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Silent Keys

Those we remember who are now Silent Keys

Ron Murdock W6KJ (SK)
Ron Murdock W6KJ (SK)

Our past ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager, Ronald Murdock, W6KJ, passed away peacefully at home by his beloved wife Jo Anne, N6YLO, on the morning of April 1, 2017.

Ron was a very active and long-standing member of the American Radio Relay League. He served as ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager from July 2007 through September 2015. Ron was a US Air Force veteran, who flew 300 combat missions as a B52 radar navigator. He also worked as a substitute teacher for 15 years. Ron listed his amateur radio interests as: Amateur Satellites, Building Antennas, Building Equipment/Kits/Accessories, Club Meetings, Continuing Education Training/Courses, Conventions Hamfests Flea Markets Or Swap Meets, DXing, Emergency Communications/ARES/RACES, Field Day, Giving License Exams, hamfests, Making New Friends, Mobile Or Portable Operating, Nets, Personal Safety, Public Service Or Community Safety, Ragchewing/Casual Operating, Recruiting New Hams, Talking With Friends, Teaching New Hams, and Traffic Handling."

Here is Ron's QRZ.com profile: "First licensed in Michigan as WN8WRT and over the next four years I had four different call signs. Kept WB5FIX for 25 years, before applying for W6KJ, the call of my good friend Russ Hanlon of San Francisco. For over 25 years I served in the USAF, first as a B52 radar navigator (over 5000 hours and about 300 combat missions in SEA) and then in various staff positions. I travelled at government expense to Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, and Panama. I had one tour near our nation's capital, flew on Looking Glass (SAC Airborne Command Post) and finished up at the unit that flys the U-2 and SR-71. After USAF combat crew service, I worked as a substitute teacher for 15 years. I served as ARRL Section Manager in the Sacramento Valley Section (20 counties of Northeastern California) for eight years, three months unitl 1 October 2015. My favorite ham radio activity is rag chewing and helping new hams get on the air. I am currently using software defined radios (K3 and Flex 6300) and a five band four element quad at 50 feet, and 40m and 80m dipoles."

Ron wrote in his ARRL profile: "Ham Radio got my interest in high school. I built two shortwave receivers, Allied and Heathkit, and started learning the code. College intervened, then marriage and the Air Force. My first ticket was WN8WRT. Never have stopped loving ham radio."


Norm Brooks K6FO (SK)
Norman Brooks K6FO (SK)

River City ARCS Life member Norm Brooks, K6FO passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. His 100th birthday was on June 1. Among his many accomplishments and interests, Norm earned DX Century Club and Worked All States awards, and operated 160 meters through 70 cm. Norm was a member of ARRL (Life), AMSAT, QCWA, 10-10 International, the Northern California DX Club, the 3905 Century Club, North Hills Radio Club, Mt. Vaca Radio Club and the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society (Life). He was a staff writer for WorldRadio Magazine and was published in QST Magazine.

A Celebration of Life will be planned within the next two months. Norm is survived by his daughter Kaayla Jaret KA6YLA.


Mary Anne Balthrope KE6EST
Mary Anne Balthrope KE6EST
 (SK)
Mary Anne Balthrope, KE6EST, became a Silent Key at the age of 84 on Friday noon, February 12, 2016. Mary Anne had been a member of River City ARCS for many years and was the 2012 recipient of the Lyle Aufranc Memorial Award.  She designed and managed the River City ARCS logo clothing articles for 17 years.
Mary Anne regularly provided communications support for the March of Dimes, MS Walks, the California International Marathon, and for the Clarksburg Country Run for 14 years, during 12 of which she served as Net Control.
Mary Anne and her husband Bob Balthrope KD6WTY were instrumental in developing and organizing communications safety systems for the equestrian community, including the Sweep Riders of the Sierra (SOS), the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup), and the Lake Oroville Vista Endurance Ride (LOVER). 
Mary Anne is survived by her husband Bob Balthrope.  
(Photo from 2012 River City ARCS Holiday Party, courtesy of Ken Martin KE6RMN)

Armond Noble, N6WR at 2008 Field DayArmond Noble N6WR (SK)
Armond Noble, age 77, passed away on the morning of Wednesday February 1, 2012.  He inspired the formation of the River City ARCS, was an Honorary Life Member thereof, and was founding publisher of the monthly WorldRadio magazine in print since July 1971 until acquired in 2008 by CQ Communications when Armond retired.  He is survived by his wife Helen Noble. (Photo from 2008 Field Day courtesy of Tony Leneis, N6DXX)


