Ed Boutwell Obituary, Death – In memory of a Birmingham institution: I don’t believe there was any aspect of electronics that my close buddy Ed Boutwell wasn’t familiar with, at the very least to some degree. He was a pioneer in the field.
At the very least on an indirect level, he is involved with a large number of distinct types of “tech stuff.” Recording, editing, producing music and documentaries, broadcasting, engineering, amateur radio, record collecting, and antique radio are some examples of activities that are related to one another. You can pretty much name it, and there is a great probability that he was connected in some manner with it. Why? because he derives a tremendous deal of satisfaction from participating in that activity. Ed and I have our first conversation after I have already obtained my ham radio license and am already working at WVTM, which is Birmingham’s NBC affiliate station and is located on Red Mountain. In an earlier phase of his professional life, he had a position in the engineering department of WAPI radio.
Ed’s profession as an engineer eventually leads to him assisting in the development of Boutwell Recording Studios, which is one of the first recording studios in the city. Ed was one of the first people to work there. At the annual BirmingHAMFest ham radio convention, Ed can frequently be seen roaming about the old radios, and it is there that I have the most fun because I am more likely to run into him.
In this day and age, when it is vital to adapt along with changing circumstances, there are a significant number of people who say things like, “I dislike this new approach to doing something!” Not Ed.
It is remarkable how willing he is to adopt the most recent advances in technological development. Do you think you would be interested in restoring an ancient tube radio that was made in the previous century? Ed possesses the skills necessary to complete the task. Ed was the go-to guy at ABC News in the 1960s for shooting 16mm film, so if they had a need, they knew they could count on him. Shall we make some arrangements with the local musicians in order to record a jingle in his studio? I’ve been there and done that a good number of times already. Develop a documentary by utilizing digital video captured on his Mac and the editing program known as Final Cut Pro. No issue.
According to Ed’s daughter, Nancy, he passed away last night in Birmingham while he was peacefully sleeping and resting in his comfortable bed. Even while Ed’s knowledge of electronics is undeniably impressive and someone to look up to, that is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about him. Instead, I think of something else entirely. He smiled and laughed easily, and it seemed perfectly natural to him, just like the sun rising and setting each day.
On the first day that we met, I got the strong feeling that we would wind up becoming friends with one another. As I sit here and reflect on Ed’s life, I am grateful that we were able to spend some time together and that I got to know him. Sincerely kind and approachable, without any indication of pretending or acting pretentious in any way. It is abundantly clear that Ed Boutwell was a substantial effect on a large number of people because a large number of those people treasured the fact that they could call Ed Boutwell a friend. They will always be thankful to him for the impact he made on their lives, despite the fact that they will miss him.