John Lee Grasse, Innovative Engineering Chief at KCOP, Dies at 102

Obituary Obit placeholder

John Lee Grasse, longtime director of engineering and industrial relations at television station KCOP-13 in Los Angeles, died in his home in Monterey Park on December 27. He was 102.

While at KCOP, he designed and built “a self-contained color TV station on wheels” — thus allowing for truly mobile broadcasting. Prior to Grasse’s creation it took three tractor-trailers full of gear for a TV station to do a remote. He worked for three decades at at radio station KLAC and KCOP.

During WWII he worked as an engineer for Lockheed’s top-secret “Skunkworks” project.

Survivors include two daughters, Joan Mckelvey and Karyn Grasse Chen, and one granddaughter, Kalia Chen.

Services will be held at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier on Saturday, January 16.

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