Posted by: calloftheandes | October 19, 2009

Ecuadorian Technician Who Helped in Radio Station HCJB’s Early Years Dies at 91

Sources: HCJB Global, Stemm Lawson Peterson Funeral Home

Edmundo E. Zarria, an Ecuadorian technician who worked at Radio Station HCJB in the 1940s, died Saturday, Sept. 19, in Elkhart, Ind. He was 91.

Zarria was born on Aug. 18, 1918, in Quito, Ecuador, to José María and Julia (Chávez) Zarria. As an adult, he owned an electronics repair shop and also worked at Radio Station HCJB.

Zarria helped with live radio links during the station’s coverage of relief efforts after a devastating earthquake struck the central Ecuadorian city of Ambato in August 1949, leaving thousands dead and even more homeless. He also helped with the “Gospel Sound Truck,” a vehicle fitted with radio equipment and public address speakers in which station staff performed music and preached the gospel message across Ecuador.

“He loved the mission and everything that it stood for. His father was instrumental in helping HCJB Global acquire the Pifo property,” said David Russell, referring to property that became the mission’s international transmission site in the 1950s.

Russell, who directs the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, knew Zarria in recent years. After immigrating to the U.S. from Ecuador, he worked for International Radio and Electronics Corp. and C.G. Conn in Elkhart. He was also a longtime technical volunteer at the HCJB Global Technology Center.

Zarria is survived by a son, Reuben, and a daughter, Gin, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Ruth. Memorial contributions may be given to the HCJB Global Technology Center.


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