, and always doing the business the way it should be done. Sports journalism, he did it the way he should be done."
As Holley alluded to, Neumeier co-hosted WEEI radio's "Dale and Neumy Show" with Dale Arnold from 2002-05.
Sunday, Arnold said on Twitter he was saddened to report his friend and former partner had passed away.
"Neumy was one of a kind, and all who knew him were better for it," Arnold wrote in a tweet.
Arnold also shared a picture of the pair with Tom Brady, calling Neumeier "incomparable."
Tom. E. Curran, who also worked with Neumeier at NBC Sports Boston, said Sunday, "To have a chance to work alongside Bob Neumeier...just to interact with a guy like that who was extremely playful. He was a very interesting, intriguing guy who was fascinating to talk to because he was so varied in his interests."
"I just really enjoyed the opportunity to interact in the studio, in our newsroom with someone like that who you grew up watching," Curran added. "It was just an honor to have had the chance to get to know him."
In a statement shared on social media, Breeders' Cup said, "We were very saddened to learn today of the passing of Bob Neumeier. Bob was a big part of the NBC Breeders’ Cup World Championships broadcasts for many years as a handicapper, reporter and analyst."
"Bob brought his expertise of Thoroughbred racing and a great sense of humor to every show," the statement continued. "We extend our sincere condolences to Bob’s wife Michele and to his extended family.”
Neumeier's first job in broadcasting came in 1975 on WTIC in Hartford, Conn., calling play-by-play of hockey games for the New England Whalers (later the NHL's Hartford Whalers).
He spent 20 years with WBZ-TV in Boston as an anchor and reporter. He also called play-by-play for the Boston Bruins on WBZ Radio for a period of time.
The Boston Bruins released a statement on Twitter saying they are saddened by Neumeier's death.
Additionally, Neumeier contributed to NBC Sports’ hockey and Olympics coverage through the years. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston and New England Chapter honored Neumeier with its Silver Circle Award in 2017.