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Silent Key is a term of respect for a deceased amateur radio operator. The key in the term refers to a telegraph key, the instrument that all early amateur radio operators, as well as many contemporary amateur radio operators, have used to send Morse code. The term SK is used in telegraphy to indicate an end of transmission. Today, the term is commonly used within the radio community as a sign of respect and condolence regardless of whether the deceased was an amateur radio operator.

Please provide Silent Key information to RCA Administrative Director, Amy Beckham, for inclusion on this page and in our publications.
Francis George "Spike" Fuson, September 27, 2044 - July 14, 2023

“Spike” Fuson (aka/dba Francis George Fuson) passed away, at 78, while bouncing stark naked off the new MSG Sphere which, at the time, was lit up like a human eyeball. (Not really, but at least now Spike has your attention and he’d be thrilled to see you at his Celebration of Life party on July 26th, 2023.)

Born in 1944 in Baltimore, Spike left the mortal world on July 14, 2023, to join his mom, Aglaia, and his dad, Francis, who welcomed him with a huge party on a gorgeous white beach in a parallel Kefalonia with Jimmy Buffett playing Son of a Son of a Sailor.

Spike was a communications visionary/genius who predicted the global surge of instantaneous communications through the advent of cell phones. His legacy in the cell phone industry is remarkable and legendary. Business 101 began right after high school when Spike worked for his father at Reliable Service. This dynamic duo then started Communications Engineering which was a pioneer in the 2-way radio business.

Read his full obituary HERE.

Charles Barton Whitehouse "Bart", September 7, 1933 - April 8, 2024

A Celebration of Life will be held Monday May 13, 2024 at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum, 7711 E. Academy Blvd Denver CO in the Lowry Room at 1:30 pm.
Former Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division, Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, passed away February 23, 2024

Former Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division and ARRL Maxim Society Member William "Bill" Hudzik, W2UDT, has passed away at the age of 77.

Hudzik served as Vice Director from 2011 to 2022, and he had previously been Section Manager of the ARRL Northern New Jersey Section.  

Hudzik was first licensed in 1961 as WV2UDT, and he was active in VHF contesting at the time.  

He quickly gained a reputation as someone willing and able to help. "He was probably one of the most capable people I have ever known. It didn't matter what you were doing, he knew how to deal with it," said ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV. Naumann had known Hudzik for 45 years. "Bill set a very high bar for how to treat people," he said.  

Hudzik served in the military and used his radio skills to help his fellow servicepeople. He spent the holiday season of 1966 - 1967 running phone patches from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, as KR6SP.  

Hudzik called himself a "contest junkie" and enjoyed operating in contests from V26B in Antigua and Barbuda. He was part of several high-scoring team activations from the station. He also operated from St. Croix and wrote about the trip for ARRL (see Vacation, Contesting and Friends - Perfect Together).  

Hudzik served as Section Manager from 2001 to 2008. He was active in government affairs to advance amateur radio in the Garden State. In 2011, he was appointed to serve as Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division. He served in that capacity until an illness forced his retirement in 2022.  

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, praised the impact Hudzik had on amateur radio. "Bill served ARRL and its members for many years. It was evident from the beginning that he was someone special. He was highly respected, friendly with all, and showed great insight and patience. Bill left a legacy that will be remembered. It was a privilege to have known him," he said.  

ARRL Hudson Division Director Nomar Vizcarrondo, NP4H, says Hudzik's guidance was invaluable to him as he started in the role. "I am deeply saddened by Bill's passing. Shortly after he resigned as Vice Director for the Division because of his health and I was appointed to continue his term, Bill reached out and offered me his support and guidance. It was a pleasure and honor to have known him. Board Members at ARRL along with our Hudson Division family are saddened by his passing and acknowledge the great human being and Amateur Radio Operator he was. He will be truly missed. Godspeed W2UDT," wrote Vizcarrondo.  

A celebration of life will be planned in the future.

Andrew “Andy” Seybold, 77, passed away Tuesday, May 2, 2023 in Phoenix, AZ

Longtime public-safety and wireless-communications consultant and writer Andrew “Andy” Seybold, 77, died Tuesday morning at his home in Phoenix after a lengthy battle with a series of health problems.

A prolific writer, Seybold wrote about wireless communications in a variety of venues—in columns for newsletters, in white papers as a consultant, and as an author of two books—and was known for his ability to distill highly technical concepts into language that could be understood by non-engineers. His “Public Safety Advocate” columns continue to be read closely and spark endless conversations about the critical-communications industry even today.

