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Melvin Alpern, Announcer Who Worked in Radio and TV, Dies at 85

August 27, 2009
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A. Melvin Alpern, 85, an announcer who worked in radio and television for more than 50 years, died July 20 in Frisco, Texas. He was a resident of Radnor.

A native of Oklahoma City, Alpern earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in radio communications from Northwestern University.

He was a fill-in announcer for WRCV-AM, now KYW-AM (1060), and then established an advertising agency. He was a trained engineer who specialized in marketing technical companies.

Alpern had appeared in a television commercial with a devil's costume for the Silo's chain of appliance stores, and did radio commercials for KYW-TV's Eyewitness News and The Philadelphia Inquirer's consumer column, "Action Line."

Alpern taught broadcasting at Mississippi State College for two years, and then worked for advertising agencies in New York City and as an announcer for WQXR, a classical-music station in New York.

He served in the Navy as a radar instructor in Chicago during World War II.

A member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors, he served 36 years on the board of the Philadelphia local of AFTRA and was treasurer for most of his tenure. He also served a term as the local's vice president and as AFTRA's national vice president.

Alpern is survived by his wife, Ramona Lenny Alpern; son Edward Alpern; daughters Carlin Alpern and Kyle Rabinowitz; sister Shirley Hellman; brother Erwin Alpern; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made to: Brian's House Inc.-Hillcrest Program, 503(B) Nonprofit Organization, 1300 S. Concord Road, West Chester, PA 19382.

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