Cecilia Walters signed off on a four decade long journalism career this morning as tributes poured in from fans and co-workers alike. 

The long time voice of CBC Vancouver Radio News in the morning, Walters even choked up a little on-air when it came time to say a final good bye — something the always-composed journalist has never done before.

"It was overwhelming," she said afterwards. "I wasn't expecting that kind of reaction."

Walters was even trending on Twitter Thursday morning. 

Walters has been a fixture of the most-listened to morning radio show in the Vancouver market since the 1990s.

One thing she won't miss is arriving at work each morning at 3:45 a.m. to put together the first local newscasts of the day.

Cecilia Rick Amy Fred

The Early Edition regulars, from left: Fred Lee, Amy Bell, Rick Cluff and Cecilia Walters. (Fred Lee)

"Cecilia is an icon in local news and public broadcasting.  She will be very much missed,"  said Johnny Michel, senior managing director of CBC British Columbia.

Walters career in at CBC Vancouver started on television where co-anchor of the CBC Evening News with Bill Good from 1982 to 1988.

Cecilia Walters Bill Good

Cecilia Walters co-anchored the 6 p.m. news on CBC Television with Bill Good from 1982 to 1988. (Supplied)

"It was a terrific experience," said Good. "Cecilia was a great reporter, a wonderful writer and an awesome mentor to young reporters and writers."

In the early '90s, Walters returned to her radio roots and began hosting B.C. Almanac on CBC Radio One. 

From there, she joined The Early Edition as the morning newsreader, where she has delivered breaking news for the past two decades.

Walters has won numerous awards over the course of her more than 40-year-long career in journalism, including an RTDNA for best radio newscast and a Jack Webster Award for best reporting of the year

'She is one of those rare people'

Helen Slinger, the former executive producer who hired Walters to co-host the CBC supper hour news, said Walters performed the job "like she does everything — impeccably well."

"She is an incredible journalist," Slinger said.

"She is one of those rare people who is as good a researcher as she is a reporter, as she is a writer, as she is a producer, as she is a presenter. She does all of that leading always with story, not with ego.

"I know she'll be very much missed here."

Mentor and friend

Colleagues in the CBC newsroom will miss her journalism and her mentorship — but especially her friendship.

Walters made early mornings a family at CBC Vancouver, remembering to celebrate everyone's birthday — usually with her famous fresh-baked quiche.

She will be so very missed.