Thomas J. Vaughan

Thomas J. “Tom” Vaughan, of Rye, passed away peacefully at the age of 92, on November 4, 2020 after a long, full and happy life.

Tom was born on September 30th, 1928 to Michael and Marie Vaughan in Somerville, MA. In 1946 he graduated from St John’s Cambridge. He was a WWII veteran, serving in the Army in post-war Japan.

Tom was a graduate of the American Television Institute in electrical engineering and became a renowned expert in microwave systems and television transmission. He built his company, Micro Communications, Inc. in Manchester, NH. In 1994 he earned the prestigious Engineering Achievement Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. Tom also served on the Federal Communications Commission Advisory Board for high-definition television.

In 1952, he and Elaine Jean Saltzman of Somerville, were wed. They raised three children: Deborah Vaughan-Gowen of Philadelphia, PA; Karen Vaughan of Manchester, NH; and Cheryl Vaughan Forster of Salt Lake City, UT.

In 1979, he married Barbara Curtis of Haverhill, MA and Tom welcomed her daughter, Sharon (Curtis) Spaulding (David Smith) of Fresno, CA, into the family.

After selling his business, he and Barbara traveled the world and split their time between Rye, NH and Naples, FL, golfing and hosting special family visits.

Tom was pre-deceased by his parents, and his wife of 37 years Barbara (Curtis) of Rye, NH. Also deceased are Elaine, his first wife, his sister Mary Donovan of Waltham, MA; brothers John Vaughan of Newmarket, NH; George Vaughan of Louisville, KY; and sister Teressa Passinissi of Danvers, MA.

Tom loved all of his blended family. He is survived by daughters Deborah, Karen, and Cheryl, and Sharon. He is also survived by three younger brothers; Francis (Terresa) Vaughan of Arlington MA; Joseph (Marlene) Vaughan of Twin Mountain, NH and Lawrence (Marilyn) Vaughan of Sun City Center, FL as well as his grandchildren Emily Gowen (Peter Erikson) of Philadelphia; Glen Forster of NYC; Weston Forster of Salt Lake City, Garth (Christina) Spaulding of San Francisco and Bree (Jonas) Wilber of Fresno as well as his five great grandchildren (Griffin, Londen, Brighton, Rowyn, and Lyra Bella) and many nieces and nephews and their loving families.

Contributions can be made in Thomas’ name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The American Heart Association or Habitat for Humanity.

This obituary was originally published at

Lewis D. Wetzel

Lewis D. Wetzel, 95, died on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 at Bridgton Hospital after a long battle with multiple myeloma. Lewis was born on Dec. 8, 1924, in Beaver Springs, Pa. to L. Banks and Pauline (Dreese) Wetzel.He enlisted in the Navy shortly after graduating from high school in 1942. He received a medical discharge and spent the rest of the war years working in defense industries. He attended Lehigh University, graduating in 1947 with a degree in electrical engineering. He helped to build a power plant in Sunbury, Pa. During that time he became licensed in ham (amateur) radio, which sparked an interest in electronics. He remained an avid ham radio operator until his death. He worked in electronics in ordinance at Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton, N.J., followed by stints at RCA, a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and the TV and radio division of Triangle Publications in Philadelphia. He was a Fellow in the Radio Club of America, past president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and member emeritus of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers. In 1971 he accepted an offer to work at Shively Labs in Raymond, with long-time friend, Ed Shively, from his time at RCA. He later worked in sales at several electronics companies including EG&G, Hughey and Phillips, and Honeywell until he retired at the age of 75 and moved permanently to Maine. Lewis married Miriam (Smith) Wetzel on June 13, 1953. He is survived by his wife; his sister, Ann (Wetzel) Freed; sons, Larry B. Wetzel (Linda) and Philip L.Wetzel, daughter, Ann (Wetzel) Flumerfelt (David), Lori Wetzel; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A private memorial service with family was held Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020.

Online condolence messages may be submitted on the funeral home website,

Obituary from:


Warren Happel

Warren Paul Happel, age 88, of Brecksville, Ohio passed on Sunday, March 1, 2020.

Warren was born on September 13, 1931 in Quincy, Illinois, to Ellen Tomamichel Happel and Karl Happel. He married Diane Gaudi Happel on March 1, 1969 at Grace Lutheran Church, Detroit, Michigan. Warren is survived by his wife Diane, three children and their spouses, Cara (Marcelo) Aller (Medina, OH), Paul (Melissa) Happel (Charlotte, NC), and Eric (Kelly Chang) Happel (Portland, OR). Warren’s grandchildren include: Justine, Abby, and Eva Happel (Paul/Melissa); Sarah, Audrey and Lauren Happel (Eric/Kelly); Mateo and Samantha Aller (Cara/Marcelo). Other family includes his sister, Rayleen Holzgraefe and her late husband Howard of Quincy, IL and their three children and families.

