Sam Champion to Take Time Away From "Good Morning America" After Passing of Father

Sam Champion did not grace the weather report this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" because he is spending the time with family and friends, mourning the death of his father, Lt. Col. James H. Champion. The weather anchor's father passed away Oct. 25 -- he was 75.

"After a life of service to his country and his family, Lt. Col. James H. Champion, U.S. Marine Corp (retired), passed away last night in Houston, Texas," Good Morning America senior executive producer Jim Murphy wrote in an e-mail to the show's staff this morning, ABC News reported. "He was better known to us as Sam Champion's dad. Sam, his sister Teresa and his mom, Sylvia, were all together with the Lt. Col. at the end."

The popular and enthusiastic weatherman tweeted yesterday that he and his family were gathered by his father's bedside. Champion issued another tweet today: "THANK YOU! I feel your thots and prayer LtCol JH Champion USMC Ret...passed last night..WORLDS BEST DAD..awesome guy."

Deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, the Lt. Col. particpated in combat operations as rifle company commander at Khe Sanh and during the 1968 Tet Offensive, according to ABC News.

"Sam tells me his tight knit military family is strong and hanging together to gace their time of grief," Murphy continued in his e-mail. "Pledase give your thoughts and prayers to Sam and his family."

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