RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Today, 8News is mourning the loss of longtime Richmond television anchor Stephanie Rochon. She was 50.

Rochon, the lead female anchor at WTVR CBS 6, died Wednesday after a year-long battle with cancer. Rochon had worked at CBS 6 since 1999, spending most of that time as co-anchor of the station’s six and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Our colleagues at CBS 6 tell us that she was a passionate newsroom leader with a big heart and tireless work ethic.

Rochon was a proud graduate of Louisiana State University. The Tacoma, Washington-born Rochon began her career in news at a radio station in Baton Rouge in February 1988, where she worked for a year before moving on to bigger and better things. Rochon landed her first television job at the independent Fox station KVHP in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1989. She continued to shine, working at Texas-based stations KLSB and KTBC before she finally came to WTVR CBS 6 in ’99.

Stephanie was also a relentless advocate for breast cancer awareness and access to health care, especially for low-income women.

In addition to anchoring at CBS 6, Rochon also produced monthly reports on breast health, called Buddy Check 6. The reports earned Rochon the Regional Media Award from the American Cancer Society. Stephanie was also a board member for the Dr. Ellen Shaw de Parades Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization dedicated to the early detection and cure of breast cancer.

Rochon was inducted into the National Women of Achievement Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas, in 2000. She was also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Richmond Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Stephanie leaves behind her husband, Jeff, her two sons, Miles and Pierce, as well as her mother, father, brother, and countless grateful friends, co-workers and viewers.

We can’t quite sum up how saddened we are by the news of Stephanie’s passing. We at 8News were blessed to have had the time we had to work alongside Stephanie in the Richmond area. She will be greatly missed.