A graduate of Drexel University with an electrical engineering degree, Seybold’s career included significant work in both the two-way-radio industry—working for RCA Mobile Communications, General Electric Mobile Radio, BioCom, and Motorola Communications and Electronics—and cellular communications. In the cellular arena, Seybold consulted for major carriers, and his Wireless Data University supplemented multiple CTIA events. He also did consulting work in the computer industry for a short time.

Seybold was a longtime amateur-radio operator and a supporter of public-safety communications systems, particularly those near the geographic areas where he lived.

This varied background helped prepare Seybold for one of the most significant roles of his career, voluntarily serving as the key technical expert who explained the potential uses—and implementation challenges—associated with proposed public-safety-broadband initiatives.

Many cited Seybold’s technical explanations—to cellular, public-safety and congressional personnel—as being foundational education to key players as Congress eventually awarded the 700 MHz D Block spectrum to public safety and established the FirstNet Authority in 2012.

Seybold was a long-time member of RCA, was elevated to RCA Fellow in 2000 and was awarded the Sarnoff Citation in 2010 in recognition of exceptional contributions of a technical or non-technical nature to the advancement of electronic communications.

BejcekCharles Reardon Bejcek, 83, of Carrollton, TX, passed away on December 19, 2022 in Plano, TX .

Chuck was born on October 7th, 1939 to Otto John & Betty Jo Bejcek in Phoenix, Arizona and was the 1st of 3 boys, brother to Richard and John. The family moved to San Gabriel, California in 1944 and he attended Alhambra High School, later transferring to San Gabriel High School where he graduated in 1957. Upon the family moving to San Francisco, Chuck went on to attend Menlo College where he studied International Relations until the family moved to Dallas, TX in 1959. He then went on to proudly serve his country in the US Airforce from April 5th, 1960 to Dec 18th 1963, during which time they sent him to Yale University to learn Mandarin and become an interpreter for the USAF. He later joined the ROTC after being honorably discharged from the USAF and resigned his commission with the ROTC program in 1968. 

Chuck went on to work in the communications industry at Motorola until 1976. He then became an independent rep for Gentry Marketing until starting his own communications company, Comquip, with his Dad OJ in 1981. Chuck joined Carroll Hollingsworth, a close friend, at DH Marketing and remained with them until his passing.  

You can read the full obituary HERE.

WhitneyDonald Whitney passed away December 28, 2022.

Don enjoyed a long tenure in public safety. He joined Motorola in 1973 in public safety communications, eventually working in many markets for the next 34 years. He was active in APCO to include service on the board of directors. He was honored by APCO in 2015 for a lifetime of APCO services as a recipient of the Jack Daniel Award of Distinction.

Don was a long time member of the Radio Club of America, where he was elevated to the status of Fellow in November 2021. 

Funeral arrangements are pending. More information can be found HERE.
ShulerOlin Glenn Shuler, age 92, of Quincy, Illinois, passed away Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 1:10 PM at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.  He was born on July 24, 1930, in South Palmyra Township, near Hettick, Illinois, the son of Oren and Josephine Piskacek Shuler.  He married Norma Schlipman on April 11, 1959, at St. Peter’s Church in Coatsburg, Illinois.  She preceded him in death on November 17, 2015.  

As a longtime member of Radio Club of America, he was 2014 recipient of their Fred M Link Award related to first production of the FM car radio.  He was four times president of Antique Radio Club of Illinois between 2011-2014, and Four-times president of the local Quinsippi Section –ASQ and a Member of ARRL (American Radio Relay League).  He was a member of  Silver Dollars Square Dance Club, Great River Genealogical Society, Great River Jazz Preservation Society, Antique Radio Club of Illinois, Mid-America Antique Radio Club, Antique Wireless Association, Radio Club of America.

Read his full obituary HERE.

Thomas R PoorThomas R. Poor, RCA Fellow 1990

Thomas R. Poor passed away on 12/8/2022 after a 3 week illness. Tom was born 10/26/1925 and had just turned 97.  Tom was a WW2 Navy Veteran and was on the Command Ship USS MT Olympus for the Japanese Surrender in Tokyo Harbor. Tom went to work for Pacific Telephone in 1949 and was a technician on the Route 99 experimental mobile phone system for PT&T. Tom Started Bakersfield Electronics (later name changed to Communication Enterprises "CEI") in 1951 to serve the mobile communication needs of the San Joaquin Central valley. Tom worked on such radios as Link, RCA, Midland, and became a GE manufacture rep and dealer in 1955. Between 1972 and 1986, CEI was a GE top 10 national dealer for 13 out of the 14 years. Tom is survived by his wife of 73 years Alberta, 4 daughters, and 2 sons. All of his children at one time were in the wireless communication business in some form. CEI is still ran by his youngest son Paul (RCA member).