Chuck Freas W6FT
Chuck Freas W6FT
 (SK)
Chuck Freas, W6FT, became a Silent Key Tuesday evening, May 26, 2015. Chuck had been a member of River City ARCS for many years, received the 2010 Aufranc Memorial Award and was awarded Life Membership at our December 2014 meeting. He served us in more ways that we can mention. He was Club President in 2003 and Vice President several times, a Board member for many years, and most recently was our repeater coordinator. He loved Amateur Radio and was a friend and mentor to everyone he came in contact with. Chuck gave the term "Elmer" real meaning. He loved Field Day, and until the last couple of years when his health prevented it, he was always there with his equipment, knowledge and enthusiasm. Boy Scouts were a special interest of his, so he usually arranged for a local troop to spend time with us earning their Radio Badges.
Chuck was retired from the United States Air Force. Some of his fondest memories and stories were of his days as a Crew Chief. He referred to the aircraft he crewed as "My Airplane" and no one, regardless of rank, had better damage it. When he retired he couldn't give up flying, so he started flying remote control planes. An accomplished machinist, he could fabricate any part you needed.
Internment was at the Dixon Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Chuck is survived by his wife Marianna.

Dale Hankins, AD6CT at 2007 Field DayDale Hankins AD6CT (SK)
Dale became a silent key at the age of 71 early morning on Saturday August 13, 2011. Born on March 1, 1940 in Corpus Christi, TX, Dale was an integral part of the RCARCS for many years acting as a Board Member, and Officer positions including President.   Dale was always willing to help with equipment and our thoughts and best wishes are with Kay KF6IZU.


Oran "Bud" Dunham K6ZSV (SK)
Oran "Bud" Dunham, K6ZSV

12/26/1926 - 7/15/2015

Bud Dunham passed away peacefully in Roseville, CA. with his family at his bedside after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was a devoted and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 65 years Shirley, devoted sons Rick (Tina) and Dan, and grandchildren Eliana Susan and Christian. He was also Lolo to Patrick, Raenalynn, Brandon, Jared, Mikey, and Devon.

Born in Durant, Oklahoma, he relocated with his family to California when he was 15 years old. Bud served his country through both World War II in the Maritime services, and in the US Army in Korea, then worked for PG&E for 46 years until his retirement. Bud was an avid HAM Radio operator (K6ZSV) throughout his adult life (a River City ARCS member through 2010), competed in Rodeo events in his younger years, enjoyed hunting and fishing, and spent several years after retirement shooting in national level competitive Trap and Skeet events throughout the U.S. and Canada. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Ben Ali Shriner.

Memorial, Military Honors and Interment will be held 8-14-2015, 10:00 AM, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Rd., Dixon, CA 95620. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Lyle Aufranc AA6DJ (SK)
Lyle Aufranc, AA6DJ (ex-WA6RPB), a long time charter member of RCARCS, passed away on May 8, 2008. At one time, the RCARCS had a small office on El Camino near Loretto High School and Lyle essentially ran the office for nearly 15 years. He could be found in the office most weekdays from 9-5. The office was used to run a sweepstakes one year using Dale Hankins AD6CT call. After the office was closed Lyle was given an award in 1998 in appreciation of his 20 years of service to the club. This was a plaque with a clock on it. Lyle was also an active VE and instructor. In 1989 Lyle was given the prestigious "ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year" award. One other notable winner of this award is Gordon West WB6NOA (1984).  In 2009, the River City ARCS established the Annual Lyle Aufranc Memorial Award in recognition for a member's exceptional service.

Jettie Hill W6RFF (SK)
Jettie B. Hill W6RFF
 (SK)
Long-time ARRL Field Organization volunteer Jettie B. Hill, W6RFF, of Roseville, California, died September 21, 2014. He was 93. An ARRL Life Member, Hill served as ARRL Santa Clara Valley Section Communications Manager (later "Section Manager") from 1978 until 1982. He was the ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director in 1982 and 1983. Following his retirement in 1984, he relocated to Roseville and subsequently served as Sacramento Valley Section Manager from 1989 until 2000 and again from 2002 until 2006.

Wesley Bjur N6UD
Wesley Eugene Bjur N6UD
 (SK)
Wesley Bjur N6UD became a silent key on March 21, 2013. His wife Dottie had passed away on October 3, 2012. He had belonged to RCARCS for a number of years.


Red Erickson W2KWN (SK)
“Red” Erickson, W2KWN, passed away in October 2004. “Red” was a long time member of River City ARCS and North Hills Radio Club. He will be remembered as a kind, fun-loving Ham and good friend. Our sincere condolences to his wife Edie, W5BBO.

Carl Crump WA6VLS
Carl Crump WA6VLS
 (SK)
Carl Crump WA6VLS a long time member of RCARCS passed away on November 3, 2011. Carl was a 20 year veteran of the US Air Force. He also was active as a VE examiner.

John Healy KG6PIT (SK)
John Healy KG6PIT (SK) became a silent key on December 25, 2010. John was a former Officer in the North Hills Radio Club. We at the RCARCS send our condolences to the Healy family.

Windy Hardie K5HZW (SK)
Windy Hardie K5HZW became a silent key on November 15, 2011. Windy certainly had the “luck of the Irish” at our club meetings and always seemed to win a raffle prize or two!

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