Keith Pugh, W5IU Silent Key

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, May 26, 2019.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Keith Pugh, W5IU Silent Key
    ARISS Friends,
    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ARISS team member Keith Pugh, W5IU.

    Keith spent his life on Earth as a true gentlemen serving others, enjoying friendship and relationships, and supporting his passions…amateur radio, flying and most importantly his love of God and all the great things on this Earth.

    Those that knew Keith considered him a Texan through and through. But truth be told, he was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas.
    After college, he left Kansas and settled permanently in the Fort Worth, Texas area where picked up that Texas accent and welcomed us into his world. And it is in Texas where he passed away on May 24, 2019.

    Active with AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellites since the 1980’s, Keith jump-started his passion for amateur radio on human spaceflight missions in 1991, when the Space Station Mir was in orbit and Soviet ham radio operators were talking to the world-wide amateur radio community. Keith helped install a Soviet Space Exhibit in Fort Worth in 1991 and he hosted Musa Manarov U2MIR’s visit to the USA. Ultimately, Keith joined the ARISS team in 2004, where he has provided support as one of our operations leaders, technical mentoring numerous schools and ARISS contact organizations and providing his warm friendship and guidance to all in our team. Keith also attended several of our ARISS International meetings, including our 2008 ARISS-I meeting in Moscow and Kaluga.

    Many of us were aware of Keith’s cancer. But, Keith being Keith, he kept most of his pain and suffering to himself. He remained joyful and humble until his death. In fact, just a few days before his death--this past Tuesday, Keith signed into the ARISS International teleconference, apologizing that he came in late. None of us knew this would be our last dialog with such a close friend and outstanding member of our team.

    As I stated, one of Keith’s passions was flying as a private pilot. In fact for one of his vacations he flew a Cessna aircraft around Australia. As a fellow pilot, I know that Keith must have been an avid fan of the poem “High Flight” written by John Gillespie Magee Jr. Paraphrasing this poem:

    While we mourn the loss of our good friend, Keith Pugh, let us joyfully reflect on the fact that Keith has
    Slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    And, while with silent lifting mind, Keith has trod
    The high unsurpassed sanctity of Space,
    Put out his hand and touched the face of God.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Keith Pugh, W5IU SK as he touches the face of God.

    73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

    Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
    ISS Ham Radio Program Manager & PI
    ARISS International Chair
    AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs

    About ARISS

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see

    Also join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

    Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status

    M7ALX, N2YLO, AD5NM and 2 others like this.
  2. WM5L

    WM5L Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I knew Keith for 25 years. Taught me a lot about the "Birds" He lived just a few miles from me When I was in Burleson. He was always a class act even when I was acting goofy (Most of the time) W5IU (Itchy Underwear) will be missed...Jim WM5L
    N5JXS and KG4BFR like this.
  3. M6EVR

    M6EVR Ham Member QRZ Page

    RIP Keith I never had the chance to talk to you on the ham bands my condolence to your family good night god bless 73
  4. AB5GQ

    AB5GQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Keith was my Elmer for the birds. Keith and I were in charge of the Soviet Space exhibit and spent many many hours at exhibit in Fort Worth taking to the cosmonauts on MIR with numerous schools and kids to introduce them to amateur radio. After a few month MIR would cross the horizon calling for us at W5MIR to get the latest news and chat with the kids. Keith was a kind and gentle soul that would give the shirt off his back to help anyone. He'll be missed!! John Clark AB5GQ
    N5JXS likes this.
  5. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have very fond memories of Keith... this really hurts... I lost contact with him a few years ago but he was always a true, Texas gentleman that those of us in Alabama appreciate. His work with Mir is what I will always remember. Keith, thank you for all you did and may your family find some peace knowing how much joy you brought, unselfishly to others.
    KG4BFR likes this.
  6. K0UO

    K0UO Subscriber QRZ Page

    73 to a great ham, my thoughts and prayers are with Keith, W5IU SK and his family
  7. N5WX

    N5WX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Keith always attended some of the same hamfests that I attended. I also knew Keith's brother who worked for Saied Music in Tulsa. I miss both. 73 & 88
  8. W0XX

    W0XX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice to have worked with you and so sorry to hear you are now an SK. Rest easy Keith....will meet again!
  9. KD5J

    KD5J Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am really sad to hear this. I applied for and was granted an ARISS contact for a local school last year. It was one the biggest thrills I've had in amateur radio. Keith was my mentor assigned to me by ARISS and we spoke over the phone and via email often. His help was very much appreciated. Keith will be missed by the ARISS and AMSAT communities.

    Cord KD5J
  10. W5IQJ

    W5IQJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow! This news was a real shock! I knew Keith from back in the early '60's. Don, K5KYG (now W5IYH, Keith's old call) and I would pal around with Keith at Hamfests and other local Fort Worth events. He was a true gentleman.

    RIP Keith!

    Bill Sievers
    W5IQJ (ex-K5LDL)

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