Today, September 4, 2002, del Norte County and the Amateur Radio community lost a wonderful part of its past, present, and future enlightenment with the passing of Gene Petrik, AA6UN. Shortly after noon, an accident while attempting a landing in his private plane near his home claimed the life of this beloved individual. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Ann. Gene would have been 73 on October 12. He was an avid mountain climber, pilot, in full-sized and model aircraft, a music instructor and afficionado for longer than many of us have lived, and an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator. If there were such things as 7th. degree blackbelts in Amateur Radio, then Gene would certainly qualify as "Master." A most thoughtful, caring, eagerly earnest individual, his wisdom brought our local Del Norte Amateur Radio Club through some tough times. He has served in every office, been on every committee, and participated in nearly all club activities many times over. His willingness to share his vast knowledge, great humor, and outright tales of adventure intrigued everyone on countless occasions. His experience in Amateur Radio is matched only by a rare few, and his voice and fist will be impossible to replace or duplicate in this country and in any electromagnetic media around the world. It is not possible to adequately convey the loss we feel. Selfishly, we resent someone's passing, and wish for them to remain a little longer. In gratitude, however, we can thank a loving Heavenly Father for allowing us to know and love Gene for as long as we did, and that Gene did not need to linger in lengthy suffering that others of us must face. Gene was doing something he loved right until the end, so to speak. It's the beginning of something great for Gene, and we all aspire to enter that realm. May God bless Ann and Gene's family members to be happy for all the joy he gave the world, to marvel at his accomplishments, and may we all resolve to honor him by trying to live life as honorably and with such outstanding completeness as did Gene Petrik. Sincerely and with love, Fred Wagner AD6FC p.s Gene, say "Hi" to Earl, Bill, Bob, Bob, Dick, and Ron!