Warren served in the Navy during the Korean War, before attending Valparaiso University. He transferred to the University of Michigan while working full time where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He worked at a number of television and radio stations in engineering throughout his early career; then he worked for John Brown Consultants in Michigan. In 1982, he and his family moved to Brecksville, Ohio where Warren worked for Scripps Howard Broadcasting in Cleveland and Cincinnati as the Vice President of Engineering, building the company’s television and radio enterprise. Warren was always proud that he played a major role in the completion of multiple radio and TV towers throughout the country. He was also instrumental in bringing HGTV to life.

Warren enjoyed his work and retired a few times as it did not seem to stick the first couple of tries. Warren loved two things more than others: his family and fishing. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather who could always be relied upon. Through all of Diane’s recent health challenges, Warren was always by her side helping her. He was a loving dad who supported his children’s activities, including coaching their baseball and softball teams. Warren was hardworking, loyal, kind, and had an amazing sense of humor. He was also a devoted grandfather: he watched proudly as his grandchildren have grown, and was always there to help family. He will be missed beyond words.

Warren loved to fish. He had more gear and more strategies than most for catching the next BIG fish! Whether riding his bike to the Mississippi River, catching walleye in Lake Erie, or fishing in local lakes in his green john boat. No fish was safe when Warren was near. His love of fishing was passed on to the next two generations.

In lieu of flowers PLEASE send contributions to your local Salvation Army or Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Brecksville, OH.

Obituary from:

John Wang – FCC Engineer & 2010 E. Noel Luddy Award Recipient

Obituary from:

John passed away on December 11, 2019. He was the beloved husband of Rosa Jenny, father of Sophia, Maria (and her husband Ping), Nina (and her husband Jim), and Amy (and her husband John). He was also the proud grandfather of Jocelyn, Jeremy, Bella, Mei Mei, and Sebastian. His dear sister, Mary, resides in Connecticut.

John retired in 2010 after dedicating 40 years to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as an electrical engineer. One of his daughters was sad to one day learn, this is not the same kind of engineer who drives a train. He published dozens of technical papers in various professional journals and developed a highly respected sky-wave propagation model. In November 2010, he was presented with the E. Noel Luddy Award by the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers for his service and contributions to the communications community. He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He enrolled in graduate courses at The George Washington University before completing his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He continued to take pride in his alma mater by avidly rooting for the Terps Men’s Basketball team every year. We would like to believe he was particularly proud that some of his daughters also graduated from UMCP.

His interests included astronomy, Chinese history, and contract bridge. He enjoyed playing this card game so much that he eventually achieved the coveted rank of Life Master with the American Contract Bridge League. Another of his daughters mistakenly assumed this important hobby was actually building bridges on Friday nights. John also had a love of travel. He would often find a way to build a family vacation around business trips, which fostered a love of traveling among the entire family. He managed to visit over 20 countries. He regularly visited Geneva, Switzerland where he acquired an appreciation of fine chocolate, cuckoo clocks, and cheese fondue.

John was a devoted parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Beltsville for 50 years. During this time, he served as an usher, Euchuristic Minister, and a member of the Parish Council. He was proud to be a “Cradle Catholic” and attended daily Mass as often as he could

(including many of those countries mentioned above). He was also a believer in Catholic education. All four of his daughters and two of his grandchildren matriculated through St. Joseph’s School.

We are so grateful for the time we have been able to spend with our beloved husband and father. While these last few weeks have been difficult, we have also been blessed with so much. Our family gives God thanks everyday for these abundant blessings. We all believe that John has found his eternal peace. We would like to express our gratitude for your thoughts, prayers and kindness during this time.

John Lyons

From John George, AFCCE President:

John Lyons HeadshotIt is with much sadness that I inform you that our Treasurer and former President, John Lyons, passed away over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  John was a friend and mentor to many of us and was always there when needed.  He led AFCCE for the past two years as President and served this year as Treasurer.  John always sought the best in every endeavor and his work on fund-raising set a new record in 2018 for our Scholarship Fund — only to beat that record this year.

Many of us saw John just over a week ago at AFCCE’s Annual FCC reception.  Little did we know that he would be leaving us so soon.  His energy and enthusiasm will leave a void on the Board that will be difficult to fill.

John loved his family and stayed in constant contact, even when his trips took him around the world.  He would take time out to call home each day to check in with his family.  He most recently traveled with his family to Greece to visit his ancestral home to ensure that his family knew and understood their heritage.  During this trip, he took time out to return emails and phone calls, taking care of AFCCE business.

