In Tribute to Clark County Amateur Radio Association Members

The Clark County Amateur Radio Association (CLARA) honors its members here: by being recognized for exceptional Club efforts and support (Frank J. Kirkpatrick Memorial Award) or as a "Silent Key", an amateur radio term for those who have passed away.

Frank J. Kirkpatrick Memorial Award

This award is presented to the winner, as voted by the club membership, for service above and beyond CLARA expectations.

Past winners of the award are:

1989 - Jay Chapman
1990 - Jim Bennett
1991 - Bob Beach
1992 - Glenn McConkey
1993 - Dave Coons
1994 - Ed Damewood
1995 - Bob McHenry
1996 - Tom Quinn
1997 - Bob Beach
1998 - Lori Damewood
1999 - Carl Miller
2000 - Tom Quinn
2001 - Keith Marshall
2002 - Carl Patterson
2003 - Tracey Ahrens
2004 - Maurice Unger
2005 - Mark Ahrens
2006 - No Nom.
2007 - Jim Graver
2008 - Glenn McConkey
2009 - Carl Miller
2010 - No Nom.
2011 - Buzz Ude
2012 - Bob Beach
2013 - No Nom.
2014 - No Nom.
2015 - No Nom.
2016 - No Nom.

Silent Keys

Jim Bennett, K8WQE - James S. (Jim) Bennett became a "Silent Key" on March 3rd, 2017, and CLARA has lost a 'Mentor'. Jim was truly one of the 'Old Timers' of Ham Radio here in Clark County, and his happy wit and sage wisdom helped guide many of us as we enjoyed our ham radio hobby.

Jim was a World War Two Veteran, serving in the US Army Air Corp. Then he served a full career, here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he retired as the Chief of the Technical Photography Division of the 4950th Test Wing. An interesting 'factoid' regarding Jim's ham radio history is that he served, for several years, as the 'stateside voice' or 'point of contact' for personnel stationed at the South Pole. In the days before cell phones, satellites, and the internet; the only resource for ball scores, news and the stock market for those 'down on the polar ice' was Jim's daily and early morning ham radio schedules. Jim established special support from the local paper boy and the 'back then' telephone operators -- for the morning paper at 5 AM, and morale boosting phone patches to the families of the South Pole staff. Truly, Jim's ham radio support was their only regular contact with the world -- and all via HF!

Jim was a charter member of the old, original Springfield Amateur Radio Club (SARC), and of the Western Ohio Repeater Association (WORA) -- which eventually merged to become our current Clark Amateur Radio Association (CLARA). In all three charters, Jim served as a dedicated and forming member, helping establish our policies and ByLaws. K8WQE's many contributions to ham radio here in Clark County will provide many happy and lasting memories for us all.

Dick Goode, W8RVH - Richard M. (Dick) Goode became a "Silent Key" in September, 2015, and his always happy voice will be long remembered by members of CLARA and the ham radio community. Dick first got interested in ham radio while still in high school, up in St Paris, Ohio. This led to his serving In the US Army Air Corp, as an aircraft electronics specialist in the Pacific Arena during WW-II.

Following the War, Dick served a distinguished career, as an Electronics Engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and was one of the true pioneers of Amateur Television, where he was known world-wide. He was also a 'Founding Father' of many ham radio clubs here in Clark County, and he will be long remembered for his lasting contributions to ham radio.

