Silent Keys

River City Amateur Radio Communications Society

Those we remember who are now Silent Keys

Keith Crandall K6QIF (SK) October 12, 2003

"Red" Erickson W2KWN (SK) October 2004

Roland "Ike" Thessen KG6DON (SK) October 4, 2004

Scott A. Rogers K6EVP (SK) October 2004

Ben Springer KD6ZKX (SK) November 27, 2004

Roy Rudebaugh KD6LLE (SK) December 5, 2005

Mertis Oliver KC6PFT (SK) February 5, 2008

Lyle B. Aufranc AA6DJ (SK) May 8, 2008

Ron Boothe KE6PUG (SK) October 13, 2009

Zane Schrader W6SYQ (SK) November 14, 2009

Glenn Gleason KG6LRX (SK) December 30, 2009

John Healy KG6PIT (SK) December 25, 2010

Shermon Hall AD6ZP (SK) June 7, 2011

Dale Hankins AD6CT (SK) August 13, 2011

Carl Crump WA6VLS (SK) November 3, 2011

Windy Hardie K5HZW (SK) November 15, 2011

Armond Noble N6WR (SK) February 1, 2012

Rodney Laas KN6DA (SK) October 11, 2012

Wesley Bjur N6UD (SK) March 21, 2013

Norbert Owens KE6NH (SK) January 17, 2014

Jettie B. Hill W6RFF (SK) September 21, 2014

Chuck Freas W6FT (SK) May 26, 2015

Bradley W Wyatt K6WR (SK) November 10, 2015

Mary Anne Balthrope KE6EST (SK) February 12, 2016

Jennifer Hughes NS3O (SK) August 31, 2016

Norman Brooks K6FO (SK) November 22, 2016

Ron Murdock W6KJ (SK) April 1, 2017

Clarence Nevis KF6YTQ (SK) June 16, 2017

Roger Cain KI6FYF (SK) September 24, 2018

Bob Balthrope KD6WTY (SK) December 14, 2019

Paul McIntyre KC5JAX (SK) February 28, 2020

Paul Grose N6DRY (SK) March 15, 2021

Ralph Stocki KJ6PIK (SK) May 4, 2021

Guy Vaughn W6GUY (SK) April 12, 2022

Guy Vaughn W6GUY (SK)

Guy Vaughn W6GUY (SK)

Guy Vaughn, W6GUY, passed away in his sleep at Kaiser Hospital on April 12, 2022. Guy was a member of River City ARCS and Sierra Foothills ARC and also supported the North Hills RC and Elk Grove Florin ARC. He is survived by his fiancée, Ricky Boyd. Guy's autobiography below is from his QRZ page.

(The minute I passed my General, I raced to the FCC vanity page; 21 days later W6GUY was mine!)

All Around Creative, Intellectual, and Nerdy kind of Guy. (a very dangerous combination) I worked for Nest and Google Tech Support for years. Retired now.

Sorry that I have not seemed social at club meetings and other events. I have a form of bone marrow cancer that won't kill me the normal way cancer kills people, but it does reduce my immune response, so Covid even after 3 injections or even the common flu can kill me. Tiny infections have me in hospital with IV antibiotics. I need to avoid people and situations that put me at risk. I am like the boy in the plastic bubble.

I started as a Ham in High School as a Novice. My call sign back then was WN6VET. I hated having that N in my call sign then, and I had to get rid of it on my new tech call sign with my vanity.

Back in 1973, I could never send or receive 15 WPM and move to the General, so after 2 years I sold my entire Hallicrafters ham rig for $100 to purchase a science calculator from Sears that would do square roots and exponents. I needed that calculator so I could take advanced math, science, and electronic classes.

I took one computer class in college in 1976 and dropped it. I was never good at punch cards, then spent most of my life, starting in 1984, selling computers. Selling computers was the best, most fun, well paying job ever back then. Never went back for general license or to replace my ham rig.

I had to retire with medical condition in 2019 and started back on Ham to fill time and socialize. I am a General Class now and studying to become Extra in the next months. I am about 70% ready, but events keep taking my time. I will find a way soon.

