Robert Bilodeau, Ex-SCTE President, Dies at Age 78

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Robert "Bob" Bilodeau, a Cable Television Pioneer and former president of the Society of Cable Television Engineers, died on Dec. 22 in Nantucket, Mass., at age 78, his family said.

Bob Bilodeau was raised in the small mountaintop town of Windsor, Mass., and received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1955, according to his nephew, Ron Bilodeau.

Bob Bilodeau: Cable TV Pioneer.

Upon graduation he managed the family's fledgling cable television system Tele-Cable in North Adams, Mass., according to his SCTE biography. After upgrading the system he sold it and joined a staff of bright, forward thinking engineers at Jerrold Electronics.

As a key member of the engineering think-tank at Jerrold Electronics, Bob Bilodeau was instrumental in developing the technologies that enabled the cable television industry to expand, flourish and become the omnipotent social and cultural force it is today, his nephew said. Bob Bilodeau went on to manage, own and operate numerous cable television systems, including Suburban Cablevision in New Jersey, a technically-advanced-for-its-time system, which encompassed numerous towns and municipalities throughout suburban New Jersey.

Bob Bilodeau belonged to many professional and civic organizations. He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was recognized as a Cable Television Pioneer and served as president of the Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) from 1973 to 1979. He was a charter member of SCTE.

He received many honors and awards from the cable industry including the Vanguard Award for Operations in 1978. He was inducted into the SCTE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bob Bilodeau was devoted to theater and the arts, and was an avid tennis player who enjoyed golf and chess, as well as carpentry and woodworking, his nephew said. He was also a master mason. He was active in his pursuits until a few weeks before he died. He is fondly remembered by his family and friends for his generosity, sharp intellect, wit and sense of humor.