SILENT KEY                                        It is with Sadness:                                               SILENT KEY

 John A. Bosak – K3IBN

Feb 7, 1941 – July 25, 2002

John Bosak, who was at the forefront of Pennsylvania’s technological revolution for almost 40 years, died at his home in Swatara Township. He was 61.

He was the son of the former John M. and Phillippine Bosak, and the son-in-law of David E. and Mary Elizabeth Davidson Jr.

Surviving are his wife, Beverly Davidson Bosak and his former wife, Loretta Havens Gelbaugh; three sons, David C. Bosak and his wife Shelley Schwarz Bosak; Dr. Michael D. Bosak, and Steven P. Bosak, all of Harrisburg; two stepsons, David Cernugel of Harrisburg and Rodger A. Helwig and his wife Laurie Walker Helwig, of Mechanicsburg; two sisters, Barbara Greenwood and her husband Robert Greenwood, of Paxtang and Susan Schenk and her husband Dr. John Schenk, of Oregon; two step-grandchildren, Adriana Nell and Andrew Helwig; and nieces and nephews, Kathryn, Andrew, and John Greenwood and Robbie Davidson and Lisa Davidson Smith.

He was godfather to Rocco DiBacco of Harrisburg, Teddi Irwin and Greg Duda of Texas ad Stevie Duda & Jeff Duda, both of North Carolina. His godmother, Mary Basecki, of Coal Township, also survives him.

He graduated from Millersville University with a degree in Earth and Space Science, planning to be a teacher. Instead, he discovered a passion for broadcast engineering. Bosak, WITF-TV director of engineering and PAB’s 2002 “Television Broadcaster of the Year,” worked as a broadcast engineer from the days of black-and-white television through the evolving digital information age.

He started his career at WHP, Harrisburg’s CBS affiliate. In 1967, he was hired by WITF-TV, the area’s public broadcasting station, and radio station 89.5 FM. Over the years, he served as assistant chief engineer, operations supervisor, program manager, station announcer and Director of Engineering.

Bosak produced Pennsylvania Outdoors and America Outdoors and was the first television producer invited to join the Outdoor Writers Association.

As broadcast chairman of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Broadcast Emergency Communications Committee, Bosak helped to establish Pennsylvania’s deployment of the emergency broadcast system providing necessary communications between emergency officials and the public through the cooperation of the statewide broadcasters of Pennsylvania.

He later led the team of WITF engineers which, on Aug. 26, 1998, activated Pennsylvania’s first digital high definition station, WITF DT.

He spent 35 years as house sound technician at Hershey Theater and 15 years as Chamber Hill Boy Scout Troop 202 leader. He was program chairman for the Society of Broadcaster Engineers Chapter 43; served on the planning committee for The Whitaker Center for Science and The Arts; and was a founding member of St. Catherine Laboure Roman Catholic Church in Swatara Twp., where he served as a special minister for many years; and was a lifetime member of the Lawnton Fire Company.

He was the recipient of several awards over the years including the Tri-County Association of the Blind David E. Sill Lifetime Achievement Award and the Swatara Twp. Honor Roll Citizenship Award.

While battling cancer, Bosak continued to work. His fondness for the people he worked with and his role in the industry inspired him every day.

He loved nature, star gazing, trains and trolleys, his family and friends, Coxton Lake, and his dog, Misty.

Memorial donations are appreciated to John A. Bosak Scholarship Fund for Engineers, c/o Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation, 8501 Paxton Street, Hummelstown, PA 17036; Pinnaclehealth Hospice, 3705 Elmwood Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110; or WITF-TV Inc., 1982 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109.

Memorial Service and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Catherine Laboure ‘Church at 4000 Derry Street at 11:00 a.m. on Monday in his church. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, West Hanover Township.

