Blue Rolfes, longtime anchor of KLFY TV10 who now serves as Communications Director for the Diocese of Lafayette, discusses her career as a journalist, balancing family and work, and her love of Lafayette’s culture and people on this episode of Discover Lafayette.
Blue grew up in Lake Charles, but would travel to Lafayette often to visit her older sisters. She always loved Lafayette and remembers the days when Alesi’s Pizza on Johnston was on the outskirts of town, on the road known at the time as “The Abbeville Highway.” She has witnessed the phenomenal growth of Lafayette through the years as Lafayette grew
As a Senior at Lake Charles High in the National Merit program.she visited Notre Dame at their invitation to take a tour and enroll. This tickled her dad’s funny bone as the campus was all-male at the time and he thought they had made a mistake. But her class was the first year of co-ed education and she was one of the first 500 women to attend Notre Dame (alongside 5000 men).
While in college, Blue got a part time job at WNDU, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, which had a satellite office at Notre Dame. As a journalism major, she fell in love with tv broadcasting. At that time, she also got to experience the industry switching from film to video and were able to get the news on-air quickly. She went to Loyola graduate school to study broadcast media.
In 1978, Blue moved to Lafayette, and her first job was with the Catholic Diocese, filming masses on Saturday afternoon for airing on Sunday mornings. KLFY Channel 10 shortly thereafter offered her a position as a general assignment reporter. Up to that point, she had never been on air, as her background was in producing, but she jumped at the chance. She loved it from the beginning, but jokes that she has burned all of her early tapes to destroy the evidence of her learning curve!
She quickly became the anchor of Meet Your Neighbor, and also served for years as the anchor of the 6 and 10 p.m news on KLFY. Between shows, she would run home to help the kids with homework, and then head back to the station for the 10 p.m. news. A beloved figure in our community, Blue remained with KLFY for 38 years before retiring on March 1, 2017.
Blue’s time with KLFY gave her the opportunity to travel as she covered stories; she recounted one favorite memory of seeing Robert Dafford’s mural work in Europe and the joy she felt in seeing the impact of this local artist’s beautiful work being celebrated abroad. Zachary Richard is another example of a local artist who she stated is probably more well-known abroad than in his own community here….in Canada, Zachary is held up as a star swooned over by fans.
Blue provided weekly animal welfare segments alternating between efforts to find homes for abandoned animals in her “Adopt-A-Pet” reports and providing information on animal health to pet owners. Her work with homeless animals resulted in several additional family members, Katie and Lucy, two beautiful mixed-breed dogs who are former residents of the Lafayette Animal Shelter, along with Maverick, a Siberian Husky.
Blue met her husband, Dee Stanley, when he was a newly hired reporter at Channel 10. She laughed as she recounted their first encounter when he was a cub reporter and he didn’t know her experience in broadcast news. They ended up working together at KLFY, became friends, and eventually married a few years later. Dee served as Blue’s boss when he was named News Director, and the stories of how this played out are quite humorous. Dee left KLFY when he was named Chief Administrator Officer and served with Mayor-President Joey Durel during his twelve-year administration.
Blue had befriended Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel when she worked with him in flood relief efforts in 2016. When he asked her to serve as Communications Director, she was overjoyed to be able to share her faith publically, something as a broadcast reporter she was unable to do.
Blue’s interview is filled with ancedotes that will warm your heart. Thank you, Blue, for sharing your story of your love for our community.
Blue Rolfes may be reached at brolfesdiolaf.org.
This post was updated on January 8, 2020.