John Walson Jr. (63), president of Service Electric Cable TV & Communications has died.
Walson Jr.’s son, John M. Walson, will be the company’s next president, according to a report in the local Express-Times.
Walson was the eldest son of the company’s founder, John Walson Sr., one of the industry’s pioneers. Service Electric was one of the very first community antenna television networks.
The younger Walson had been with the company for 38 years. Prior to becoming president, he has spent a number of years in the field operations of the company, including ten years as a headend technician, ten years as a field technician, and six years as a chief engineer for the company's TV studio, according to the company.
He was an owner of the former Lehigh Valley ValleyDawgs USBL basketball team and a founding partner of Lehigh Valley IronPigs Baseball, Lehigh Valley Phantoms Hockey, MusikFest, and The ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks, according to his obituary. He was known in the community as an avid golfer and philanthropist who supported a variety of nonprofit organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley Hospital, St Lukes Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, The Good Shepherd Home, and IronPigs Charities.
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka wrote, “The independent cable community is thriving today because of the loyalty and dedication of trailblazers like the Walson family.
“John inherited from his father, John Sr., one of the first cable businesses in the country and kept the faith that cable technology would evolve into an array of new communications services for consumers.
“John was a gifted business leader who learned the cable industry from the ground up, just like his pioneer father and so many other fine men and women now in charge of running hundreds of family-led cable companies throughout hometown America.”