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Those That Have Gone Before

A ham radio operator’s passage is noted by the term, “Silent Key,” indicating that the morse key that ham used is now silent. DELARA has created a “Hall of Fame” to honor those who’ve been an important part of our club, and to honor their memory, contribution and most of all their friendship. If you have recollections or a favorite story about one here, or if you know of an operator who should be included, please email us!@

Harold “Arch” Arnold W8HWA

Arch was a man who wore many hats in his lifetime. He was a native of Delaware County and graduated from Willis High School in 1949. Not many people knew all the important things he did with his life, that he was in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. He served with the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War and in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard Auxiliary, American Legion, and of course ARES and DELARA. He was a Delaware County Corrections Officer, and a member and former Trustee of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church. One of my favorite Arch stories relates to his first call-sign KC8RHZ. At each meeting we go around the room and everyone says their name and call-sign, whenever it was Arch's turn he would remove his hat (which had said KC8RHZ in BOLD letters!) so he could read his call from it. That was always good for a few well meaning laughs, and after a few years, just when he got that call memorized.....he changed it, and we started all over again! One thing Arch loved was Field Day. I put him in charge of the Public Information Display/Table and he did such a great job that after his passing it was a huge void to fill, he would personally go to each local fire station, police department and city hall in the county to invite everyone to visit our field day site, and some years we would actually have first responders and officials stop by! Arch was thrilled when his son Don, KD8BHF got his ham ticket during one of the classes and testing sessions that Joe, K8MP and myself put together back in 2005. Arch was an intricate cog in the DELARA wheel, I miss his enthusiasm for the hobby, and his smile. -Sandy, N8YS

Bill Barry K8DRE

Jean Blakeslee WB8FIC

One of my family's warmest DELARA memories is of a Christmas party at The Blakelee's. At the time of the party, one of my sons was in the midst of a science project for school. Jean and her hubby were teachers and they took the time at the party to talk to Josh about his project and even offered some suggestions. Joe, K8MP
Welcome to DELARA
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DELARA Hall of Fame

Bob Boucher N8BLB

Ed Crumb KA8SSA

George Cryder W8LGL

Johan Farstad N8DYC

When it was first suggested that DELARA should have a hall of fame for our members that have passed on, I immediately decided that I wanted to do the feature on Johan, N8DYC. I used to love hearing Johan’s stories of his childhood in Norway and also of his times at sea as a radio operator on a merchant ship. Johan grew up in a fishing family. It wasn’t just a hobby. It was the family business. His best fishing story told about the time he landed a halibut that weighed about 400 pounds. He was just a kid at the time. What a thrill that must have been. And I’m sure his “fame” as a fisherman grew quickly as the news spread through his village on the North Atlantic. Johan used to love to talk about his life in the radio room aboard ship. In those days, it was all CW (Morse code). It was from him that I learned about the 500 kilocycle emergency frequency. I believe 500 KC’s was also used for sending routine traffic but when a distress call came through, the frequency would go silent so the ship which was in peril could get its information through. Most of his time in the radio room was spent copying routine traffic, probably from shore stations. Weather reports, the news, and messages from loved ones probably made up the bulk of it. This brings me to an amazing statement Johan once made: He told me he could read a book and simultaneously copy those messages. He’d have the book in one hand and a pencil in the other and just write things down as they came across the air waves. His brain was focused on the book but his fingers just kept writing what his ears were hearing. Johan also loved teaching “the code.” When Morse was still required by the FCC, he was our “go-to” guy for teaching CW to our Ham class students. When my son Brian was working toward his Novice license, Johan very patiently taught him and got him through the code portion of the exam. Johan moved to California in 2001 and not long afterwards he put his Kenwood TS-830S up for sale. I had wanted one for a long time. We agreed on a price and he even threw in a spare set of 6146B’s. I think of Johan every time I fire up that ‘830. N8DYC: Gone but not forgotten. Joe, K8MP

Paul Forgrave K8ES

Paul was a ton of help when I had my antenna battle with Orange Township many years ago. He was an attorney and he wasn't one to mince words. When the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting ended on the night of my hearing, the first thing out of Paul's mouth was "Now we take them to federal court." Joe, K8MP