Read his full obituary HERE.

Harry Dannals, W2HD - August 30, 2022  RCA Fellow 1974

Harry Dannals was an ARRL President Emeritus.  He served as ARRL President for 10 years, from 1972 - 1982, and his President Emeritus status was conferred in 1984. Dannals was also an RCA Fellow.  His obituary may be found here:

Michael FitchFitch — July 22, 2022

Michael T.N. Fitch’s parents owned and operated the only radio station in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a daytime AM station. His began while working at KGLN part-time. He earned a B.S.E.E. at Purdue University, Indiana and a J.D. from Columbia University in New York City.

He advanced from staff attorney to bureau chief and senior legal and international advisor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He also served as a presidential exchange executive from the FCC at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh. Subsequently, he moved to the U.S. Department of State as an office director and deputy assistant secretary of state in the Communications and Information Policy Bureau. He represented the U.S. government and commercial interests in global negotiations at International Telecommunication Union World Radio Conferences. He led U.S. delegations to ITU, Intelsat, and Inmarsat conferences.
In 1996, Mr. Fitch became vice president of regulatory affairs and spectrum management for Hughes Communications, a part of Hughes Electronics, in Los Angeles. He served as a member of the board of directors and served as chairman of the board of the Satellite Industry Association. When Hughes Space and Communications was acquired by Boeing, he continued his telecommunications responsibilities as well as some new programs involving Homeland Security. At Boeing, he was vice president of the U.S. ITU Association.

From 2005-2012, Mr. Fitch was president and CEO of WIA–The Wireless Infrastructure Association, succeeding Jay Kitchen. He led a successful legislative effort that resulted in collocation by right at many wireless towers and sites in the U.S.

He was senior counsel at the law firm Keller and Heckman LLP, working on wireless communications issues. He is an officer and member of the board of directors of the California Wireless Association and a Fellow in the Radio Club of America, where he was also an early recipient of the Jay Kitchen Leadership Award.

Read more HERE.
June P. Poppele

June P. Poppele, 95, of Morristown, passed away peacefully on July 7, 2022. She previously lived in South Orange with her parents Jack and Pauline. Her father Jack was a radio pioneer, founder of WOR, and co-founder of Tele-Measurements, Inc., in Clifton where she was the office manager for over 30 years.

She was a long time active member and Fellow of the Radio Club of America, where she was also a recipient of the Special Services Award (1999) and the President's Award (1992).She was also the Secretary of the Republican Club of Morristown, member emeritus and co-founder of Mardog, the Morris Area Responsible Dog Ownership Group. June was an avid gardener and enjoyed boating at the shore, and her home on Lake Mohawk.

She is predeceased by her sister, Lorraine Flower, and her beloved dog, Katie. She is survived by her sister, Virginia Endres, nephew Chris Endres and his wife Christien of Montville, David Endres and his wife Lisa of New Providence, and niece Laura Erickson and her husband Kris of Rhode Island. She is also survived by her dear great-nieces and nephew Alyssa, Kelley, Heather, and Jenna Endres, and Jack and Aubrey Erickson.

A full obituary can be found HERE.

SoiferRay Soifer, W2RS

Satellite pioneer Raphael “Ray” Soifer, W2RS, of Green Valley, Arizona, died on March 1. An RCA Fellow and past board member, he was 79.

Licensed in 1955, Soifer was among those involved in founding the AMSAT organization. A native of New York City, he studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and then obtained an MBA at Harvard Business School. His career was in finance, serving as a news media banking commentator and banking analyst.

As a 16-year-old at MIT, Soifer served as lead engineer in the AMSAT organization’s satellite radio projects, including early ham satellite OSCAR-1. He was featured in Time magazine in 1960 for this work.

Soifer has written many articles for QST, RadCom, The AMSAT Journal, and other ham publications, mostly about satellites and moonbounce. He holds Satellite DXCC No. 13 and Satellite Worked All Continents (WAC) No. 6, both earned entirely via low-Earth-orbit spacecraft.

Soifer participated in the first two-way contact in any radio service via satellite-to-satellite relay, with W2BXA (SK) via AMSAT-OSCAR 7 and AMSAT-OSCAR 6 in 1975, as well as the first known contact via satellite ionization trail reflection, a propagation mode first reported by W8JK (SK) in 1958. He was active on 2-meter moonbounce from 1985 until 1995. Other call signs held over the years include K1WXC, K2QBW, WA4IJR, and G3DDU.

A full obituary can be found HERE.

