The longest-tenured employee of WIBW has died. Elmer Gunderson, a broadcast engineer at the Topeka CBS affiliate for almost 58 years, lost his battle with cancer Sunday. He was 81.

Gunderson joined the station in 1955, just two years after the station went on the air. He was just out of the Navy and looking for a radio engineering job to pay for his education. WIBW radio had no openings, but the television station did.

“He asked if I had any experience in television,” Gunderson said in a 2005 interview. “I said no. He said do you want to learn? And I said that would be all right.”

Gunderson continued to work at WIBW until his health declined in April.