Frank Germann N8DRT

Martin Kelly WA8DZD

Del Lafferty KC8MJ

Bob McDonnell KD8RBJ

Ellis Miller W8ARP

Charlie WD8NII and Violet Rozelle KB8EKG

Bob Scott WB8JEY

“Bobby”, by which he was affectionately known, was a wonderful, friendly, kind-hearted ham who was always ready to talk about ham radio. His interests included working DX, being DX (many Palm Island trips under his belt), having long conversations with Dr. Ron Long almost every night about the Collins KWM-380 radio which both of them bought shortly after it’s release, being elated when his new 100’ tower that Steve Icono built for him was finally erected, and being equally dismayed when a guy wire broke and it came crashing to the ground several months later. Bob certainly had his share of ups and downs throughout his short life as he was plagued with Multiple Sclerosis which he succumbed to in 1989. I remember him always looking forward to Field Day and despite the fact he could not get around too easily, he was always there, even in the worst weather conditions. I also remember going up to visit him at his home on Tanglewood Golf Course on Cheshire Road in Delaware, Ohio. His parents built the home specifically with him in mind in that it had an elevator that Bobby could use to go from the ground floor up to his radio shack. He spent hours and hours in that shack talking to locals and DX alike, making friends and creating long lasting memories. Even though it’s been 25 years since he passed, I still think of him on occasion. He was just one of those unforgettable hams that left an imprint on me that I will never forget and I’ll always treasure the time I spent talking radio with him, both in person and on the air. Dale – W8KTQ Photo- Staff Stafford presents Bob Scott with the first DELARA “Ham of the Year” award, at the first DELARA Holiday Party in 1984. It was held at Tanglewood Gold Course.

Rev. Gilbert (Gil) Schroeder N8KSP

Throughout his career, he worked in a number of capacities, as a programmer for IBM, with Arthur Anderson, and with BF Goodrich. He then felt a calling to serve God and began seminary studies with the AFLC (Association of Free Lutheran Congregations). During seminary and internships he worked with NCR. He was ordained in Cleveland at the Word of Life Church in 1980 which eventually led to serving as a pastor of three churches in and around Tioga, North Dakota. Coming to Delaware in 1987 he re-entered the public work force, using his computer skills with Scotts Co. and then Fourth Channel, a venture capital group. He finally retired in 2007 from Chase Bank, where he worked in the capacity of technical writer and trainer. Throughout the years he continued to pastor in his own way and until the fall of 2013 served as Visitation Pastor for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Delaware, where he was a member. In his younger years he volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol and was president of the Cleveland Jaycee’s. He also enjoyed garden railroading, was a finish woodworker, and assisted with Habitat for Humanity in Delaware, helping to wire and plumb several homes. Gil also was a member of DELARA, Delaware Amateur Radio Assn., operating under the call letters “N8KSP”. With a passion for the ham radio, he organized and taught several training classes.

Joe “Staff” Stafford NJ8F

Staff was among the founders of DELARA and our first President, and for several years thereafter. I always felt a connection to him because my Mother’s maiden name was Stafford and I was convinced that we were related, even though we could never prove that. Staff was a true Gentleman and Diplomat, always bringing out the best in everyone around him. When we first met he was primarily a low band operator and new to Delaware County, but loved our idea of bringing folks with different interests together to see what we could learn from each other. As you know, that is still the “backbone” of our organization. If you get a chance to read some of his articles in archived copies of the DELARA News, I’m sure you will see why we still miss him today. Ken , W8SMK I have to tell you all about the time Staff bailed me out at Field Day. I think it was my very first FD with DELARA which would have been 1987. I was in the final stages of getting ready for the contest when I noticed that the ammeter on my rig's power supply said the rig was drawing 20 amps...in receive !!! That could only mean one thing; The final transistors were shorted. Talk about being bummed. I was already to do 24 hours of my favorite Ham radio activity and my rig went belly up. "Well heck" said Staff, "How 'bout I run home and grab a rig for you?" Ol' Staff came to the rescue and I was back on the air. I'll never forget Staff and the time he saved Field Day for me. Joe, K8MP

Paul Thomas N8TQN

Ben Van Sorge N8TPV

Bill Vogt NE8U

Dick Wynkoop KB8HXM

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Club Members: If you have a story to tell about someone in our Hall of Fame, or even better a picture, please email and we’ll gladly add it!