Community mourns as WLOS anchor Jay Siltzer loses son to cancer

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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The son of Jay Siltzer, a well-known television news anchor and reporter in Asheville, died Wednesday after succumbing to complications related to brain cancer. Malachi was 8. Malachi’s obituary is here.

The death of Siltzer’s son comes two years after his wife, Kelly, died after battling a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. And Siltzer himself has been diagnosed twice with cancer.

Earlier this year, People magazine profiled the surprising story of the cancer-stricken family. It tells the story of Siltzer’s first diagnosis of testicular cancer, his marriage to Kelly, and their subsequent adoption of Malachi. From the story:

When asked about the incredible fact that all three family members were diagnosed with cancer, he says, “I don’t let myself go there, that would be a dark place. I suppose I could ask, ‘Why me?’ but the answer is ‘Why not?’ I’m a person of faith, and I trust good will come from this.”

The proud dad continues to document his relationship with his son.

Today, Siltzer’s family, friends and community are mourning Malachi’s death and passing along thoughts, prayers and condolences. From his church on Facebook, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church:

Morning, August 31. Malachi was welcomed into heaven with the embrace of Jesus and joined with both his birth mom and his adopted Mom Kelly. Our prayers are joined as one for his Dad Jay, his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and classmates at Immaculata School. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday at 2:00 at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville.

In lieu of flowers a Memorial Fund has been set up in memory of Malachi:

Malachi Siltzer Memorial Fund
Immaculata Catholic School
208 7th Ave. West
Hendersonville, NC. 28791

From Siltzer’s WLOS colleague Ingrid Allstadt on FB:


As many of you have already heard…It is with a heavy heart that I share news of the unimaginable. Jay Siltzer’s 8 year old son passed away yesterday morning. If you are a fan of Jay, then inevitably you were a fan of his witty side kick Malachi. His small demeanor was outweighed by his toothy grin and off the cuff humor. Over the years, we’ve all enjoyed hearing Jay tell the comedic anecdotes about Malachi on the morning news. Even through Malachi’s battle with brain cancer, Jay would still share fun loving stories about his son.

I saw Malachi for the final time a couple of months back. He met my son Hartmann for the first time. I’ll never forget how Malachi interacted with him. He rubbed his head of hair vigorously, like one would pet a dog or cat! It was just another time Malachi made others smile.

For a final trip, Malachi’s request was simple. He wanted to go to the beach and eat seafood. I find it so sweet that he wanted to spend his final days doing something we all might take for granted. He just wanted to spend time with his dad. I didn’t know Malachi very well, but perhaps like you, felt a connection through Jay and his stories. His life may have been cut short, but he was lucky to spend his days with a dad like Jay.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Maria September 2, 2016

    Thank you for writing such a sweet article about Malichi and Jay . I did not know his story till I read on FB yesterday . You’d never know his heart ache . He always smiles

  2. Ann Allen-Weatherly September 1, 2016

    Prayers from me to Jay. I just don’t understand life sometimes, but I thank God for people like Jay and his wife who loved Malachi so much in his short life. So sorry for the pain Jay has already gone through and now this. Thinking of him, but I also know he is surrounded by loving friends and family and his faith that will get him through the worst times. I was so inspired by his strong struggle with his own cancer.


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