Frederick W. Dierken, 91, WBAL technical director

February 02, 2004

Frederick Wilson Dierken, a former technical director for WBAL radio and television, died of pneumonia Tuesday at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. He was 91 and a resident of Bel Air.

He was born in Baltimore and graduated from Polytechnic Institute. He worked for his father's trucking company in the 1930s, then got a job with WBAL radio.

Known to friends and family as "Will," Mr. Dierken served in the Navy during World War II. After his discharge in 1945, he returned to WBAL in time to see its television station go on the air in 1948, and to work on the live children's variety show Romper Room.

Mr. Dierken also was a stage technician for the Vagabond Theater in Fells Point, where he met his wife, the former Elizabeth Moberly, a patron of the theater. They married in 1948.

The couple moved to Miami in the early 1960s, but returned to Baltimore two years later.

After a brief stint at WTOP-TV in Washington, Mr. Dierken was hired in 1965 by the Air Force to work on television and film programs produced for internal purposes.

He retired from the Air Force job in 1978, and spent many hours reading mystery and adventure novels and volunteering as a stage hand and technician for puppet shows at the former St. Thomas More School.

A funeral was held Saturday at Gardens of Faith Memorial Gardens in Rosedale.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Dierken is survived by a son, Frederick M. Dierken of Bel Air, and two grandchildren.

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