Charles Wolf, KC8EVZ - Charles, age 90, passed away Saturday August 9, 2008 at the Ohio Masonic Home. He was born November 9, 1917 in West Liberty, Ohio. Charles was a 1937 graduate of Olive Branch High School and retired in 1981 from New Carlisle Tractor. He was a United States Army veteran of WWII who served in the Leyte and Luzon campaigns. Charles was a member of the First Christian Church and has been a mason for over 56 years. Charles served as the past worthy patron of the Eastern Star Lodge #198 in Manchester, Ohio and the past master mason of the Masonic Lodge #236 in Seaman, Ohio. He was an amateur radio operator for 11 years using the call letters KC8EVZ. He previously was involved with the Ohio State Parks Volunteers in Parks program Charles is preceded in death by his parents and sister Ruth Schaffer. Charles is survived by his wife of 57 years, Esther(Sweet) Wolfe of Springfield, sons Philip(Sandy), Steven(Connie) and Charles Eugene Wolfe, daughters Zelda(Bill) Sheline and Shirley Robinson, ten grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, brother Ralph(Ruth)Wolfe, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Maurice Unger, KA8CBO - Maurice Cyrus Unger, 93, died July 21, 2007, at Waterville, Ohio. He was born January 9, 1914, in Akron, Ohio, to Cyrus A. Unger and Jessie M. Unger. He was a graduate of Columbian High School, Tiffin, Ohio, Class of 1932. From 1933 to 1935, Maurice served as an ambulance driver with the Civilian Conservation Corps in northwestern Ohio. He then enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps and served as an aircraft mechanic/flight crew-chief from 1935 to 1940. He was a licensed private pilot, having learned to fly in the open-cockpit bi-planes of the 1930s.

Most of his early working life was spent as a civilian aircraft mechanic and engine technician, variously at Wright-Patterson Field, the Dayton (Ohio) Airport, in the State of Kansas, and at Detroit (Michigan) Airport. From 1957 to 1961, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he was employed by Allison Aircraft Engine Division of General Motors Corporation as a civilian jet engine technician, during which time he spent twenty-one months in South America, assisting the Brazilian Air Force in learning jet engine technology. After brief employment with National Cash Register Company in Dayton, he was appointed a Regular Patrolman with the New Carlisle, Ohio, Police Department. He also served with the New Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department and as a Clark County, Ohio, deputy sheriff. Thereafter he was employed as a quality control inspector by various manufacturing companies, retiring in 1979. During the 1960s he was an avid competitor in both the individual division and law enforcement division of the National Rifle & Pistol Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio. He was an active licensed amateur radio operator (HAM Radio) for more than forty years.

His radio club friends, especially in the New Carlisle-Springfield area, knew him well by his radio call letters, KA8CBO. His radio key has fallen silent and he will be greatly missed by all of his radio and military veteran friends. Maurice was a member of various Masonic organizations. He was especially affiliated with the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Dayton, Ohio, having achieved his 32nd Degree on November 17, 1945. In addition to that honor he received a 65 year award. He was a member of the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc., as well as a member of the Old Timers Club at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Larry Krupp, WA8VMF - It is with great sadness that on Sunday, March 6, 2005, Larry Krupp, WA8VMF became a Silent Key. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. He will be missed. 73 Larry and thanks for all you did for the Club.

Silent Keys (cont'd)

Foster E. "Fos" Warren, W8EHW - Long time Clark County ham "Fos" Warren, W8EHW, of North Hampton passed away on Friday April 1, 2005, at the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield. He was 92 years old. Fos was born on September 1, 1912, and was a 1931 graduate of North Hampton High School. Co-owner with his brother of Warren Bros. Garage in North Hampton for 32 years, Fos went on to teach auto mechanics at Clark County JVS for 11 years. He was a civic-minded citizen who served as Chief of the Pike Township Fire Dept. for 10 years.

W8EHW was an active ham for most of his life. Many CLARA members remember his activity on the VHF and UHF bands. In the 1950s and 1960s, well before repeaters became the vogue, Fos was very active on 2-meter AM where he made many friends. Later he could also be heard on Springfield and other area repeaters.

Fos was a member and past president of the Springfield Amateur Radio Club (SARC), a predecessor of the Clark County Amateur Radio Association (CLARA). He was also a charter member of the Amateur Television Association of Central Ohio (ATCO). He is survived by his wife, Helen, four sisters, three sons, seven grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

Bob "Mac" McHenry, N8VEX - A tribute to Bob by Bob, W8LCZ. Please understand, I'm just one of the other Bobs. When there were activities ongoing at our local scout camp, there used to be an 'our gang' of some six to eight Bobs. Let your imagination wander a moment to the poor, unsuspecting, young scout who would walk up to us and state "Hey, Bob". Talk about a re-Bob echo chamber.

