Robert B. Peirce, 72, EEN Director of Engineering

Robert B. Peirce, of Dedham, passed away Saturday, October 1st, after a 6 year battle with prostate cancer. He fought with strength, hope, and grace. He was surrounded by his many family and loved ones at the time of his passing.

Bob was born in 1939 in Upper Darby, PA. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in electrical engineering. He later went on to do post-graduate studies at Queens University in Canada and Northeastern University. Bob spent his career in television and post production here in the Boston area, including positions as Director of Engineering for E.E.N. and co-founder of Pisces Productions.

Bob was an avid outdoorsman, pursuing his passions for rock and tree climbing, sea kayaking, bicycling, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Bob also enjoyed putting his MacGyver-like skills to work building furniture and doing home repairs. But, above all, Bob was happiest spending time with his beloved wife Angela Kane, his children Robert Peirce and wife Liz, Garry Peirce and wife Brenda, daughter Lisa (Peirce) Boyle and husband John, stepchildren Bernadette (Kane) Goudreault, John Kane and wife Kristin, Rich Kane, Linda (Kane) Maerov and husband Jeff, and Grandchildren Alex, Kate, Jenna, Cammie, Adriana, Ben, Andrew, Haley, and Samantha.

2 thoughts on “Robert B. Peirce, 72, EEN Director of Engineering

  1. My first public television job was at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network in the 1970s. Bob was at EEN in those days, and he was one of the first to welcome me to the extended public television community when I attended my first regional meeting in Boston. Those were the days of interconnected microwave systems between Boston and New Hampshire, New Hampshire and Maine, and so on. Bob kept track of it all and made sure feeds could go off in all directions. Those were the days of two-inch videotape and tape bicycles. Bob made sure the recordings were of the highest quality. He was hard-working and a stickler for excellence. I last saw Bob about ten years ago. He gave me a tour of the Pisces facilities, and then we enjoyed lunch and good conversation. I can’t think of a nicer man. A good friend and colleague who will be missed by many.

  2. Although my father did not work at WGBH, I’m sure he knew many that did, as he was active in the Boston television community during, I’d say, the 70’s through the 90’s. I don’t know specifically who his ‘GBH contacts were, but I would think some older alumni may well remember him.

    If my understanding is correct, EEN was the predecessor to American Public Television, which distributed programming to entities such as the National Educational Television Network, which later became PBS.

    I spent many hours myself in his various offices through the years: EEN, Channel 68, Sportschannel, Target Productions, Pisces Productions, and National. For some of these, he designed the office layouts and studios, took care of the facilities mechanicals, and maintained all of the studio equipment and tape machines and computer systems (once those things came around). 1 kHz tone still feels permanently etched in my head from those days!

    As a child growing up in Milton, MA (home of the original Great Blue Hill transmitter), I can well remember the Halloween when, through some contact, he was allowed to take home and wear an “official” Big Bird costume which stopped large amount of passing traffic.

    A former sound engineer myself, I now work within IT for the University of Maine System, working somewhat closely with MPBN as well as the University of New Hampshire. I don’t recall the details but I believe my father was directly involved in a significant microwave transmission of some sort between WGBH and NHPTV, and I found this on the website, but it may have been too early for him:

    June 1959: WGBH helps set up WENH-TV, Channel 11, in Durham, NH, and the interconnection between the two stations represents the first “network” of educational stations; the Boston-Durham link will become the basis for the Eastern Educational Network.

    – From: https://wgbhalumni.org/2007/01/01/wgbh-timeline-1946-1978/

    I accompanied my father on a few trips to NAB conventions where I was always amazed how, in a sea of people on the other side of the country, we couldn’t walk through the hall very far without him running into people he knew.

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