Silent Keys

A tribute to a few of the silent keys I have known.

I have made a lot of friends and acquaintances as an amateur radio operator. Some of these folks have given me advice; some are friends; and some are great examples. The hobby is a unique brotherhood. Many of the people I have come across are well along in years. Occasionally one of these amateurs goes silent key (passes away). The list below is not complete by any means. They are hams who I was close enough to that I knew of their passing. These are people I have looked up to during my years as an amateur.


Richard Heward
Born: 29 September 1958
SK: 30 June 2021

I heard Richard on the air even before I had a license. I would hear him in QSOs, especially the ones with Doug WE7BBQ. Richard had medical problems that limited his mobility. He never let that keep him down. He was always looking for ways to help people. He would monitor the weather, freeway traffic and wildfires and let people know about them over the air. Sometimes he was there just to cheer people up with a kind thought. He was a great example to all. He was one of the founding members of the UARC 76ers social group, as he wanted to make sure somebody was always there to answer a CQ on the 146.76 repeater in Utah County. I have 203 QSOs logged with Richard, the last one being on 1 April 2021. He was so thoughtful, that the day after he passed away, his daughter Elizabeth called me to let me know. Richard had prepared this list of his friends who he cared about so much for his family to contact.



Rest in Peace K7KGK


Dennis Cupp
SK: 18 April 2021

I knew Dennis from the Skyline Radio Club net, meetings and one field day. Dennis was a wealth of information on solar power. He had run his house completely on solar for a long time. He said when he started in the 80s, there was not a lot of equipment out there, and he would use voltage regulators from cars as charge controllers. He has one of the main sources of information for the solar power on my own portable setups.



Mack Gilbert
Veteran US Air Force
Born: 15 November 1943
SK: 24 June 2020

I knew Mack from the Skyline Radio Club in Sanpete County, both from the weekly Sunday night nets, and in person at meetings. Mack had a lot of knowledge from years of experience both as a professional and a radio amateur in the states of Utah and Idaho. He was willing to share that information with others, and it was a great benefit to know him.



Lovell Kilpack
WWII Veteran US Army Airforce
Born: 30 April 1925
SK: 26 August 2019

I started checking in to the Mercury Rocky Mountain Net on Saturdays in September 2018, shortly after I started using my HF capabilities. One of net controls was Lovell. He lived in Orem, and I always loved to hear his melodious voice when he was net control. He always had a great signal at my QTH in American Fork, since he lived in Orem. I think he was net control on the third Saturday of the month. The last time I heard him as net control was in May 2019, although he probably was on after that. He is one of the last great World War II veterans that we have had with us.



Dan Reid
Born: 27 August 1966
SK: 26 July 2019

When I heard about Dan‘s passing, I was in Texas visiting family. It came as a shock. He was a year younger than I. I credit Dan for getting me interested in participating in contests. He used to announce the upcoming contests weekly on the UARC 76ers Net. I also enjoyed Dan’s sense of humor including his blind jokes (Dan was blind). I have 14 QSOs with Dan in my log, the last one being four months before his passing.



Nick Wille
Veteran US Army
Born: 19 April 1932
SK: 2 July 2019

I listened to Nick (the Old Man in Riverton) quite a bit before I even got my license. Nick was always everybody’s friend. He held the Friday lunch bunches. At the lunch bunches, Nick would liberally pass out Werther’s. The first one I attended was at Jim’s in Riverton, near Nicks home QTH. Those lunch bunches were always great time to get acquainted with other hams. On the air, Nick always liked to talk about the Utah Jazz. Other topics included philosophy, all he could learn from educational TV programs (it opened the world to him), and his time in the Army. He had been stationed in Bitburg shortly after World War 2. I was stationed not too far from there near Baumholder more than thirty years later. I knew the Bitburg area well, and Nick liked to talk to me about Germany. I have 43 QSOs with Nick in my log, the last one being less than four months before he passed away.



Allen Klinefelter
Veteran US Army
Born: 26 May 1951
SK: 9 August 2018

I used to talk to Allen when he was taking his wife to work or picking her up from work. They lived in Eagle Mountain and she worked in Lindon. I was usually going to work. We used to talk about his time working at the prison in Rawlins, Wyoming and his time in and around the District of Columbia including his time in the Army. I have record of 7 QSOs with him, the last being eight months before his passing.



Jack Forbes
Born: 22 June 1929
SK: 3 June 2018

When I was a new ham, I used to hear Jack in Cedar Hills on the air from time to time. His QSOs were always brief, but I got a true since of his enthusiasm for life. He used to talk about his grandson who was watching over him quite a bit. Unfortunately, he passed away about a year and a half after I got my license. I only have three QSOs logged with him; the final one being about three months before his passing.


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