My real point for the moment is that if there were only two Bobs present, one of the two would be Bob McHenry.

Somehow, Bob was always there, and there and there, whenever anything scouting, ham radio, or Moorefield Township was ongoing, Bob was always there. I'm not sure how, maybe he was twins or triplets.

He wasn't the man in charge certainly not if he could help it!! But who here can think of any event where you couldn't turn around and see that big grin of Bob's someplace in the middle of what's going on. That little van with the N8VEX, ham radio license plate, just seemed to be able to beam to every part of Clark county faster than the Enterprise.

On any given day, Bob would be somehow driving the Moorefield squad, while delivering some radios for Bob Hupp and the Clark County EMA, while driving across the county to help another good ham radio friend who's car was in the garage, while somehow working in lunch with Diane, while conducting a fire safety demonstration at Skyler's school, while, well, you get the picture.

I really looked up to Bob as my 'mentor' and one of my best friends.

You know, he was truly one of those Norman Rockwell examples of a true American hero. Which painting would you like, the us army veteran, the American Legion life member, an active Scouter for some 57 years from his youth in Post 6, up thru a Camp Birch wilderness engineer work project just a few weeks ago, or as the dedicated volunteer fireman and EMT.

Bob was my shining example of a family man who was totally committed to his community and his country. And without a doubt, he was absolutely enjoying every minute of it.

Well, maybe now I'm stepping a wee bit over the line about enjoying every minute.

Someplace I remember a quote about the man who makes no mistakes is the man who is doing nothing.

Our Bob was certainly not the man who did nothing. Aaaand he's made a few beauties. Among the wilderness engineers down at camp birch our now retired ranger Jack Gochenouer instituted an "oops award" well of course it was a scout camp, so we couldn't call it an oh-gosh or an oh-darn award. I have no idea who got the most awards, but Bob was among the leaders.

He earned one of his most memorable oops awards the day we were bringing an old army truck home from the surplus depot over in Columbus and good ole Army vet Mac (I just called him Mac to insure you didn't look at this bob) well, Mac was driving the army truck and we stopped just before Plain City for a break. I asked him how the truck was looking on fuel - aaaand - he trusted the fuel gauge replying that we had enough to make scout camp. You guessed it, less than three miles later, there we sat on the side of the road. Do you have any idea how long it takes to get a diesel engine to run after you've pulled air into the fuel lines???

But, with Bob always among us, we worked hard, we accomplished a lot of good things, and we played hard! Oh how we could pick on each other. And, one of our ringleaders for something fun would be well, that would be Bob at least one, two, or three of the Bobs.

And there were times we could get him well we could invoke his good ole McHenry blood. If we weren't doing something the safe or proper way, we'd certainly hear about it.

But then, I'm guessing we Scouts had no corner on this good, fatherly, safety officer, well, stubborn side of Bob. I've heard a few reports of Bob clearing the entire Moorefield station with everyone running for cover well except for one who got the duty of being the pacifier

Who knows, the next time you hear thunder and lightning, think of our Bob. The lightning would be St Peter's frustration as Bob is correcting him on how to run the ole Tele-squirt. And the thunder would be as Bob is mumbling, "Well I'll drive it myself", and the gears are grinding Truck 74 up to full power.

Let's thank our god for the 72 years that Bob McHenry blessed our country and community with his great smile and his ever presence. Certainly the good memories and example that he has shared with each of us should sustain us with happy memories for years to come.

God speed to you Bob, good husband, great father and cherished friend.

(This text was presented by Bob Beach, W8LCZ, at the funeral for Bob McHenry, N8VEX )

Allen Thomas, NP2JZ - Allen Thomas, NP2JZ, became a silent key In November, 2005. He leaves behind his lovely wife Mary Jo. Allen had recently moved to Springfield from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands due to health reasons. He had attended one of our VE test sessions and upgraded to Extra class. He will be sadly missed!