PADUCAH, KY. —The jobs are getting done, but our focus is sometimes lacking, our routines are disrupted. Joey is gone.
WPSD Local 6 chief engineer Joey Gill died in a traffic accident on his way to work Sept. 3, 2015. His is survived by his wife Cindy, son Jordan, and daughter Amanda. But he also left behind a work family, some who had worked with him more than 30 years.
Joey was our “MacGyver.” He solved many of our daily engineering issues creatively with only the resources he had at hand. I think I broke his heart when I once told him “Let’s go ‘store-bought’ on this project.” Joey also understood the big picture. He developed our plan as we transitioned to high definition, he led the team that built and installed our HD control room and studio, and he researched and negotiated our digital ENG platforms.
Joey’s personality allowed him to connect with all of us. He was a counselor, teacher, and friend. One of his greatest joys was to serve others. When it snowed, Joey was on the tractor pushing snow off the entrance and parking lot to ensure his co-workers could park and walk to the front door easily. He could sense when you were hurting and was willing to listen. He reveled in your good news, especially if it was news about your kids.
While it was his job to fix things around our building, I choose to remember the times his compassion helped fix us. When he gave an employee the keys to the four-wheel drive engineering SUV so that she would feel safe driving into work overnight during a snowstorm. When he sat and discussed “girls, sports, and just life in general” with a part-time photojournalist—that lunch conversation ended with a hug. The time our receptionist’s car wouldn’t start and he cleaned the battery posts and jump started it for her.
Finally, Joey was an ambitious learner. Not only did he choose to write for TV Technology for his own professional development, but he understood the value it would have for our company. His expertise allowed this family-owned TV station to become familiar with some of the cutting-edge technologies in our industry.
Television engineers are all about wires. They are the ones who the run cables that connect machine to machine; they solder broken wires that bring new life to damaged cameras and microphones; they wire ingest servers to playback servers to production switchers. And my friend Joey was wired into the lives of all of us at WPSD Local 6. Our jobs are getting done, but it’s without our boot-wearing, coffee-drinking, hillbilly genius.
Vice President of News & Operations
WPSD Local 6