Mark David Pallans
January 24, 1943 - October 18, 2021

Mark David PALLANS, age 78, of North Las Vegas, Nevada passed away on Monday, October 18, 2021. Mark was born January 24, 1943 in Astoria, NY.

Full obituary here

VaughnDonald Taylor Vaughan, Jr.

Donald Taylor Vaughan, Jr., a resident of Oceanport, NJ, died September 10, 2021. Don was born September 25, 1949 in Neptune, NJ but lived most of his life in Oceanport, NJ.  He went to Shore Regional High School. Don attended Drexel University where he received a BS in Humanities and Social Science.  In 2003, he achieved his MBA from University of Phoenix. He worked as a project manager, most recently for the MTA, designing radio systems. He was also a Fellow in the Radio Club of America. Don was very proud of the work that he did to make sure that our law enforcement officers could communicate effectively for the safety of all. 

Don is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, Elaine Vaughan, their two children Corey and Megan, and their spouses Kimberley and Pete, and his grandchildren Elizabeth, Emily, Abby, and Samantha. He is also survived by his brother David, and his wife, Rebekah.  Don is also survived by numerous other family including and friends all of whom had great meaning in his life.  He was predeceased by his parents Donald Vaughan Sr. and Constance Vaughan. 

Don was a hardworking man who also volunteered time with local police and fire departments. He had a great sense of adventure, loved to travel and try new things. His sense of humor and quick wit made people at ease with him quickly. He was an avid reader, who loved science fiction and history.  What made Don the happiest was being with his family, especially his four granddaughters, who were his pride and joy. 

A memorial gathering will be held Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 1:00 pm until the time of the service at 2:30 pm at Damiano Funeral Home in Long Branch. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Radio Club of America.

Raymond Trott

TrottTROTT, Raymond Clark Born on February 28, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts, Raymond Clark Trott passed away on August 27, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Preceded in death by his parents Alice and Joseph Trott, and siblings Joe, Buddy, and Dottie, Ray leaves behind his beloved wife of 60 years, Eleanor, and daughters Roxanne Trott, Suzanne Hodek (husband Kent), and Sharlene Darden (husband Terry). He was the proud grandfather of Elizabeth Young (husband Jeff) and Matthew Darden, and great grandchildren Blake, Jeffrey ("JJ"), Zachary, and Everett ("Rhett"). Ray grew up in Braintree, Massachusetts and served in the United States Army, where he trained in radar technology. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1960, he began a career that would span 50 plus years in mobile communications, forming his own company, Trott Communications, in 1978, where he specialized in the design and implementation of mobile radio and cellular systems for many municipalities, as well as public and private corporations around the world. A pioneer and industry leader, he was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame in 2010, served as a past president, director, and frequent master of ceremonies for Radio Club of America, and was a Life Senior Member of IEEE. Ray had a wonderful sense of humor and loved his travels with Eleanor, including a flight on the Concord, riding the Orient Express and their favorite destination, Hawaii. Ray had a deep compassion for animals; his beloved family pets were Countess, Hans, Wiley, Oscar, Bonnie and Chloe. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Dallas SPCA.

Carl Mathis

Carl Johnson Mathis passed away on the evening of June 8, 2021.


As anyone can attest who came into contact with him, Carl was an unforgettable figure.


From his physical presence (an imposing height of six feet, five inches and an equally impressive and extremely difficult to find shoe size of a narrow fourteen) to his encyclopedic knowledge of some of the most arcane pieces of information (anyone who asked him about radio signals or antennas found themselves suddenly transported to the role of student before a charismatic professor exclaiming the wonders of technology) to his love of college football (in college he was Leo, the lion mascot at Florence State College, now University of North Alabama), he left an indelible mark on all those he encountered. 


If we are being honest here--and why shouldn’t we be--it wasn’t just people upon whom he made an impression, man’s best friend was equally enamored with him.  There never was a dog that Carl came across that didn’t take to him immediately and he reciprocated the same attention and love back. 


After graduating from Florence State, he served in the Transportation Corps in Vietnam (1966-68) as a First Lieutenant.  After teaching high school math, he moved into the profession that became his passion for the rest of his life: sales and telecommunications.  First, Carl made his way by shilling products for other companies: Motorola, NEC (Nippon Electric Company), and Panasonic.  Tired of working for the man and living away from the South (having done his time in Washington State and traipsing up the New Jersey Turnpike and Parkway), Carl decided to become the Man, starting his own business, becoming the President of Power Sales and returning his family to Raleigh, North Carolina.  In recognition of his importance to the field Carl was recognized by the Radio Club of America as a Fellow in 2001.  He also served as the Chairman, President and Director of Manufacturer’s Representatives Educational Research Association and the Institute for Professional Advancement.


