Reynold L. Nitsch, W4NTO SK August 5, 2019 Age 100

Discussion in 'Silent Keys / Friends Remembered' started by K2HAT, Aug 7, 2019.

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  1. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    Reynold L. Nitsch, W4NTO SK

    [​IMG]
    (SK August 5, 2019)
    Birth Date: Jul 21 1919
    QCWA Number: 30342

    SPARTANBURG, SC- After a brief illness Reynold Lepage "Fritz" Nitsch, 100, died quietly at his home, Monday, August 5, 2019.
    Fritz was born on July 21, 1919, in Syracuse, NY. After the outbreak of World War II, he arrived at Camp Croft where his principal assignment was to train soldiers in Morse Code. It was here in Spartanburg where he met his future wife, Virginia Cox, who predeceased him in 1996. Grandson of German immigrants, Fritz was the son of Reynold and Jessie Nitsch of Rochester, NY. His father nicknamed him Fritz from a popular newspaper carton of the early 1900's, "The Katzenjammer Kids", about two recalcitrant boys, Fritz and Hans. And for the rest of his life, Fritz kept the name. He was predeceased by a brother, Robert, of Truth or Consequences, NM, and by a sister, Jacqueline Dembitsky of Rochester, NY. Surviving is one niece in New York.
    Fritz served throughout the European campaign arriving there a few weeks after D-day. As a communications NCO with Patton's 3rd Army, he traversed Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes, and Central Europe all the way to Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate and was the recipient of four Bronze Stars. For all his service time, Fritz would recall, "I never fired my rifle in anger." After his discharge in November 1945, he and Virginia lived briefly in Rochester, NY before returning to Spartanburg.
    Upon his return, Fritz went to work for WSPA Radio as an engineer for about 10 years. Following his time there, his employment took him to the FAA at Spartanburg Downtown Airport, where he remained until his retirement. However, Fritz is most remembered for the love and dedication to his hobby of Amateur Radio. Known throughout most of the Upstate and Western North Carolina as W4NTO, he was the last charter member of the Spartanburg Amateur Radio Club, which was founded in 1952. Affectionately known as the "Godfather of Hams in Spartanburg County", he was known to have tutored and mentored, as well as given numerous radio tests, to most of the radio operators here. He was an avid Morse Code enthusiast.
    Fritz received many awards and recognitions for his years of devoted service to his community, and among these are the following: in 1984, the American Red Cross recognized him with the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Service covering his more than 30 years of faithful service to the local Red Cross Chapter, during which he assisted in many local, state, and national disasters; in 1988 the Roanoke Division of the ARRL awarded him the Vic Clark Award for his lifetime of significant and consistent contribution to the public through Amateur Radio and the 2011 George Hart Distinguished Service Award; in 1993, he received two awards from the Sertoma Club for his service to the Spartanburg community, the Service to Mankind Award from the Uptown Sertoma Club and in the same year, the Sertoma Battleground District Award.
    Visitation will be 10:30-11:45 AM on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29307, with funeral services following at 12:00 Noon, conducted by The Rev. Randall Runion. Entombment will be in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens Spanish Mausoleum, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29307.
    Pallbearers will be members of the Spartanburg Amateur Radio Club.
    In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mobile Meals Service, PO Box 361, Spartanburg, SC 29304.
    An online guest register is available at www.floydmortuary.com
    Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel
    Published in Spartanburg Herald-Journal on Aug. 6, 2019
    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/s...d-lepage-nitsch-fritz&pid=193560673&fhid=6043
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Spartanburg Ham radio pioneer wins national thank-you Nitsch wins service award for his efforts Reynold L. “Fritz” Nitsch of Spartanburg was presented with the national George Hart Distinguished Service Award Saturday for a lifetime of service to amateur radio.
    The award is given annually by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) to an amateur radio licensee who best exemplifies the principles of amateur radio. Presenting the award during a ceremony at the Spartanburg Fairgrounds were James Boehner, N2ZZ, vice director of the ARRL Roanoke division, and Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, South Carolina section manager.

    Nitsch, 92, is the only living charter member of the Spartanburg Amateur Radio Club that was founded in 1952. He has held every leadership position within the club and has held a permanent seat on the board of directors since the club’s founding. He is still an active member and has participated in every Field Day event. Affectionately known as the “Godfather of Hams in Spartanburg County,” he has tutored and mentored, as well as given numerous radio tests, to most local Ham radio operators. He is an avid Morse code enthusiast. Nitsch’s long tradition of service began before he was licensed.

    A native of Rochester, N.Y., he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, first as a Morse code instructor at Spartanburg’s Camp Croft and then as a communications officer in Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. For his exemplary service in Europe, he was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service Stars and the Good Conduct Medal. After the war ended, Nitsch returned to South Carolina and was licensed as W4NTO.
    He worked for WSPA Radio as an engineer for 10 years and then joined the Federal Aviation Administration at the Spartanburg Downtown Airport, where he remained until his retirement. A life member of the ARRL, Nitsch has held appointments as an accredited official observer and as an official emergency station in the South Carolina Section.
    He has been interested in emergency communications since the 1950s and has a long history of service in that arena. He established the first Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Spartanburg County and has been a member of the National Traffic System for almost 60 years.
    He was net manager for the emergency CW (Morse code) net. Nitsch received many awards and recognitions for his years of devoted service to the community.
    In 1984, the American Red Cross recognized him with the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Service covering his more than 30 years of faithful service to the local Red Cross Chapter, during which he assisted in many local, state, and national disasters.
    In 1988, the Roanoke Division of the ARRL awarded him the Vic Clark Award for his lifetime of contribution to the public through amateur radio.
    And in 1993, he received awards from two Sertoma Clubs for his service to Spartanburg. The biographical information above was provided by Mark Thompson, N4TIR, of Spartanburg.

    http://www.goupstate.com/article/20120506/ARTICLES/205061019
     
  2. N4NY

    N4NY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fritz was one of a kind. He would always help you out. He will surely be missed, not only around Spartanburg, but all over the U.S. I just attended his funeral....the pastor (a ham operator) did a GREAT job. Rest in peace, Fritz....and use that code key that was placed in your hand in the casket.....
     
    K1LKP and K2HAT like this.
  3. K4CDN

    K4CDN Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. K1LKP

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    =====GOD REST HIS SOUL

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