Most Mepham High School families didn't have television sets in their homes when Frank Merklein, Sr. graduated in 1940. But that didn't stop Mr. Merklein from making his mark on the television industry!
After graduating high school and serving in the Army Air Corps reserves during World War II, Merklein moved back to New York and attended the RCA Institute to earn a TV diploma. Soon thereafter, he began working for NBC. After a long and illustrious career in television, Frank Merklein retired in Florida. A story about his impact on the industry appeared in the Palm Beach Post in 2014.
BMB learned much about Mr. Merklein from his close friend, Class of 1941 alumnus Jerry Worthing. Mr. Worthing contacted English chairperson Mary Donnelly several weeks ago to inform her that Merklein, who had recently passed away, left a monetary gift in his will to be used to support the Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting Program. Jerry Worthing and Frank Merklein were high school friends who stayed in touch throughout the years.
Jerry Worthing and his wife Clare, also a Mepham graduate, visited the BMB Studio this morning to meet Mr. Stein, Mr. Russell and the BC II students. The visit began with a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of one of BMB's magazine news packages from BMB's control room. Then Mr. and Mrs. Worthing enjoyed some snacks with the students while waiting for the 3rd period BC II and III students to arrive to interview Jerry Worthing and learn more about his friend, Frank Merklein.
Jerry Worthing spoke proudly of his friend, one whom he said dedicated his career to spreading television's technological advances around the world.
The monetary gift, which was sent to Mr. Gomez by the Merklein family, has been forwarded to the BMCHSD Board of Education for approval. It will eventually be used to purchase equipment for the Broadcasting program, which is in alignment with Frank Merklein's wishes.