One of Carl’s favorite things to do was travel, whether in the United States or internationally.  One of the items on his bucket list was to travel to all seven continents.  He had successfully visited all of them minus Antarctica.


Despite his travels abroad, he always looked forward to returning to the United States, the country he loved and exclaimed was the greatest place in the world.


Before he passed, Carl was content and accepting of what was to come.  He expressed to his family that he had no regrets and had a fantastic 76 years.


His influence, personality and enthusiasm will long be remembered by all he touched.


One of the things closest to Carl’s heart was the University of North Alabama and during the last year of his life he worked diligently to create a scholarship to honor the students who attended UNA during the 1960s.  The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to this scholarship fund. 


When you go to the site below, please enter the Spirit of the 60s Scholarship Fund (under the choice of other) and say your donation is in memory of Carl Mathis.


You can go to

Robert J. Strickland

Robert J. Strickland of Littleton, CO, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2021.

An RCA member since 2016, in 2019 he was bestowed with The Frank A. Gunther Award for major contributions to the advancement of military electronic communications systems. An Airforceman  “Spookie”  (right) seen with his SR-71 was capable of flying at speeds over Mach 3.2 and at a height of 85,000 feet. His last tour.   He was also a marksman with the Army.

His Cessna Zero, a military variant of the  Cessna Skymaster replaced the  O-1 Bird Dog. With a high wing with front and rear engines  this offering clear observation below and behind  as “Bobby” ran classified military communications  equipment in Vietnam.  With increased gross weight of 5,400 lbs. vs. 4,400 lbs.  over  the civilian version  his rear engine was targeted by the enemy and  with heavy weight soft crash landed in Vietnam. One engine still running.
Good Times!

For 30 years he managed  the US Government radios for all US Government agencies from the Mississippi River West to Hawaii and the “tick-risers” for the USDA in Texas.

Passed at 80, still working  until his last weeks with DOI/DOA/APHIS as the National Radio Program Manager.

Archibald Colville Doty Jr.

March 28, 1920 -February 27, 2021.

Former RCA Board Member, and RCA Fellow

Born to Margaret (Bunker) and Archibald Doty Sr., Arch grew up on Delavan Terrace, in Yonkers, NY. He graduated high school from The Loomis Institute.

In the Fall of 1939, Arch brought radio to Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with his tiny homemade AM transmitter broadcasting under the self-assigned call letters WES.  Over 80 Years later, WESU FM remains one of the oldest and the longest continually operating student radio stations in the country.

During WWII he joined the Army Air Corps (later Air Force) because they promised to teach him to fly a 4-engine aircraft. With little to no training, he was soon flying B-24s, C-87s, and C-109s and flying the route from India to China. All in all, he flew over 150 trips over the Hump, before he was transferred as Operations Officer in Pengsham, China.

After the war he lived in Litchfield, CT and married Jane V. Hanway with whom he had three children. There he worked for the Torrington Fan Company, inventing an improved fan blade.

Later he worked for the Automobile Manufacturers Association in Detroit, Michigan, one of the first companies to develop seat belts and raise safety standards in cars.

Being an avid ham radio operator, he broadcast with his portable set all over the world for many years. Arch loved to say that he broadcast from Easter Island on Christmas day and Christmas Island on Easter. Most recently he worked with the ham radio club to establish an emergency communications system at Willamette View, Portland.

Arch had many interests. He was a life-long IEEE member and had numerous patents, the latest was in his 90’s. He was an intrepid world traveler. He always had a garden. He loved to learn and loved his well-trained dogs.

He is survived by his wife, Adah (Holmes) Doty, and children Ann Doty of AZ, David Doty of FL, and Susan Ross of VA, as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He open-heartedly added a step-daughter and her three children. All of them have wonderful stories about this interesting gentleman, who was highly intelligent, generous, a gracious host, and always interested in people and ideas.

It’s 10-73 from K8CFU and W7ACD.

Lewis “Lew” D. Wetzel

Lew Wetzel of Casco, ME passed away on September 28, 2020 at the age of 95.   Lew was an RCA member since 1991, was made a Fellow in 1994, and was a past president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.   Lew worked in defense industries during WW2, and received his electrical engineering degree in 1947 from Lehigh University.   He had a long career in broadcast, first working with the Radio Corporation of America on TV broadcast antenna, then for Shively Labs, and along the way did consulting in Washington DC.  Lew had a granite bench named in his honor in the town where he lived for his volunteer work in sustaining the environment of the pond in the town.  He held amateur radio license W1LI.   


Article on Lew’s radio career published in a local paper in 2018: