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Former GM of Harron Cable, community leader, dies at age 86

By DAVE DELLECESE

A former member of the WKTV family and a community leader has died at the age of 86 years old

Born on February 10, 1926, Frank Gruenewald began his employment with Harron Communications, which owned WKTV at the time, in the 1950s, working alongside local on-air legends such as Jerry Fiore, Lyle Bosely and Dick Clark, according to Gruenewald's son, David.

In the mid 1960s, Gruenewald was appointed General Manager of Harron Cable Television, a position he stayed in until 1981, when he retired at the age of 55.

Retirement was short-lived for Gruenewald, as Harron brought him back just a short time later to work on franchising - work he continued until the age of 75.

"He loved working in TV," said David J. Gruenewald of his father. "He was a big community guy."

Gruenewald began the immensely popular "Betsy the Barge" Concert series at Lock 20 in Marcy, which kicks off its 26th straight year in Marcy on Thursday. His son says that Gruenewald was instrumental in getting funding for that program and that a pavilion in the park is now named after him.

He was a graduate of Utica Free Academy and Utica College. A veteran of World War II, where he was stationed in the South Pacific, and of the Korean Conflict, Gruenewald leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Dolores, three children, and six grandchildren. He also served his country during the Korean Conflict, his son said, as well as was an active member of the Rotary Club.

He passed away Wednesday afternoon at the age of 86.

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