William Sadler, an engineer who helped set up TV stations across the country and founded two electronics companies, was found dead Monday June 16 in the St. Croix River near his docked boat in St. Paul, Minn. He was 77. The cause of his death was not immediately known, although authorities do not suspect foul play.

Sadler’s love for television began 1949 when he built a TV transmitter and monitor in the basement of his San Francisco home. Sadler went on to help set up eight TV stations nationwide, including KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, and while there he designed monitors for ABC-TV studios in New York and NASA’s Apollo 13 and Gemini space programs.

Sadler then founded the electronics company Miratel, later selling it and serving as topper under the new owners for 10 years. He also established Dotronix in 1980 and served as president until his death.

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Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Dorothy, and three children.