Editor’s Note: Our thanks to Grace Paoli for this fine tribute.
W. Douglas (“Doug”) Wilkens, who recently passed away at the age of 76, was a talented audio engineer, successful business owner and manager and a sales and marketing professional who understood how to develop and manage domestic and international sales networks.
His career began at Trans World Radio, designing broadcast studios throughout Europe in the late 1960s. Doug and business partner Charlie Moore, founded Dimension Five Sound and the audio division of Peirce-Phelps, Inc., Philadelphia. He became the University Sound product manager at Electro-Voice, and later, was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Community Professional Loudspeakers and then became Vice President/General Manager of Inter-M Americas. He ended his career as Senior Project Manager at the Dubai office of Maryland based AVI-SPL.
Born in Chicago in September of 1944, Doug grew up in India, the son of missionary parents, and spoke numerous Indian dialects. When he returned to the U.S., he finished his high school education and then earned his degree in Broadcast Engineering and Design at Moody Bible Institute. He also spoke French fluently and had the ability to easily learn additional languages. He traveled extensively with his wife, Fran.
Doug was an active member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and completed many SynAudCon training programs. He actively promoted audio excellence through education and wrote numerous instruction manuals and magazine articles. Doug was a dedicated ham radio operator and, as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, assisted scouts achieve their Radio Merit Badge. He also volunteered as a shortwave monitor for the U.S. Navy.
Those who knew Doug will remember him as a principled man with strong values and a dedicated friend who had mastered the art of listening. He possessed a strong Christian faith. He is survived by Fran, his wife of 56 years, and their two sons, John and Joel.
Charlie Moore, his business partner for 52 years, said, “I’ve lost my best friend who was like a brother. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the professional audio industry where he worked in making gains in both technology and education. His work was impeccable and he was always careful to do what was right. Our prayers are with his wife and sons for the loss that they have suffered.”
SynAudCon’s Brenda Brown recalled, “Pat (Brown) and I have many sweet memories with Doug. He was a strong supporter of SynAudCon training. He attended several of them even though he probably could teach them. He knew the value of knowledge and encouraged others to learn. The thing that probably amazed me the most about Doug was his ability to adapt to, understand and appreciate other cultures. His childhood, being a missionary kid, instilled great values that served him well in the AV industry.”
Contributions in his memory can be made to Trans World Radio, https://www.twr.org/donate