Joseph F. Kapustka, 80, TV engineer, veteran

October 27, 2004

Joseph F. Kapustka, a retired WBAL-TV engineer and World War II veteran, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Sunday at his Arbutus home. He was 80.

Mr. Kapustka was born in Poland and moved to New York City in 1935 with his family. He was raised in Salem, Mass.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a gunner and radioman aboard the USS San Diego, a light cruiser that was awarded 18 battle stars and was one of the most decorated vessels of the war. He was aboard when the ship was selected to lead the U.S. fleet into Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender.

After the war, Mr. Kapustka studied engineering and mechanics on the GI Bill of Rights. He worked at radio stations in Binghamton, N.Y., Elkins, W.Va., and Lexington, Ky., before coming to WBAL in 1955 as an engineer and cameraman.

"He loved his job -- so much so, he was recognized by the station after he walked to work on Television Hill from his Arbutus home during the blizzard of 1979," said his son, John F. Kapustka of Catonsville. He retired in 1995.

He enjoyed reading, gardening and going to the racetrack. He walked at least five miles every day.

He was a parishioner of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Arbutus.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Ambrose Funeral Home, 1328 Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus.

Surviving are his wife of 54 years, the former Josephine Terawska, who was a Polish captive in a Nazi slave labor camp during the war; a daughter, Irene A. Aiken of Portland, Ore.; a brother, Stanley Kapustka of Portland, Ore.; a sister, Mary Lozowski of New York City; and two grandchildren.

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