Esterly Chase Page, 82, founder of Page Communications Engineers Inc. in Washington and an authority on international communications, died Feb. 14 at his home in Naples, Fla. He had Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Page formed E.C. Page Consulting Radio Engineers in Washington in 1947, and the company evolved into Page Communications, which specialized in advanced international communications. In 1959 the company became part of Northrop Corp., and in the early 1960s Mr. Page left to become the technical director of the National Military Command System of the Department of Defense. Later he became chief executive officer of Telecom Inc. of McLean for several years before retiring and moving to Florida in the late 1960s.
Mr. Page, born in Chicago, began working with radio crystal sets at an early age, and he was an amateur radio operator. He founded his first radio consulting firm in 1932, and he moved to Washington in 1937. He served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, and he was personal signal officer to Allied Chief of Staff Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower during the Tunisian Campaign and planned communications for the invasion of Sicily. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Order of the British Empire for his wartime service.
He was vice president of engineering for Mutual Broadcasting System in New York for two years after the war, then returned to Washington.
Mr. Page's first marriage to Margaret Blessington Page and his second marriage to Virginia Erwin Page ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Elsie, of Naples; four daughters by his first marriage, Jane Tibbits and Joyce Robb, both of Eugene, Ore., Mary Louise Richardson of Fairfax and Virginia Page of Alexandria; two daughters by his second marriage, Melissa Page of Boston and Sanford Page of Lakeland, Fla.; a sister, Millie Mucha of Laguna Hills, Calif.; two stepsons, Victor and Geoffrey Purse, both of Naples; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.