Dennis J. Lindner, 61, engineer with WMAR-TV

September 18, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dennis J. Lindner, an engineer at WMAR-TV whose 38-year career spanned the era from bulky tube cameras attached to miles of cable to modern digital hand-held models, died Tuesday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center of injuries received last month in a fall from a ladder at his Baldwin home. He was 61.

Mr. Lindner was born in Baltimore and raised in Towson. He was a 1961 graduate of Towson High School and studied electronics for two years at a now-defunct Baltimore technical school, family members said.

From 1965 to 1966, he was chief engineer at radio station WAQE-FM - now WLIF - before joining TV station WMAR as a technician and cameraman in 1967.

"This man was a gem. He was a quiet, unassuming gentleman who could fix and figure out anything," said Mark A. Vernarelli, a former WMAR reporter and editor who is now a spokesman for the state prison system.

"He ran cameras and repaired them; climbed towers and tuned transmitters; tweaked circuits and twisted cables. His passing is a terrible loss for Channel 2's engineering department," he said.

"During Dennis' time at Channel 2, the station was affiliated with all three major networks: CBS until 1980 or so, then NBC for 13 years, and, finally, ABC," Mr. Vernarelli said.

"He was at 2 during what many veterans would call the `heyday' - the time of local programming which produced such icons as Stu Kerr and Susan and Jack Bowden, among many others," he said.

In an e-mail to station employees, Drew Berry, WMAR general manager, wrote: "Dennis was a quiet, methodical and talented engineer. He was critical to our operations and vital to keep our equipment and systems operating at their best. We will miss him very much."

Mr. Lindner not only worked in the station's York Road studios but often handled remote assignments.

"We'd often go out to Memorial Stadium, for instance, for an early-morning CBS broadcast, and there Dennis would be setting up cameras, running cable and other equipment," said Larry Paradis, who was a supervisor in the engineering division at his 1988 retirement.

"He had great technical skills, and his knowledge was vast. I really depended on him. He never let anything upset him and everything he did, he did to perfection," he said.

Tom Webster, another engineering colleague, recalled his longevity at the station. "He worked the Colts sidelines during games and on the many classic shows, such as the Stu Kerr Show, The Women's Angle and Romper Room, that are near and dear to the hearts of Marylanders," Mr. Webster said.

"He was also a great teacher because he was extremely humble. He never belittled anyone or was in any way condescending," he said.

George Ward, a retired WMAR videographer and technician, said, "He never got upset and was always very helpful when it came to solving technical problems. He was meticulous when it came to his work."

Mr. Lindner was a longtime member of Towson United Methodist Church, where, since his teenage years, he was responsible for making sure the lights and audio system were ready for Sunday services.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane.

Mr. Lindner is survived by his wife of 38 years, the former Jennie Hogan; two daughters, Donna L. Lauman of Jackson, Miss., and Dawn M. Lindner of Punta Gorda, Fla.; and his mother, Geraldine Lindner of Parkville.

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