SBE Chapter 24 Ed Furstenberg Obituary (Click on above photo for full size version)

Edward William Furstenberg
January 29, 1930 - April 3, 2009

Edward W. Furstenberg, age 79, died on Friday, April 3, 2009 at home. He was born on January 29, 1930, at home in Marshfield, WI. He was the first son born to Christina (nee Arens) and Edward H. Furstenberg. There were three older sisters: Emily, Ruth, and Betty. Another son, James Henry, was born in 1936.

Edward attended school at Lincoln, Washington, and Purdy schools. Upon graduation from Marshfield Senior High School, he attended college at Central State Teachers College (now UW - Stevens Point). He graduated in 1951 with a major in mathematics and minors in physics and chemistry. He went home most weekends and worked for T. D. Hefko Florists and full time in summer. He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin graduate school in Madison. He had been active in the Radio Workshop at Central State and was able to join the staff of WHA as a student worker. He also got a job at WKOW (now WTSO) as an audio operator.

The Korean War was in progress. He was drafted in November 1952, serving until 1954. He was posted to South Korea, where he became a clerk typist for HQ and HQ 2nd Logistical command. He was promoted to sergeant. As the war was winding down, the unit was closed. He received a Commendation Medal. The unit was transferred to Taegon, where he was assigned to investigation of line-of-duty injuries. After his discharge, he returned to WHA radio.

WHA-TV was now on the air and Edward worked there, sharing his time with WHA radio. Eventually he started working for TV full time. Having photography as a hobby, the operation of the Kinescope Recorder became his primary duty. When videotape was introduced by AMPEX, the Ford Foundation bought those machines for all of the public television stations. Edward was sent to California for a week of intensive training in the operation and maintenance of the unit.

He met Joyce Knappenberger (nee Brown), a divorcee with two children, Janet and Guy, whom he eventually adopted. In 1966, Joyce divorced Edward. He refinished and maintained ownership of their family home. When WHA-TV moved into Vilas Communication Hall, he continued working there until taking early retirement in 1988. He enjoyed life at the house and also travels abroad to India, Egypt, and elsewhere. He was a very active member of Luther Memorial Church. He amassed a collection of 3,500 audio tapes of "old time radio." He also had a very large collection of Beta, VHS, and DVD television programs and movies.

Edward is survived by his sister, Ruth Pohlod and brother, James (Barbara), stepchildren, Guy and Janet, seven nephews, a niece, eight great-nieces and nephews and their children. Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, with a visitation starting at 10:00 AM. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Luther Memorial Church or Wisconsin Public Television.
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