Rockley “Rocky” Curless, KPBS Engineer Remembered

KPBS staffers learned that Rockley Curless, 75, died on March 14, 2024. No cause of death was given, and “Rocky,” as he was known by nearly everyone, was seen out and about as late as two days before his reported death. He had formally retired from KPBS on January 31, 2024. Memorial Services for him were held in April at the Miramar Military Cemetery.

Photo by Tony McDaid

Director of Engineering Leon Messenie said Rockley had assumed the position of RF Maintenance Supervisor after Tom Oaklund retired in 2004. He cared for the KPBS RF facilitlies from La Jolla to Calexico. Before coming to KPBS, he had been an engineer at KUSI San Diego. He also worked in broadcasting in Palm Springs and Hawaii. He was a helicopter flight engineer for the US Army with 22 months duty in Vietnam.

Leon said, “Rockley seemed to have lots of stories from his many broadcasting years.  He really loved working at the transmitter.  He would always talk to the equipment and say goodbye to the transmitters when he would lock up and leave.  He was a very nice and caring person and will be missed.”