He was responsible for the communications infrastructure of The Durst Organization.  Among his many accomplishments was leading the design and implementation of the master antenna at Four Times Square and the new broadcast transmission facility at One World Trade Center.

In 2006, he received the Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award and in 2017, he received the NAB Engineering Achievement Award for Television.

John is survived by his wife, Natasha and sons Matthew (26) and Constantine (7).  He was 71 years old.

Details of the serves for John can be found here.  You may also leave comments on that website or make comments on this page below.  (To avoid spam comments will not appear immediately.)

John George with John Lyons at the 2018 AFCCE Annual Meeting

John Lyons receiving recognition for his 2 terms as AFCCE President from Chris Horne at the 2018 AFCCE Annual Meeting

Wes R. Weis

Founding member of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) and founder of the MIKAB Corporation, Wesley (Wes) R. Weis passed away on July 13, 2019. Wes was a champion of tower safety as evidenced by his work on NATE’s OSHA Relations Committee.  He was instrumental in the development of the ANSI/ASSP A10.48 Standard, which established criteria and safe work practices for personnel working on communication structures.

“Wes influenced and mentored many people in the industry. Wes was a constant at NATE in the early years and had a reputation for always greeting colleagues with a smile and following through on his volunteer commitments. He was known for being a quiet and thoughtful volunteer who you could always count on. He was a true friend to those in the industry and NATE who were blessed to know him,” said NATE Chief Operating Officer and friend Paula Nurnberg. Wes founded the MIKAB Corporation in 1971, naming the company after his children, Michael, Katherine and Brian. Wes was a member of IBEW Local 164, the National Railway Society, National Corvette Restorer’s Society and numerous other organizations.

Wes is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mimi, his children and 9 grand-children Madison, Julia, Connor, Zachary, Carson, Riley, Nicholas, Lucas & Jake. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to the local IBEW164 Scholarship Fund – 205 Robin Road Suite 315 Paramus, NJ 07652, or to the ARC of Bergen/Passaic, 223 Moore Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601.

Arno Meyer

To AFCCE Members:

We have received word that Arno Meyer, co-founder of Belar in 1964 with his wife Isobel (BEL), Arno (AR), has passed away at his home after a period of diminished health.

The name Belar is ubiquitous with monitoring equipment from the FMM-1 FM Monitor, released in 1966, to a full line of AM, FM, TV and shortwave monitors.

From the Belar website: Arno Meyer is president of Belar Electronics Laboratory, Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania which he founded in 1964.  Belar modulation monitors are used by radio and television engineers to monitor important technical aspects of their broadcast signal and have become the industry standard.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first used Belar monitors to verify their measurement of commercial FM broadcast stereo performance standards in the mid-1960s.  Mr. Meyer’s technical contributions significantly improved the quality of AM and FM radio transmission systems through the continuous improvement of the state-of-the-art in modulation measurement technology.

He developed and marketed the first DSP-based AM, FM and TV broadcast modulation monitors and his company’s SCA monitors were the first all digital units in the industry.

He was the developer of the AM stereo system proposed by RCA and played a role in the development and rollout of TV Multichannel Television Sound Systems.

His inventions and products have played an important role in keeping radio broadcasting a competitive and viable medium. He holds a patent for a modulation monitor.

Meyer obtained a BA in Physics from the University of California and was a member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Arno Meyer was the 2001 NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award Honoree.

Ron Rackley

Letter from AFCCE President John Lyons

To the members of AFCCE:

Photo credit: Radio World

It is with profound sadness that I report the passing of a long time friend, associate and mentor, Ron Rackley.  I first worked with Ron in the early 1970’s in a project at WWRL(AM) in New York.  Since that time, we worked on several projects over the years and spoke regularly about issues affecting broadcasters.

Ron served as AFCCE President in 1987-88 and was the 2006 co-honoree with Ben Dawson of the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award. He also served as a board member and as Vice President of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society.

In 1983, Ron co-founded duTreil-Rackley, which later merged with A. D. Ring & Associates to form duTreil, Lundin and Rackley.

I was last with Ron on Tuesday at the NAB convention where we honored this year’s Engineering Achievement Award honorees Gary and Cindy Cavell .  Ron passed away on April 12 at his home in Florida.

Please take a moment to reflect on the life of our long time member, past President and friend, Ron Rackley.

John M. Lyons
AFCCE President

George Frese

Condensing 97 years of a full life for an amazing man into a few paragraphs, is nearly an impossible task, for he is more than the sum of the milestones of his life. But, in an attempt to honor George Melvin Frese, we will do so.

