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TED PODD IS DEAD; HELPED DESIGN WEAPONS, HEADED BROADCAST FIRM

A Mass of Christian Burial for Ted Podd, a self-taught electrical engineer who helped design weapons systems and was president of Western New York Broadcasting Co., will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

Prayers will be said at 9 in the Carl Mertz & Son Funeral Home, 911 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

Podd, 74, of the Town of Tonawanda, died Sunday (Jan. 28, 1990) in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a long illness.

Podd, who changed his name from Podbielniak in the late 1950s, was born in Buffalo and attended the city's public schools. He began working with electronic equipment at an early age and developed an interest in ham radio, which he continued all his life.

He attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He returned to Buffalo in the 1930s and worked as a broadcast engineer at radio stations WBNY in 1938 and WEBR in 1940. From 1940 to 1942, Podd worked at Curtiss-Wright Corp. as a radio technician.

During World War II, he worked in the applied physics laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he helped design and test the proximity fuse, a device that allowed missiles to detonate when they neared their target. His name also was on the patents for ground-control devices for missile flight and electronic countermeasure devices, among other developments at that laboratory.

In 1947, Podd became president and general manager of WXRA radio, which is affiliated with Western New York Broadcasting Co., based in Amherst. He continued in that job until 1957.

From 1957 to 1958, he was vice president of Shower Folding Door Corp., a firm based in Detroit that marketed shower and bathtub enclosures.

From May 1957 to April 1961, he was the public relations and advertising consultant for Kluge Enterprises, based in Washington, D.C. From 1958 to 1966, he worked full time for Sylvania Electronics as manager of logistics and systems support.

From 1966 to 1968, he was in charge of sales and helped develop audiovisual, closed-circuit television, as well as television for surveillance systems at the Holland-Wegmen AZ/Tronics.

From July 1969 until his retirement in the early 1970s, he worked as a systems consultant for Seneca Audio Visual Corp.

Podd served on the board of directors and was president for several terms of the Radio Association of Western New York, an association of ham radio operators.

Podd also was a member of the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte of the Town of Tonawanda; a son, Robert of Framingham, Mass.; a daughter, Karen, and two grandchildren.

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