Pier Bargellini - Died Aug 14, 2016

Pier Luigi Bargellini was born in Florence Italy on February 7, 1914 to Angelo and Giovanna (Giannina) Cecchi Bargellini. He was married September 8, 1941 to Anna Cioni Bargellini and died August 4, 2016 in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico. He was predeceased by his wife on July 10, 2015, and by his sister Valentina in 1900. He leaves his loving children: Clara (Gabriel) Camara of Tepoztlan, Mexico, Angela (Richard) Nielsen of Newton Highlands, MA, and Leonard Bargellini (Leslie Moldow) of Oakland, California, and by his grandchildren and one grandchild: Lara and Anna Nielsen, Gabriela Camara and her son Lucas, Carlos (Jenny) Camara, and Sylvia Bargellini.

He had a full and rich life and lived in Florence and Rome, Italy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then Morton and Media, PA, Shiraz, Iran, followed by Clarksburg, Maryland, then South Wellfleet on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, then Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California. After spending many winters in Mexico, he and Anna moved permanently to Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico in 2008.

His life was full of intellectual curiosity and a determination to explore and see everything. He loved the sea; he loved opera; he loved quoting long passages from Dante, Pascoli, Carducci and others until the end of his life. He loved to take photographs and in earlier years, developed them himself. He loved to fly and held instrument sea and land ratings in a variety of single engine aircraft, and passed his passion for flying to his son Len and his grandson Carlos. He became a certified scuba diver at the age of 71.

He loved his family, both past and present, and wrote an autobiography, Un Nido di Memorie, A Nest of Memories. From an early age, following his beloved fathers interests and encouraged by extravagant gifts of Meccano and Lego sets, he loved all kinds of machinery and became fascinated with electricity. In 1930 when he was 16, his father died, an event which brought him to tears to the end of his life. He was a gifted linguist, knowing Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Russian, and some Latin, Greek, and Farsi.

Listening to his home built short wave receiver helped his language skills immensely. He loved Jules Verne whose books increased his desire to see the world as well as his love for the sea. He built possibly the first TV in Florence in 1932, a mechanical scanner coupled to a medium wave broadcast receiver and other refinements, and published an article about this in 1933/34. Until his last years, he was an active and enthusiastic ham radio operator (WA3KNN). Earlier, in 1925/26, with his fathers help he built a galena crystal radio set.

He had an internationally recognized professional life. After going to school at the University of Florence and the Polytechnic of Turin, he worked in Rome for ITALRADIO and later for FIVRE at Torrenova, which sent him to Malaga and the Azores, laying cable. He developed new circuits, obtained patents, and published papers in ALTA FREQUENZA.

In 1941 when he married Anna Cioni, their families had known each other for a long time. She reminded him of Botticellis paintings and she was, in fact, a beautiful woman to the end of her life.

He worked as an engineer for the Allied Military government as it reconstructed and operated a medium wave broadcasting station. In 1948 he was granted a fellowship at Cornell University where he earned a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering and strengthened friendships and an appreciation for adventure. In 1950 he was hired by Dr. Grist Brainerd of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. There he taught Information Theory and many other courses. He was a consultant for electronics and communications for numerous American and Italian companies over the years, including RCA, GE, ItalCable and Alenia Marconi Systems. From 1961 to 1965 he worked for Aerospace Corporation, a think tank for the US Air Force in El Segundo, California. During this time he realized his dream of learning how to fly, which he continued to do into his 90s. He often had a reproduction of Leonardo da Vincis self portrait on his desk, and invariably, someone would ask if that was his grandfather. After returning to Penn, he spent a year teaching at Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran, with a Penn/USAID program, an experience which he, Anna, and Len enjoyed very much.

Leaving academia, he relished his time as Senior Scientist at COMSAT in Clarksburg, MD, and then Chairman of the Editorial Board of the COMSAT Technical Review, the gospel of satellite communications. He published over 60 articles and was an IEEE Life Fellow as well as an emeritus member of AEIT. He also received 2 Columbus Gold Medals from the Institute of International Communications in Genoa, Italy. Along with most Italians, he regarded Antonio Meucci, an Italian immigrant who lived in the US from 1850 to 1889, as the inventor of the telephone and wrote articles about Meuccis accomplishments, life, and work. He was also very interested in Guglielmo Marconi, the father of wireless communication. While living in South Wellfleet, he and Anna loved walking on both bay and ocean beaches. He happily volunteered at the French Cable Museum in Orleans and belonged to the Chatham Pilots Group and the Italian Club.

In Leonardo da Vincis Atlantic Code is a quote "
how Men will talk from one hemisphere to the other, their language shall become understood. " Pier Luigi Bargellini worked towards this communication ideal throughout his life. He was laid out in his home and a funeral mass was said in Tepoztlan, followed by cremation, as was his wish. He is greatly missed.

Published in The Cape Codder from Nov. 2 to Nov. 10, 2016

Note from Steve Struharik - received Dec 13, 2016

Today I read a notice in the Amateur Radio magazine QST that Dr. Pier Bargellini had passed away. Upon pursuing it further, I found his obituary that said he died August 4, 2016. I don't know if his passing was noted in the COMARA newsletter, so "just in case," I thought I'd forward it to you.
I first met him as a young engineer at COMSAT Labs, and enjoyed his friendship over the years. He was a walking encyclopedia of radio history. A prince of a man, and a life well lived. May he rest in peace.
- Steve Struharik

Thanks to Steve for letting us know of Dr Bargellini's passing. Sorry it took so long to be shared with our members.


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