Alan Katz – KE0QFO, March 1954 – December 2023
Alan was a US Marine at Camp Pendleton, Camp LeJune, and Okinawa. It was during this time Alan learned the work-ethic of a servant leader. His work ethic later found him as the Administrator of the VA Hospital in Southern California. While a Jar Head, Alan picked up CB radio in those days. From Southern California, Alan retired and moved here around 2017, to buy a farm just north Pea Ridge.
His Ham radio beginnings began in the winter of 2018. Both Alan and Sheila tested at the BVRC testing sessions. On first contact, Alan got lost and wound up in Gravette, looking for the BVRC meeting at the church in Bella Vista. He was late and everyone stared when he opened the door. We welcomed him in as a newcomer. Once he found us, he and Sheila rarely missed a meeting.
Alan and I had a lot in common, I was also at Camp Lejune, and I was also born in 1954. Alan was about 9 months older than me. We had lots of discussions on his shack setup, on and off the air. I not only helped Alan and Sheila get their amateur radio license, but I was also Alan’s 1st contact on-the-air, on the Jane repeater.
Around 2022, Sheila Katz (K0ETA) passed, and Alan was taken aback. K0ETA’s shack still sits as it was, the day she passed, untouched. Alan overcame the death of his wife by doing what he knew best, serving others. Alan worked at the Whistling Springs Brewery on the weekends, helping as only he can.
Alan always helped with the Field Day setups and obtained donations for food, as well as cooking for everyone. Alan was our Meeting greeter, and always helped with the setup and clean up at the meetings. Alan was at most of the Saturday morning Breakfast meetings at the Hiwassee Hilton. Alan was present at most of our on-the-air nets and was even a net control for the legacy net for a while. His contributions to the success of BVRC were visible to all in the club.
His contributions to the NW Arkansas ham community were varied and many. Alan was helping the NWA EmComm group with the refurbishing a KNWA remote communications van for EmComm use. He would also take his camper out and help with other club events.
Alan had a servant leader’s heart, always behind the scenes, never wanting recognition. Everyone liked and loved Alan, on and off the air.
Why was Alan important to the club? Alan was an example for us all. His work-ethic was contagious. His smile was heartwarming. We are blessed to have known such a person. Many others in our area are the same, and indeed, the whole BVRC area is blessed with the people we all know in the club. Alan was known by the entire NW Arkansas amateur radio community, and we all share in the grief of his passing. Gone, but never forgotten, HOO-RAH!
by WB5L, Glenn Kilpatrick