Michigan-based engineer Larry Estlack has died of cancer. He was 64.
He was technical director for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He was also the Michigan Emergency Alert System chairman for 21 years, according to the MAB.
Estlack had been at MAB since 2002. The organization’s website has more on Estlack here.
From 2008 to 2011 Estlack worked on five federal NOAA grants in coordination with Michigan State Police and Department of Natural Resources, to bring emergency alert sirens to five remote Northern Michigan state parks in an effort to keep all Michigan citizens safe, even while on vacation, according to the MAB. “Those efforts proved vital as the sirens saved 83 people during a severe storm at Muskallonge Lake State Park in September 2010.”
Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs knew him well — they both began in radio by teaching in East Lansing at Michigan State’s Telecommunications Department.
In a Jacoblog entry, Jacobs says that Estlack built the student studios, “In every way, the studios were a haven and a laboratory, and they gave us the opportunity to work with hundreds of kids, teach them how to edit, produce commercials, conduct interviews, and more importantly, what it took to be a radio professional.”
Jacobs calls Estlack “one of those rare people who was a brilliant studio engineer” who designed radio and TV studios all over the state of Michigan. “Talk to broadcasters here in ‘The Mitten’ and chances are that Larry had a hand in designing or building their studios at one time or another,” according to Jacobs. “But he was also an amazing air personality, DJ, writer, and producer, gifted with a great voice, an amazing ear for music, and a love for doing radio the right way. He knew how to speak into a microphone, and he knew how it worked, too.”
Jacobs says he learned several things from Estlack, including: about being a professional, doing the job right, taking on every cool project you could, and helping others — especially students — grow in the business.
Funeral services are planned for Jan. 4.