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 http://www.amazon.com/E-Harold-Munn-Jr-Thoughts/dp/1530508568/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461840520&sr=1-1&refinements=p_27%3ADaniel+V+Runyon
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