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.

Thank you, Byron, for your Friendship and Mentorship to our Industry

The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers joins in celebrating the life of one of our longest active members, Dr. Byron St. Clair, who passed away May 20th at age 93 after a brief illness.

Byron St. Clair

Dr. Byron St. Clair – picture courtesy of the ATBA

AFCCE President John Lyons said, “I had the pleasure to sit and speak with with Byron over the last several years discussing his time in NY while attending Columbia for his BS and MA in Physics. He reminisced about living on the waterfront and his enjoyment of education.  I will always remember the look on his face and the thrill in his voice as he walked around the broadcast facilities at One World Trade Center and 4 Times Square as we toured both facilities during the 2017 Annual Meeting.”

We will all stand to toast Byron at our Annual Meeting next month in Seattle.

The National Translator Association, will be establishing The Byron W. St. Clair Memorial Scholarship Fund along with the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE). The fund will provide scholarships for promising undergraduate and graduate students at accredited U.S. universities and colleges interested in broadcast engineering. The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition, through its membership, has also agreed to provide funding for the NTA/AFCCE scholarship fund.

Dr. St. Clair was director of research and development for Adler Electronics, founder and president of EMCEE manufacturer and installer of TV translators.  Later he took his knowledge west to Colorado, and beginning in 1967 founded and was president of Television Technology Corp. in Arvada and later Larcan-TTC Inc. During his three decades in running TTC the company became the best-known supplier of TV translators.

Dr. St. Clair was inducted into the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance Hall of Fame in 2014, and received the Jules Cohen Award from the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) in 2017. He was also President Emeritus of the National Translator Association and was the recipient of the SBE Chapter 48 Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  He received his PhD from Syracuse University in Physics.

He leaves behind Julie, his wife of 71 years, and daughter Susan Hansen of Arvada, Colorado as well as his son-in-law, two grand children and a brother.  A memorial service is planned for a date in June to be established.

Roy Stewart

Roy Joseph Stewart, age 78, of Annandale, Virginia passed away on April 10, 2017 at Fairfax Hospital after a brief illness. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 6, 1938. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School. After military service, he joined the Federal Communications Commission in 1965. During his career at the Commission until his retirement in 2009, he served in various positions, including Chief of the Mass Media Bureau and Senior Deputy Bureau Chief of the Media Bureau. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion Stewart and Jack Stewart, and his brother, Alan Stewart. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Patricia Zimmer Stewart, his daughters, Teresa Stewart of Annandale, Virginia, Cristina Stewart of Springfield, Virginia, and a granddaughter, Presley Julio.  The family requests that expressions of condolences be made as contributions in Roy’s memory to the charity of one’s choosing.

E. Harold Munn

Earle Harold Munn, Jr., age 87, of Parma, MI, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2016 of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was the son of Earle Harold and Luella Mae (Asfahl) Munn. Born Sept 7, 1928, in Vandalia, IL, Hal is survived by his wife of 66 years, C. Ella (Bronson), sons H. Derwin (Patti), M. Douglas (Jerri), and daughter M. Renée Runyon (Dan); five grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Hal received his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) radio license at age 14 and in 1947 at age 17 became a lifetime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional organization of any scientific profession. The following year he graduated from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI, with a degree in physics plus many credits in chemistry and mathematics. He taught high school for one year in North Adams and one year at Pittsford before starting WTVB-WANG radio stations in Coldwater. Other stations he established and owned include Ypsilanti (WYSI), Hillsdale (WBSE), and Sturgis (WSTR).

In addition to radio, he was a pioneer in broadband communications, received one of the three first cable TV permits awarded by the FCC, and started many cable companies including Coldwater and Columbia Cablevision.

In 1950, Hal established the E. Harold Munn, Jr., and Associates broadcast engineering consulting firm in Coldwater and in that capacity built or consulted with about 800 radio stations in all 50 states and on nearly 70 colleges and university campuses. Two notable stations include Bell Broadcasting Corporation in Detroit, the first FCC-approved African American-owned radio station in the United States providing a foundation for the Motown music industry, and a 50,000 watt AM station in Hawaii for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that broadcast a Christian witness to 20,000 Polynesian islands and literally around the world.
In 2005, Hal was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He served as a trustee and in many administrative capacities with the following organizations: Coldwater Board of Public Utilities from 1960—1995 and president of that board beginning in 1967; from 1960—2015 on the board of the Blue Ridge Broadcasting Corporation, a listener-supported ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; from 1960—2010 as a trustee of Spring Arbor University; and from 1983—2015 as a trustee of Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY. Since childhood, Hal was a member of the Free Methodist Church and served that denomination in many volunteer administrative capacities from 1950—2015.

Memorial gifts may be made to Spring Arbor University.

Dr. Munn’s book Parting Thoughts is available at

John F.X. Browne

John F.X. Browne (December 1935 – March 2012) died peacefully at his home in Bloomfield Hills after a brief battle with cancer. John was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to the Detroit area to attend the University of Detroit where he obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in both Physics and Mathematics. John went on to become a professional engineer and the founder and president of John F.X. Browne & Associates in Bloomfield Hills where he serviced the broadcast industry for 45 years.

John was the eldest son of Marie Mulcahy Browne and John Browne and the devoted brother to three sisters Patsy Reisert, Mary Ellen Curnyn, Terry Logan of Long Island, NY. He was the beloved husband to Kay Mullen Browne for 32 years. John married Kay (widowed in 1978) and became a father to her six children between the ages of 11 and 21. He was called both a saint and a nut; and let’s face facts, proposing to woman with six children took an awful lot of courage but that is how he lived his life. And that is how he lived his last few weeks of life, courageously, faithfully, lovingly and brave to the very end.

John will be forever remembered by his caring children and their spouses, Mary Beth Reed (Brian), John Mullen (Cheryl), Meg Noble (Bill), Katie Nienstedt (Bill), Tom Mullen (Jerry) and Jane Fletcher (Greg) as well as his treasured grandchildren, Erin, Colleen, Moira, Allison, Johnny, Mary Kate, Casey, Clare, Billy, Cece, Jack and Tommy along with countless other friends and family whom were blessed to know him.

John’s first love was flight. His joy at being a pilot lasted a lifetime. What started as something fun to do at 23 turned into a life of flying high with his friends and family on board his Piper Aztec. From small hops for business to world renowned, record setting trips around the world, John was one of the quintessential quiet birdmen. Not only was John inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame, he was also the recipient of twenty-two National Aeronautic Association records for speed and distance flying in his small plane.

John was also a dedicated member of the American Association of the Knights of Malta, the Cardinal Club of Detroit, President and founding member of Everest Academy in Clarkston, MI, a board member at Rose Hill Center, and President of Michigan Catholic Radio. Among his many professional affiliations, John was made a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers; he was selected as the Outstanding Engineer in Private Practice by the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers; and was the second recipient ever of the prestigious Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

John touched the lives of many people with his quiet smile and generosity, and maintained his trademark sense of humor all the way to the end.