HEBER CITY, Utah — A pioneering field engineer who spent decades making free public television, radio and educational services available to thousands of rural residents in the Mountain West has died from COVID-19.
Ron Titcomb’s three-decade career with the University of Utah served PBS Utah (KUED), NPR Utah (KUER) and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN). His work improved broadcast and educational access in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho.
“Ron worked year-round on many of Utah’s peaks to build our original statewide microwave network bringing distance learning to rural school districts, colleges and universities,” said UETN Associate Director Jeff Egly. “His passing is a huge loss.”
“He helped pioneer the technology needed to convert our translator network to carrying the digital signal,” said Director of Engineering Phil Titus. “Ron was a tireless field engineer who devoted his life to supporting the rural community.”
A passionate member of Bikers Against Child Abuse, Titcomb shared his love of the outdoors biking on his Harley. He also enjoyed four-wheeling, camping, boating and history. His career made the history of educational technology in the West more inclusive for all who live and visit there.
“Ron was part engineer, part mountain man and a wonderful person to know and work with,” said his longtime associate Frank Morrow of PBS Utah.
Titcomb died Thursday at the age of 62. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and four grandchildren. Graveside services are planned in Heber City, Utah, and online.