George Melvin Freses was born in Spokane, WA, on June 5, 1921, to Fred and Sadie (Penner) Frese. George’s father was a City of Spokane police officer. George told stories of an adventurous childhood growing up in Spokane in the 1920’s.

His most told stories included his early experiences of listening to the radio with his mother on a crystal set, tuning into programs from around the country. George developed a fascination with the technology that enabled you to hear a person speaking hundreds of miles away. In his own words, “My number one ambition became to learn how this worked.” At the age of four, George began making crystal sets by dismantling old radios and using spare parts given to him. As his curiosity grew, so did his radios. In junior high and high school, he developed short-wave radio receivers, transceivers, and transmitters with increasing power and sophistication. As a junior in high school, he discovered that VHF radio waves reflected off of airplanes, allowing him to calculate how far away an airplane was, how fast it was traveling, and in what direction, naming his system “The Airplane Detector.” Eager to share this incredible technology, he naively wrote to the U.S. government and was disappointed when they did not respond. He then decided to share his “invention” with the government of England instead, believing it could be useful in their defense against the German Luftwaffe. This letter resulted in a visit from the FBI and the eventual military testing of his “Airplane Detector”.

George’s expertise in broadcast engineering led him to Washington State University to continue his education, graduating with a degree in Engineering. He was a proud Coug, able to belt out the Cougar fight song on command.

George met his first wife, Mollie, while in Pullman, WA. In May of 1944, George entered the Army, attended Basic Training and then Officers Candidate School. While stationed at Fort Monmouth, their first child, Joan, was born in November of 1944. His second daughter, Suzette, arrived in April of 1946. George’s military career was filled with unusual experiences and circumstances. Many are explained in his autobiography “Lost History and a Bizarre Mystery.” Following his military service, their son, Glen, and daughter, Lorene, were born.

George worked for KPQ as a radio engineer early in his career. George ventured out on his own, becoming a sought after engineering consultant of radio and television stations around the country. He is regarded as the father of modern broadcast audio processing for his invention of the Frese Audio Pilot, which was a pioneering breakthrough and improved the sound of a radio station’s broadcast signals. He obtained his first Amateur Radio “C” License in junior high. He was a proud and active Ham radio operator all of his life, with an Amateur Extra license, call sign AA7H.

In 1961, George married Rosemary Crimmins. Rosemary’s children: Richard, Linda, and Laurel Jacobsen joined the family. They were happily married for over 56 years. They were members of Central Christian (Cornerstone) Church most of their married life. George was an avid student of the Bible, having read it many times.

All of these milestones were the framework of a life well lived. But what made George special were the moments in between. He was goofy. He told us some of the dumbest “George and Joe” jokes, over and over, making us laugh. He truly cared about his family and friends. He worried about them and he prayed for them. He had more uses for duct tape than you can possibly imagine. He once gave Rosemary 100 numbered greeting cards, placed around the house as an apology. He was amazingly intelligent and could hold his own on just about any subject. He loved to exercise, playing organized softball and badminton into his 80’s. He was a master popcorn maker, enjoyed playing the violin, and playing classic music very loudly. He could “engineer” almost any device he needed. He was a good man, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be missed.

George died on November 23, 2018. He is survived by his son, Glen Frese (Sue); daughters: Joan Frese Lazarus (Jonathan), Suzette Frese Harkin (John), Lorene Frese Woody (Mike); step-son, Richard Jacobsen; step-daughters: Laurel Jacobsen Fife (Jim), and Linda Jacobsen Stuart; and his first grandchild, Tami Jacobsen Gurnard (Joe), whom he raised as his own. He also is survived by numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and treasured friends. George was preceded in death by his father, Frederick; mother, Sadie; sister, Shirley Frese Woods; and his beloved wife, Rosemary.

Passing of Jack Carr – August 12, 2018

AFCCE Life Member, William Bernard “Jack” Carr passed away unexpectedly on, Tuesday Aug. 14, 2018. Jack was born in Huntsville, TX on May 31, 1932 to William Bernard Carr and Agusta “Gussie” Mildred Hankamer. Jack graduated UT Austin with a degree in engineering. He was also a reserve officer for Erath County Sheriff Department for over 20 years and spent a number of years as a reserve officer in Tarrant County. Jack was a Mason and attended Edna Hill Baptist. He had a passion for his ranch and his horses.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Anna Mildred Chesney.

He was remembered by his daughter, Anne Catherine Carr, of Austin TX, his nephew and wife Devin C. and Diane Lindsey, of Granbury TX, niece Anna Kathryn Manger of Pasadena TX, as well as many other great nieces and nephews. Jack will be missed by many. Graveside service were held at Barbee Cemetery, in Dublin TX Sunday Aug. 19 2018.