Frederick Alan Saal obituary

Frederick Alan Saal Obituary

Elizabeth, Virginia, United States

November 24, 2017 - January 23, 2017

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Frederick Alan Saal obituary

Frederick Alan Saal Obituary

Nov 24, 2017 - Jan 23, 2017

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Frederick Alan Saal of Grayson County and formerly of Monmouth County, N.J., passed away Monday, Jan. 23 2017, at his home.He was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1931, in Camden, N.J. to Louise Ruth Shuhart Saal and Clarence Frank (Fred) Saal.As a child, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America achieving the Star Scout rank and earning 20 Merit Badges. He was elected into membership in the Order of the Arrow.He graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1949 and was awarded the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award and the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute Medal for mathematics and science.He graduated first in a class of 263 in the College of Engineering at Lehigh University in 1954, receiving BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics. He was a member of several honorary fraternities; Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering fraternity, Eta Kappa Nu, the national electrical engineering fraternity, and Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics fraternity. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.On Easter Day, April 10, 1955, he married Claire Ann Haggerty of Elizabeth, N.J. and together they had three sons.He served as committee chairman for the local Cub Scout Pack, and later started and led a local Boy Scout Troop. He served as advisor to the Historic Trail Committee of the county Order of the Arrow Lodge, and was elected to Vigil membership.After graduation from Lehigh in 1954, he joined Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. in Murray Hill, and later Holmdel, N.J. where he was employed until the Bell System divestiture in 1984. He played a prominent role on the development of a system named TASI which doubled the capacity of submarine telephone cables then in existence. When placed in service in 1960, TASI was the first commercial application of time division switching.In the early 1960's he led a group of engineers performing exploratory development of high speed PCM coders applicable for signals like television. In the early 1970's, he led a department which developed some of the equipment for the Number 4 Electronic Switching System, the first digital telephone switching system. This system was used for toll switching applications. This was followed by similar projects for the No. 5ESS, a digital switching system to be used in local switching applications.After the Bell System divestiture in 1984, he elected to be assigned to Bell Communications Research, the centralized research laboratory for the seven regional Bell telephone companies. Here he led a department for creating equipment specifications that the regional companies could use in making purchases from equipment manufacturers. This included fiber optic light wave systems. During this time he championed and developed a system inspired by two of his employees which they named SONET for Synchronous Optical NETwork.From 1971 until his retirement in 1989, he was a U.S. delegate to the Comite Consultative International des Telephone et Telegraphie. This committee, a subgroup of the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, Switzerland, is responsible for creating recommendations that ensure proper operation of telecommunications between the various countries of the world. He participated in both  Study Group XI, Switching and Signaling, and Study Group XIII, Digital Transmission. In this responsibility, he led groups that studied transmission characteristics of digital switching systems and the characteristics of Broadband ISDN User Interfaces. (150-600 Megabits per second) He introduced the SONET concept to the CCITT in 1985 and managed to have it adopted worldwide by the end of 1988.In discharging his CCITT responsibilities, he attended meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, Hamburg, Germany, Brussels, Belgium, Tokyo, Japan, Seoul, Korea, Melbourne, Australia, Brazilia, Brazil and Phoenix, Ariz., USA.He was also a member of an International Electro-technical Commission committee charged with the revision of the chapter on transmission terms of the International Electro-technical Vocabulary. These meetings occurred in London, England and Paris, France.He section-hiked the Appalachian Trail with a friend from 1981 until he completed it in 1989, While hiking, he was evaluating various areas for retirement possibility. Southwest VA was high on the list. After evaluating a number of possibilities, he and Claire set out to build a home on Iron Mountain in Grayson County. They moved to Iron Mountain in 1996.At various times, he served on the Vestries of St. John's Episcopal Church and St. Marks Anglican Church, both in Wytheville, Va., and on the Board of Trustees of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Spring Valley, Va. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation.A private graveside service was held on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at 11 a.m. in the Ebenezer United Methodist Church Cemetery.A guestbook is available online at Funeral Home is serving the family.
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