I don't know as much as other Hams do, but I do have extensive science, technical, and real-world knowledge. I have worked with electronics off and on since High School. I am very good at taking technical exams so why not go for the Extra. I scored 100% on Technician exam and 100% on the General exam, but the Extra will be a pain to even pass.

I had to compete with nerd millennials at Nest and Google. It was as hard as taking a Calculus class every day working at my level, and I always kicked my coworkers' millennial butts with my quick brain and knowledge, but when I could no longer physically kick them, when needed, I had to retire. I will keep my brain working until I die. Hopefully, I get to where I can physically kick some butts also.

I also spent 10 years in Hollywood, and I am still trying to sell the big Screenplay. [Autobiography from]

Paul McIntyre KC5JAX (SK)

Paul McIntyre KC5JAX (SK)

Paul McIntyre, KC5JAX, president of the River City ARCS, became a Silent Key at the age of 57 on February 28, 2020. He was one of four victims of a knife attack by a client at the Wellness and Recovery Center in Carmichael where Paul was interning in his training to become a social worker.

Paul was a long time mentor and volunteer, passionate to help others learn and enjoy amateur radio. He served years as a club officer, on the Board of Directors and as our net coordinator. He and his wife Barbara and son Hunter regularly participated in our picnics, Field Days and other club activities.

“He's a wonderful brave blind man who had no defense against what happened here,” said his wife Barbara McIntyre. Barbara said Paul interned at the wellness and recovery center two days a week. But his life was cut short Friday. "He was murdered on our son’s 17th birthday, so now, my son is going to have to remember his father's brutal death on every birthday that he has for the rest of his life.” McIntyre's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs. “He was the most beautiful man I ever met and I waited and waited for him. And when I found him, I knew I had something good,” said Barbara. Link to Fox40 news story.

Paul Grose N6DRY (SK)

Paul Grose N6DRY (SK)

We are sad to announce that long time River City ARCS member Paul Grose, N6DRY, passed away peacefully while having lunch with his wife Jeff at Camden Springs Senior Living in Elk Grove around 1:00 pm on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Paul was an ARRL member, River City ARCS club member, Elmer, board member and treasurer for many years and the 2011 recipient of the club's Lyle Aufranc Memorial Award. Paul was active in our 2 meter and SSTV nets, homebrewing, was active on WinLink and packet radio with Sacramento ARES, served as treasurer and vice president of the Elk Grove Florin ARC, and regularly gave communications support to the Clarksburg Fun Run and the California International Marathon.

Condolences may be sent to Paul's wife Jeff Grose at Camden Springs Senior Living, 8476 Sheldon Rd Apt 126, Elk Grove, CA 95624.

Roger Cain KI6FYF (SK)

Roger Cain KI6FYF (SK)

Roger W. Cain, KI6FYF, expired at age 78 in Roseville, California at 10:45 pm on Monday, September 24, 2018. Born on June 28, 1940 in Casper, Wyoming, Roger was a classmate of Dick Cheney at Natrona County High School and went on to study electrical engineering, motivational science, and industrial engineering. Roger served five years in the US Army including assignments in Korea and Vietnam, five years in the Air National Guard, and retired as a Quartermaster Chief after 26 years in the US Coast Guard stationed in Monterey and San Francisco. He was a Lay Minister at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Sacramento, a member of the American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society, an American Radio Relay League Life Member, Sacramento Valley Assistant Section Manager, and an avid supporter of section and club activities. He was always cheerful and enjoyed making people laugh. Roger is survived by his wife Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD.

A memorial service and reception in celebration of Roger's life was held on Sunday October 7, 2018 at 4 pm at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento. The U.S. Coast Guard buried his remains at sea with military honors in Monterey Bay on December 9, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Ken Martin KE6RMN)

Clarence Nevis KF6YTQ (SK)

Clarence Nevis KF6YTQ (SK)

Clarence Nevis, KF6YTQ- Club Member for a long, long time.. became a Silent Key the weekend of June 16-17, 2017. There will be no service. He was a very strong guy for a long time considering what difficulties he had... very intelligent and really an 'expert' on many subjects... of course Amateur Radio but also an accomplished Machinist as a hobbyist.. Engineer by vocation and worked for Cal Trans.

