Louis “Bob” R. du Treil Sr., an award-winning engineering consultant who was also both son and father to prominent broadcast engineers, has died at age 88.
The death was announced in an obituary from the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, of which du Treil was a past president. He died last week in hospice in Sarasota, Fla., where he’d lived for 25 years.
in 2011 the former owner and president of du Treil, Lundin & Rackley was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with its Engineering Achievement Award. NAB cited his reputation as a creative and insightful engineer and his work including contributions to international discussions on mediumwave (AM) directional antenna technology in the 1980s.
Colleagues told Radio World that year that du Treil’s strength was in visualizing designs for AM directional arrays and then making innovative proposals to the FCC in cases that had no clear-cut precedents.
“I’d bend the rules but not break them. Though the FCC may disagree with that,” du Treil told RW then. “I suspect it did get me in trouble a few times. I just tried to take advantage of what was available to me.”
[Read our 2011 profile of Bob du Treil.]
According to the AFCCE bio, Bob du Treil Sr. was born in New Orleans and was introduced to radio engineering as a youth in that city. His father Joe was a prominent engineer who contributed to the construction of AM station WWL in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
After early service in the U.S. Coast Guard, Bob Sr. moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the radio broadcast field. He completed his B.S. degree in electrical engineering at Louisiana State University in 1961.
Bob joined the firm of John H. Mullaney & Associates, where he remained until 1967. He then partnered for several years with his father at L. J. N. du Treil & Associates before moving his family back to D.C., where he joined Jules Cohen & Associates and later was made partner.
In 1983 he launched du Treil-Rackley with colleague Ronald Rackley. It later merged with A.D. Ring & Associates, then headed by John Lundin, in 1987 to form du Treil, Lundin & Rackley Inc.
The firm moved to Florida in the 1990s. Several of its employees have served on the AFCCE board. “dLR continues to the present day under the leadership of Bob’s namesake, Bob du Treil Jr, and partner, Jeff Reynolds,” according to AFCCE.
Du Treil retired in 2006 and pursued volunteer work at the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In addition to membership in AFCCE, he was a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
According to his obituary, du Treil loved socializing, fine dining, boating, fishing, walking and gardening, and owned various boats throughout the years. “He will always be remembered as a jovial, warm, generous, loving spirit – leaving an imprint on all the hearts he touched with his wonderful nature.”
Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice in Sarasota or Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, in support of the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute in Sarasota.