Neill Funeral Home, Harrisburg
Harrisburg Patriot News 27 Jul 2002


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from: page 80 / Popular-Communications / October 2002

Loose Connection radio communications humor –  by Bill Price, N3AVY

73, K3IBN

[[[Editor’s note: John Bosak, K3IBN was only 61 years old and was a great friend to many people. John was the Director of Engineering at WITF-TV and FM in Harrisburg/Hershey, Pennsylvania. He was also this year’s Broadcaster of the Year as chosen by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters – the first ever from the engineering discipline to receive that award. He was a major force in the amateur radio community and will be missed by his many friends and colleagues. Thank you, John for your dedication to the radio hobby.]]]

My friend John Bosak, K3IBN, has always been on the “techie” side of ham radio. When repeaters matured and become “transparent” to their users, John showed me how they worked. Showed me the ones he maintained in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, region. When packet radio on 2 meters was new, he showed me how it worked, and gave me a packet controller so that I might try it for myself, if I ever get a 2 -meter rig.

John always looked to the future in amateur radio; I always looked at the past. He was FM; I was CW. Even with my
Advanced class license, I have never owned an FM or SSB rig just some HF CW stuff. “When ya gonna get a microphone?”
he would ask. “As soon as you get a Vibroplex,” I answered.

For as long as I have known John, he has always been a part of WITF-TV (and FM) in the Harrisburg/Hershey, Pennsylvania, market-the PBS outlet in the state capital. He was also involved in frequency coordination and worked with state officials in many capacities to ensure better communication throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When I met him, he was my customer. I sold him 2-GHz instructional television transmitters, antennas, and all of the periphery that went along with the system.

We became friends without ever trying, and one day he called to ask if I knew where his son could get a small guitar amplifier. Sure. I gave him one that I was using as a footrest. He helped me get a deal on a telescope. We lived a couple hours apart then, but visited enough to enjoy each other’s company, and we found obscure gadgets for each other for as long as we’ve been friends.

My family spent a weekend with his family at their retreat on a lake, a million miles from nowhere. We played with radios, ate crabs, told jokes and stories, and laughed. Their “lake house” had perhaps a thousand bats living between the roof and the ceiling, and they would fly out every night at dusk to feast on the mosquitoes that never bit us, even when we sat on a brightly lighted porch.

When I began writing for Pop’Comm, which seems so very long ago, John called to tell me he had read my column. He had been a Pop’Comm reader and I didn’t even know it.

Through various phases of our friendship, we “hung out” at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention, the Dayton Hamvention, and a few hamfests here and there. We have stood in one another’s driveways, hotel rooms, and dining rooms. Always playing with something-usually radios, but also with the latest technology in scanners, CD -burners, digital cameras, and computers.

We were once so famished after a day at Dayton, that we sat in his room eating slices of Vidalia onions with salt and sipping gin. John is the only person who has ever gotten me to eat a piece of raw onion, even if it was a Vidalia.

John coined-and then demonstrated-the phrase, “If you put enough butter and salt in it, anything will taste good” by serving me “clam broth,” which until that point had merely been “water that we cooked clams in.”

It seems like a few weeks ago, but it was likely more than a year ago that John’s wife Bev told me that John had some pretty serious health problems. I was more in denial than he was, and we kept up normal communications (usually e-mail) with just as many jokes as ever. A few weeks ago, I got to see John for what would be our last time together.

Tonight, when I arrived home, I found this message from Bob Marzari, W3PT, a friend of John’s whose mailing list John put me on:
From “Bob Marzari”
To “N3AVY” (and many, many others)
Subject K3IBN sk
Date Thu, 25 Jul 2002 200601-0400
After a valiant battle with cancer, John Bosak went to a better place this morning. More information about memorial services will be sent as soon as available. – W3PT

There was also a private message from Bev. It is both fitting and painful that I must write a column tonight for an early morning deadline tomorrow. I am glad that I might mention John here to his friends, and my friends, and tell you that I will miss him very, very much. I would rather be in bed, crying over the loss of a great friend, and soon, I will be doing just that. For now, I want to see to it that a whole lot of people know that John Bosak was a wonderful, wonderful friend who read this column along with you every month. – 73 K3IBN DE N3AVY



Engineer – WITF

General Radiotelephone Operator License – PG037890 – 01/02/1985