Submitted by Larry Fibich AF6LF

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 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."

Ralph Stocki KJ6PIK (SK)

We are sad to announce that former River City ARCS member Ralph Stocki, KJ6PIK, passed away on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Jennifer Hughes NS3O (SK)

Jennifer Hughes NS3O (SK)

Jennifer Hughes NS3O, formerly KJ6YLS, passed away suddenly in her sleep in a Phoenix, AZ hotel room on August 31, 2016. Jennifer was on vacation doing her favorite thing–riding her motorcycle–about to embark on the 3 Flags Classic again, riding all the way from Mexico to Canada. She had just arrived in Phoenix to visit her friend Rebecca following a long motorcycle trip. Her friend found Jennifer in the hotel room bed. She had otherwise been in good health. Besides being an active member of the River City ARCS, attending meetings and participating in our 2 meter, 10 meter and SSTV nets, Jennifer rode with the Capital City Wings, and was also active with the Samuel F. Morse ARC, ARES, SHARP and other groups and served as a Volunteer Instructor and Examiner. A Celebration of Life service was held in Sacramento on September 18, 2016.

Chuck Freas W6FT (SK)

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.

Bob Balthrope KD6WTY (SK)

Bob Balthrope KD6WTY (SK)

Bob Balthrope, KD6WTY, became a Silent Key on Saturday, December 14, 2019. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann KE6EST in 2016.

Bob had been a Life Member of River City ARCS for many years, Treasurer from at least 2002 to 2003, Board member from 2004 through 2011, and also training officer and Volunteer Examiner during those same years. He was also active with the Sierra Foothills ARC and an avid kit builder and enjoyed QRP CW operating as member 11619 of the QRP ARC International.

Both Bob and Mary Anne 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).

Bob had been in a care facility for about the last five years and had not been active in the ham community. But, he will be remembered by many of our older members as a friend and mentor.

Mary Anne Balthrope KE6EST (SK)

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, KD6WTY.

(Photo from 2012 River City ARCS Holiday Party, courtesy of Ken Martin KE6RMN)

Norman 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.

Wesley Eugene Bjur N6UD (SK)

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.

Carl Crump WA6VLS (SK)

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.

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!

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.

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.

Dale Hankins AD6CT (SK)

Dale 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 his wife Kay KF6IZU.

Armond Noble N6WR (SK)

Armond 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)

Oran "Bud" Dunham K6ZSV (SK)

Oran "Bud" Dunham K6ZSV (SK)

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.

Mertis Oliver KC6PFT (SK)

Willie Mertis Oliver, KC6PFT, of Rocklin, passed away Tuesday, 5 February, 2008 at her home. For many years Mertis and OM Homer, KB6EJ, brightened our lives in Yuba City as members of the Yuba Sutter ARC. She took my license course at Yuba College passing the Novice and Technician without much apparent effort. [from February 2008 Sacramento Valley Section News by Ron Murdock, W6KJ]

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 B. 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.

Brad Wyatt K6WR (SK)

Brad Wyatt K6WR (SK)

ARRL Past Pacific Division Director Brad Wyatt, K6WR, of Los Gatos, California, died on November 10, 2015 after an illness. He was 86. An ARRL Life Member, Wyatt served as the Pacific Division Director from 1994 until 2000, when he decided not to run for another term. He previously served as Vice Director of the Pacific Division from 1992 until 1994.

Wyatt retired from IBM in 1984. He received bachelor’s and master’s (MBA) degrees from Stanford University. Wyatt was a past president of the Los Gatos Kiwanis Club.

In November 2001, Wyatt’s article, “Remote Controlled HF Operation over the Internet,” appeared in QST. A year later, Wyatt and co-authors Stan Schretter, W4MQ, and Keith Lamonica, W7DXX, won the QST Cover Plaque Award for their collaboration on the article,”A Ham Radio Public Utility HF Station.”

Wyatt held DXCC from four different countries.

A celebration of life service was held on Friday, November 27, 2015, at 3 PM at the Saratoga Foothill Club, 20399 Park Place, Saratoga, California