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Robert J. Lovejoy, sound engineer who worked with major artists

May 2, 1951 – Dec. 24, 2015

As a boy growing up in Buffalo, Robert J. Lovejoy was fascinated with music and the science of sound.

He would experiment in the attic of his parents’ home, playing his favorite music on four speakers to create a new mix of sound.

“As a kid, he was working with surround sound before surround sound officially existed,” said Mr. Lovejoy’s son, Joshua.

Later, engineering sound and lighting for concerts, radio and TV shows would become Mr. Lovejoy’s life’s work, and he would work with all kinds of musical acts, ranging from local bands in Buffalo to superstars such as Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and Michael Jackson.

Mr. Lovejoy died on Christmas Eve in the Williamsville Suburban Nursing Home, following a long battle with brain cancer. The Amherst resident was 64.

“He was very proud of the work he did. He loved working with musicians. He knew that if he didn’t do his job right, they couldn’t do their jobs right,” Joshua Lovejoy said.

A graduate of Bennett High School, Mr. Lovejoy spent nearly 50 years as a sound engineer and concert lighting technician.

For most of his career, he worked for Unistage in Buffalo, and for many years he was the company’s president and co-owner.

Mr. Lovejoy also provided lighting, sound and staging expertise for many years with the annual Variety Club Telethon on Channel 7, helping to raise millions of dollars for Women & Children’s Hospital.

Among the artists and events with whom Mr. Lovejoy worked over the decades were Spyro Gyra, the Goo Goo Dolls, Supertramp, James Taylor, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Boz Scaggs, the World’s Largest Disco, Studio Arena Theater, Kingdom Bound and Toronto Jazz Festival.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his ex-wife, Kathy Ward-Lovejoy; a close friend, Catherine Bloom; three stepsons, Zachery Ward, Mackenzie Ward and Nathaniel Ward; and three sisters, Kathy Lovejoy, Diane Lovejoy and Patricia Cazobon.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Chapel at Forest Lawn.

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