Jerome Barth Halter

September 29, 1924 - April 16, 2009 

Jerome Barth Halter

September 29, 1924 - April 16, 2009 

Obituary for Jerome Barth Halter

Jerome Barth Halter, 84, died April 16, 2009, in Indianapolis. Jerry was born September 29, 1924 in Warrenton, Missouri, the son of Millard and Kathleen Bartholomaeus Halter. He had an adventurous small-town childhood. He was a great raconteur of the tales of his life, able to move his audience to tears of laughter. He attended Washington University in St. Louis and obtained his masters degree there in electrical engineering. He served in World War II in the Army Signal Corps in Puerto Rico and South America, after studies in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), including starry visits to the Hollywood Canteen and a surprise run-in with a large iguana in the Galapagos.

Jerry worked for RCA in advanced research and development at the David Sarnoff Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. He was a born engineer and inventor, obtaining patents for his work on various recording and broadcasting processes. He was the inventor of the recording process for the VideoDisc. During the 1970's, when RCA's major emphasis was on electron beam recording, with teams of workers in sterile clothes in dust-free environments, Jerry was essentially on his own at a bench, developing electromechanical cutting heads and a method that was more reliable, easier to operate, more economical, and with a better signal-to-noise ratio than electron beam recording. Jerry's method won out and was put into production for the public.

In 1972 Jerry had married Doris McBride, the administrative assistant to the president of Princeton University, and they moved to Indianapolis for Jerry to perfect the electromechanical mastering used to manufacture the VideoDisc. Doris died in 1980. After Jerry retired, he continued to devise improvements in sound and recording in his laboratory in his home. He played tennis in a weekly group at the Racquet Club and enjoyed swimming in his pool and listening to classical music.

His survivors include his cousins James and Roberta Halter, George and Christine Plews, Fred Halter, Nancy Halter, Arthur, Matthew, Noah and Lincoln Plews; and his caretaker and friend Shawn McCoy and his wife Karen. Calling will begin at 10 am with the funeral service at 11:30 am on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the Harry W. Moore Funeral Home, 8151 Allisonville Road. He will have a graveside service Sunday, April 26, 2009 at City Cemetery in Warrenton, MO at 2 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Doris and Jerome Halter Fund of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, 23 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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