Dave Lee's historic career at the WCCO-AM 830 came to an end Friday when he signed off from The Morning News one last time.
Lee, who was celebrated all week with surprise guests, bid farewell to his listening audience with Neil Young's Long May You Run playing in the background. Lee did not become emotional during his final speech, instead celebrating the people who joined him on the radio for the past three-plus decades.
Here are Lee's final words at "The Good Neighbor." You can listen to the final segment here.
"To the listeners, some of you every day, some of you when the weather turns or when the news takes over the headlines, for those of you who listened with your parents and have been sharing that nostalgia, which I really appreciate because I know as a teenager WCCO wasn't the hippest frequency to be on and you would never tell your friends that you listen. But now, thank you for relaying all of the stories, I've gotten a lot of them, that you listened with you mom or your dad growing up and appreciate sharing those cherished memories. That's awesome.
"The show was hopefully about Minnesota and what people needed to know, not about the host. It's humbling to be part of your day for the last 28 or 29 years just here on the morning show alone, and about 32 overall if my math is good, and it never was. Not even sure but it doesn't matter because WCCO has always been about this community, and I hope that's what we did.
"So here I go, on to sleeping past those crazy early hours and a new adventure with Julie, my wife of 42 years now, with Rachel and Andy and Mike, my kids, and now five grandkids. So thank you for all the notes and the texts, and even the old fashioned letters. My father, the rural mail-carrier, would thank you for those.
"Thank you WCCO for calling me and letting me get past the 2-month probationary period. I did it. God bless you, and I hope you keep tuning in every morning."
Lee was also joined by his wife and kids on Friday's finale, along with a guest appearance from Gov. Tim Walz, who proclaimed Friday, April 30 "Dave Lee Day" in Minnesota.
Lee was also reunited Friday with longtime WCCO meteorologist Mike Lynch, who retired from the radio station in 2020.
"We will be seeing each other because there is a lot of work in my back yard that you promised to do," Lynch joked, later taking a moment to offer a sincere tribute to his longtime friend.
"I was at WCCO for 40 years and I got to be on the shoulders of some great broadcast giants, and by God you're one of the tallest giants there," said Lynch. "If there was a Mount Rushmore for 'CCO, you'd be on it, good neighbor."
WCCO has not announced who will replace Lee on the morning show.