Service Electric Cable TV, & Communications loses CEO
John Walson Jr., 63, of South Whitehall Township, president and CEO of Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, died in his home Aug. 19, 2012, after a short battle with cancer.
He was the loving husband of 40 years to Gloria (Salash) Walson and the proud father of John M. Walson and Michelle Walson Kuykendall.
He was a member of St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Allentown, and St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Emmaus. Born in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, he was the son of Margaret (Kowatch) Walson and the late John Walson Sr., who founded Service Electric as the nation's first community antenna television system in 1948.
Based in Bethlehem, Service Electric is the largest family-owned cable company in the country.
Chairman of the Board of Pencor Services Fred Reinhard commented on the loss of Walson and offered condolences to his family.
"Pencor Services Inc. and its affiliates PenTeleData, and Blue Ridge Communications mourn the loss of our friend and business partner John E. Walson Jr., president and CEO of Service Electric Cable TV Inc.," Reinhard said. "Like his father before him, Johnny was a cable industry leader and a friend.
"John was a very intelligent and savvy business person but he never lost sight of the importance of giving back to the community. My heart goes out to his family."
Walson received many honors over the years, including an Honorary Doctorate from Muhlenberg College, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy as the executive producer of Lehigh Valley IronPigs Baseball, and the Truman Frey Lifetime Achievement Award for Service Electric's contribution to the Lehigh Valley sports community.
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.
Walson 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 Luke's Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, The Good Shepherd Home and IronPigs Charities.
In addition to his wife, Gloria, he is survived by his son, John M. Walson and wife Michal of Chalfont; daughter, Michelle Walson Kuykendall and husband Jeffrey of Manhattan; mother, Margaret Walson and one brother of Allentown; sister, Rosalie Walter and husband Hoyt of Allentown; cousin, Joseph Macus and wife Irene of Allentown; mother-in-law, Fannie Salash of Bethlehem; brother-in-law Stephen Salash and wife Joanne of Bethlehem; sister-in-law, Jean Diamond and husband Emmanuel of Bethlehem; niece, Natalie Walter Young and husband Scott of Breinigsville; nephew, Mark Walter and wife Rebecca of Allentown; niece, Elena Walter and fiancé Justin Romano of Conshohocken; nephews, Anthony and Nicholas Diamond of Bethlehem.
He was predeceased by his father, John Walson Sr., and brother, Paul Walson.
A viewing will take place 4-8 p.m. Aug. 22, with Parastas at 7:30 p.m., at Kohut Funeral Home, 950 N. Front St. Allentown.
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Aug. 23, at St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 1031 Fullerton Ave., Allentown.
Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Allentown, St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church of Emmaus, Bishop's Annual Appeal Diocese of Allentown, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley, IronPigs Charities and Lehigh Valley Health Network Hospice.