Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB3IFH, Jun 5, 2004.

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  1. KB3IFH

    KB3IFH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our friend Tex ,W5 Big..Quick..and Ugly has passed away. It was a real pleasure to have had a QSO with him and recieve his QSL. Those of you who have had a QSO with him will certainly remember his stories he would tell. I thought it would be nice to mention it here on QRZ

    73's Tex from Randy KB3IFH

    I'm sure the ARRL wouldn't mind if I post this here for those of you who don't receive their bulletins.


    The man believed to be the oldest Amateur Radio operator in the US--Byrl "Tex" Burdick, W5BQU, of El Paso, Texas--died May 30. He was 103. Admired as much for his courteous and kind personality as for his longevity and youthful appearance, Burdick was licensed for nearly three-quarters of a century. During his many years on the air, he took pleasure in meeting new friends and was a regular QSLer. When Burdick, an ARRL member, turned 103 last September, ARRL President and fellow Texan Jim Haynie, W5JBP, extended congratulations and best wishes on behalf of the League.

    "A landmark and an icon to our great hobby" is how Kenneth Kuhblank Jr, K5KWK (ex-W6KWK), of El Paso described his friend in the article "A Voice from the Ether--B. H. "Tex" Burdick, W5BQ," by Steve Barreres, K2CX, in the December 2003 issue of QST. "You will not meet a more courteous operator." In the QST article, Barreres tells how a passing motorist talking on his mobile ham radio setup piqued Burdick's initial interest in ham radio. Soon, he passed the examination and had a ticket of his own. Burdick says he started out with a homemade transmitter and receiver--each one fitted with a single 201A tube.

    Born in San Angelo, Texas, Burdick attended the University of Minnesota. Returning to Texas in the late 1920s, he established a well-drilling, windmill and water supply firm, Burdick & Burdick, which remains in the family. To expedite his business travels throughout the Southwestern US and northern Mexico, Burdick became a licensed pilot in the 1940s and occasionally operated aeronautical mobile on the amateur bands. According to his obituary <http://www.borderlandnews.com/stories/obituaries/index.shtml> in the El Paso Times, he also was known to deliver newspapers to his customers via air drop and to provide transportation for disabled youngsters on behalf of the Lions Club.

    Burdick was a charter member of the El Paso Amateur Radio Club, and he donated a windmill tower for the new clubhouse to use as an antenna support. A similar structure holding a triband Yagi graces his own residence.

    Burdick retired in 1979. His recollections and photographs documenting the early days of his career were the focus of a 1992 book, Blades in the Sky, Windmilling through the Eyes of B. H. "Tex" Burdick, by T. Lindsay Baker. After retirement, he and his wife, Juanita, traveled the world. In addition to ham radio and an early interest in photography, Burdick also enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending his summers in Alaska and Colorado.

    In addition to his wife of 54 years, survivors include his son, Byrl Jr, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren. A memorial service was held Thursday, June 3. The family invites memorial donation to Hospice of El Paso, 1750 Curie Dr, El Paso, TX 79902, or to St Clements Episcopal Church, 600 Montana, El Paso, TX 79902.
  2. W4ROT

    W4ROT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A man with "The Right Stuff".
    73 Tex,
  3. WA5KRP

    WA5KRP Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is a guy I'd love to have in my logbook.  

    God blessum.  †


  4. KC8QMU

    KC8QMU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got to work Tex on 15M not all that long ago. A very good, courteous op, and a pleasure to talk to.

    73, Tex
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