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Leo, W9VMZ, 1914 - 1979

Discussion in 'Silent Keys / Friends Remembered' started by W9JEF, Nov 8, 2018.

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  1. W9JEF

    W9JEF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I first heard Leo's 75 meter AM mobile signal while SWL-ing. I guess I must have worked him after getting my Conditional ticket in 1954.

    Didn't get to meet Leo til 1963, when I started as a transmitter operator at WJPG (now WNFL) where he was second in command. Tall and muscular, full head of white hair in a crew cut. Although he put on an air of gruffness (which my fellow engineer and best friend Don, ex-K9BMC(SK) privately made fun of), he was the nicest guy you could want to work with. He once lent me his trowel, when I needed one. When I replaced my 55 Chevy with a '62 Ford Ranch Wagon, within a few days, because mine was a newer car, Leo traded his older vehicle for a '62 Ford Country Squire (he had to have a little bit better car than that of a junior employee).

    The station was O&O by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, which held its 50th anniversary party at the recently combined studio/transmitter location. Leo liked his beer, and had a bit much to drink, that night. Station manager's lapel in hand, lectured him about a deserved pay raise, proclaiming to be a professional engineer.His wife, Shirley, tugging at his sleeve trying to calm him down. The next day, avoiding his boss, Leo spent the day working in the basement. Years after our stint at the AM station, Don and I had professional engineer as a running source of laughter. But we did love and respect Leo, despite our privately making fun of his all too human foibles.

    Leo served honorably in WWII, and died while shoveling snow at WLUK-TV transmitter site (where he worked, at the time). A true ham--and a gentleman--was Leo. I regret not posting this long ago--but better late, than never. Seventy tree, Leo, and may you rest in peace.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  2. W9JEF

    W9JEF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Leo was an outdoors man, and hunter. One time, as I arrived at the WJPG transmitter for my 3 p.m. to midnight shift, Leo had his bow and arrow, and wanted to demonstrate it to me.

    He smartly drew back, and shot an arrow high into the air. On the way down, it looked for all the world like it was headed straight for my car.

    JIM! was all he could say, and I'll never forget the look of fear in his eyes. :eek:

    To the relief of both of us, it missed my car, and we had a good laugh about it. If it had punctured a hole; Leo being the friend he was, I would have had no complaint. I could likely have mounted a mobile antenna to cover it. :cool: :D

    73, Leo (and happy hunting),


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