Herb Schoenbaum KV4FZ

Discussion in 'Silent Keys / Friends Remembered' started by W0PV, May 4, 2020.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Originally I posted a notice in the Silent Keys forum. However, as with other widely well known highly active OTA figures in amateur radio, I feel Herb KV4FZ deserves mention on the QRZ front page.

    I knew Herb personally and am saddened further at the release posted on the ARRL News page regarding his passing. For whatever reason they decided to regurgitate the highly controversial legal woes that Herb once faced, tainting his reputation, and ignored more positive angles. Biased and in poor taste IMO. An alternative POV to that saga can be seen here, which contains more biographical info as well.

    Big thanks to Lee @K2HAT for finding the following far more respectful and proper memorial seen below.

    RIP Herb, KV4FZ (WØVXO), DX'ing, contests, bossa nova, were enhanced by your reliable contributions.

    John, WØPV

    Herbert L. Schoenbohm, KV4FZ SK


    Activist, Communicator Herb Schoenbohm Dies at 84 by Don Buchanan - May 3, 2020

    Herb Schoenbohm who, since his arrival on St. Croix in 1968, was a Republican activist, weather prognosticator, both a radio personality and radio installer and so much more died Wednesday, April 29, in his bed at home with his wife Monika on the east end of St. Croix. He was 84.

    “He went peacefully,” his eldest son, Chris, told the Source.

    His presence on the island was felt across a broad spectrum of fields for the next 50 years. He was active in radio – ham radio and public stations like Radio One and Paradise Radio; politics – he was accused of making the local Republican Party his own party; communications – he worked for many years with the police department installing radios in its vehicles; and weather prediction – he had a degree from the University of Minnesota with a major in geography with an emphasis on political geography and climatology.

    He was “an amazing father,” Chris said Saturday.

    Schoenbohm’s other surviving sons are Eric, Tim, Kevin and Thomas.

    Monika, Schoenbohm’s wife of 52 years, told the Source that when he was young Schoenbohm dreamed of playing football. But when he was 15, he was on a roof in Rock Islands, Illinois installing an antenna when he lost his footing and fell two stories, breaking broke both legs and an arm and ending up in a coma. A doctor told the family he probably would not make it. An intern from Brazil was not ready to give up. He put a ball in Schoenbohm’s hand and encouraged him to squeeze it. Schoenbohm recovered, and though his dream of playing football was gone he took from the intern an interest in all things Brazil. His interest in Brazilian music became almost an obsession. He became part of band playing Brazilian, Cuban and Latin music.

    When he settled on St. Croix, he played a regular gig on the piano at the Buccaneer Hotel for several years. He also played other clubs.

    The experience might have affected another choice Schoenbohm made. His father was one of the founders of Camp Courage – a camp to help handicap children. Schoenbohm spent the summers in his late teens teaching a program he initiated – Handi Ham. He taught clients that no matter their disability they could become ham radio operators.

    His skills as a ham radio operator also helped when he was a sometime weatherman. Monika said he would often contact hams on other islands to see what their weather was. This was extremely helpful in the days before satellites and the internet in predicting hurricanes. The 13th Legislature honored him in 1980 for the service he helped provide during hurricanes Frederick and David. In 1990 he received the Governor’s Medal and was declared a “Hero of Hurricane Hugo” for maintaining communications circuits.

    Monika said he was also busy during Hugo rescuing people in his police car, which had a flat tire.

    Schoenbohm worked for the V.I. Police Department from 1978 to 1992 as a communication specialist. He worked from 1996 to 2012 as fleet manager for Property and Procurement.

    In recent years Schoenbohm was often in the news for his involvement with the local Republican Party. He was chosen often to represent the Virgin Islands at the Republican National Convention. He also served four terms as the State Chairman of the V.I. Republican Party.

    In 2016 two groups were fighting for control of the local party. John Canegata, leading one faction, called the other faction the Herb Schoenbohm party.

    Schoenbohm held strong views. This writer debated him several times about global climate change. He denied man was causing the climate to change. But though neither ever convinced the other, the debates never descended into name calling.

    Former Sen. Clarence Payne also had many debates with Schoenbohm.

    “I found him to be respectable in debates, which as an opponent I appreciated in this climate of vitriol and confrontation,” Payne said. “Herb stood his ground but allowed one to freely share a differing viewpoint.”

    Roger Morgan, who ran Paradise Radio station and had a popular morning show in the early part of this century, said when he heard the news of Schoenbohm’s death, “Herb was my official engineer for my Paradise Radio station, WVVI on St. Croix. But, more than that, he was a friend and a genuine wizard at dealing with broadcast engineering solutions in an environment where sheer ingenuity often replaced more traditional solutions to emergencies that occur with frustrating regularity. I’ll miss my friend and Republican leader.”

    In the early ‘90s, Schoenbohm worked for several years as a staff aid for Delegate to Congress Victor Frazer in the U.S. House of Representatives 104th Congress. He also worked several years as an engineer for Ackley Communications.

    His sons, each in their own way, have followed in their father’s footsteps by going into careers involving communication technology. However, the greatest lesson Chris said he learned from his father was, “Always help people when you can.”

    N4FZ, PA0INA, N0NB and 15 others like this.
  2. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    My Condolences.

    I have added this obituary onto Herb's QRZ Bio page.
    AK5B, KA2FIR, 2E0EUG and 2 others like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Friends, a 'Republican activist' is an oxymoron. Republican advocate would be more sensible a description. BTW the larger political parties in VI are neither Rep or Dems...at least unless things changed recently.

    I knew Herbie. He hosted me at Saint Croix when I visited WVVI with my family (was a 15 year old kid) in 1970. Fine guy.

    I don't know how, let alone why, he got caught up in that black box stuff. Frankly it didn't look good for anyone concerned. That he fought tooth and nail to get back OTA is testament to his dedication to ham radio.

    Herbie was quite active until fairly recently and I worked him again,oh, was it last November?

    Found memories. Fond ones.

    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    N4FZ, W4ABC, VA3MIU and 4 others like this.
  4. KD9NTD

    KD9NTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, I thought that was Jimmy Carter at first glance. Carter was an activist also
    N9NY, AJ6KZ and N8VIL like this.
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    ...and certainly not a Republican;-)
    VA3MIU, N5VAF, AK5B and 1 other person like this.
  6. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not just regurgitate, but assign nearly 40% of the obit to the controversy.

    ...more positive angles very few hams ever approach - let alone attain.

    In VERY poor taste IMO, too. Inexcusable.
    N4FZ, AE1P, AA5AZ and 3 others like this.
  7. WS4Y

    WS4Y XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My last QSO was 10/20/2019. He is in my log more than a dozen times. All on 160 meters. All but one CW. He was a good CW op. RIP OM Herb. Bill WS4Y
    N4FZ, N0NB and N1GKE like this.
  8. KA2FIR

    KA2FIR Ham Member QRZ Page

    What happened to your email address?
  9. KD9NTD

    KD9NTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was not aware there was an issue with my email address, it’s kevinmodz@hotmail.com

    Heck no wonder why nobody replied to any of my sale ads. My email address was not there doh. Thanks for letting me know
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    KA2FIR likes this.
  10. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well this wasn't a good thing to read.

    I have bought things from Herb, paid attention to his posts on different reflectors and was friends on other mediums with Herb.

    Rip bud.

    N4FZ and KA2FIR like this.

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