Former long-time WKTV engineer passes away at 76

Former WKTV employee Fred Latus Jr., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 3:41 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 5:39 PM

UTICA – Former WKTV employee Fred Latus Jr. passed away on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

Fred, also known as ‘Big Fred’ to his co-workers, started working for the station in 1963, after graduating from Ithaca College, and remained employed there for 45 years in the engineering department. He retired on Jan. 17, 2008.

When WKTV was sold to Smith Television in 1992, Fred became a master control operator in the Engineering Department.

“Fred taught me how to switch video,” said Tom McNicholl, chief engineer at WKTV. “Fred was always teaching me, both as a young, new employee to when I was his supervisor as chief engineer in 2001.”

Employees at the station remember Fred as a dedicated asset to the station who took great pride in his workplace. He even had a ‘WKTV’ vanity license plate. His son, Fred Latus III, also worked at WKTV as an engineer from 2003 to 2010.

Calling hours are Tuesday, 4 -7 p.m., at Dimbleby Funeral Homes, 40 Main St., Whitesboro. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m., at the Historic Old St. John's Church on the corner of Bleecker and John streets, Utica. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Clayville.

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