Ron Titcomb, pioneering public broadcasting engineer and ‘mountain man,’ dies at 62 from COVID-19

(Photo courtesy of Probst Family Heber Valley Funerals) Ron Titcomb, a pioneering field engineer for KUED, KUER and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network, died Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, of COVID-19. He was 62.

Ron Titcomb, a field engineer credited with bringing public broadcasting to the most far-flung parts of the Intermountain West, has died from COVID-19.

Titcomb, who lived in Heber City, died Nov. 19, according to an obituary posted on the website for Probst Family Heber Valley Funerals. He was 62.

Titcomb worked for nearly 40 years at the University of Utah, bringing the signals of public TV station KUED, public radio station KUER and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) to rural residents in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho.

Jeff Egly, associate director for UETN, told the public broadcasting trade publication Current that Titcomb was responsible for building the original statewide microwave network on Utah’s mountain peaks, which brought distance learning to rural schools statewide.

Phil Titus, director of engineering at KUED, told Current that Titcomb “helped pioneer the technology needed to convert our translator network to carrying the digital signal. Ron was a tireless field engineer who devoted his life to supporting the rural community.”

“Ron was part engineer, part mountain man and a wonderful person to know and work with,” Frank Morrow, his longtime colleague at KUED, told Current.

When not working with broadcast signals, Titcomb was a devoted member of Bikers Against Child Abuse, serving as treasurer of the group’s Heber Valley chapter.

Ronald Earl Titcomb — born Dec. 11, 1957 — is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan; their daughters, Angeles (Kelly) Townley, Jodie (Ashley) Peatross, and Jillian Titcomb; his mother, Shirley, and four grandchildren. His father, John, and brother, Brent, died previously.

A graveside service is scheduled for noon Saturday at the Heber City Cemetery, 680 N. 550 East, Heber City. The service is open to anyone, though people are advised to dress for the cold. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a viewing prior to the graveside service will be limited to family and close friends.