Major Company In Mourning

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HAZLETON -- A Schuylkill County native has died.  He was considered a cable TV icon, the CEO of a cable company that's popular in our area and parts of New Jersey.

As Tim Trently walks past racks of sophisticated cable TV equipment near Hazleton he said his company is in mourning.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Walson family as they go through this sadness," said Trently.

John Walson, 63, died over the weekend after losing a battle with cancer. Employee Ralph Mililo said he will always remember his boss.

"He was always a gracious person which he always made time to talk to him he was very nice considering the position compared to mine," said Mililo.

His father, John, Sr. who died 19 years ago, was a pioneer in the cable TV business.

Back in the 1940's, Walson, Sr. owned a TV Store. He wanted to sell even more so he invented cable TV and the company became Service Electric.

Isabell Echo of Mahanoy City remembers when cable TV was born in her community.

"My parents were the first ones to get cable. We couldn't afford it when we first got married," said Echo.

Walson followed in his father's footsteps helping to build the company and was known for many things. He always remembered that he started in the business helping to service customers.

Employee Bill Davidick said he was especially touched by Walson's cancer death.

"One of the main reasons I feel sad about Johnny, Jr. passing away because actually, two months ago my brother who works for Johnny was diagnosed with leukemia."

A family spokesman says funeral arrangements for John Walson have not been finalized.