Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

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Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Knight, K4BMR, Silent Key

The Official Newsletter of the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Knight, K4BMR, Silent Key

With great sadness, we announce the passing of Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Knight, K4BMR, the beloved wife of CARC Director and former CARC Treasurer, Jim Knight, KD4EHN.  She passed away early Saturday morning, April 29th, 2023, following an extended illness.  She was a good and faithful servant to all of her family and a constant loving companion for Jim.

In Heaven, she joins her parents, Elvin Roosevelt Smith and Mamie Lillian Smith.  She is survived by her husband, Jim, KD4EHN, son Brian, W4BMK, brother Amos Smith, niece Pamela Smith, and Pam’s recently born daughter, Abigail.

Beth was an accomplished Amateur Radio operator and was the first member of their family to earn an Amateur Extra class ham radio license, having already upgraded to Advanced class, which, at the time, included passing the 13-word per minute Morse Code test.  She later upgraded to Extra, the highest license class available and held by less than 1 out of 5 Amateur Radio operators in the United States.  She now joins the ranks of other Silent Keys (SK) who loved ham radio and have been the heart of radio families around the world.

In accordance with her personal wishes, there will not be a visitation, funeral, or published obituary, and her remains will be cremated.  A private celebration of life will be held for members of the family at a later date.

The membership of the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club extends its thoughts and prayers to Jim and his family during this difficult and sad time.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Burks United Methodist Church, Hixson, TN, would be appreciated.

Harriet Schroeder, KK4EAO – SK

Harriet’s obituary has now been published but obituaries barely scratch the surface of the real life that was lived.  Though an imperfect reflection of Harriet’s real life, it is clear from the obituary that Harriet lived a rich, full life, both professionally and in her private life.  As a longtime doctor, she served others with distinction, helping to resolve health problems and issues which diminished their lives.  Through Harriet’s care and skill, she helped her patients to recover and return to normal life as much as humanly possible.

Those of you that had more than a casual acquaintance with Harriet knew she was quite a character and had a dynamic nature that was not in keeping with her petite appearance.  Most of you know too that she was a serious night owl often working and enjoying life far after most of us had hit the sack.  Often we would awaken to find text messages from Harriet that were sent hours earlier while the rest of us were in dreamland.

In the last few years, Harriet’s great love was the YL Net to which she devoted much attention and time.  When describing the YL Net, I can still hear her say “It’s just wonderful!  We had YLs from all around the country.”  She and Amateur Radio just clicked…through our club and the YL Net, Harriet enjoyed the camaraderie that few achieve much less maintain throughout the years.

Though Harriet is no longer with us, I’m sure it would warm her heart and bring a smile to her face if you would rekindle your love of Amateur Radio and the great relationships with others that it offers.

Harriet’s obituary is published here:

A printable version is available here.

Rich Wagner, KC4IHO – SK

Rich Wagner KC4IHO

Rich Wagner, KC4IHO - Silent Key (SK)

At this holiday time of year, it is especially difficult to announce the passing of Rich Wagner KC4IHO on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 from complications due to COVID-19.  Rich was very active in Amateur Radio and served as Club Vice President in 2020 and was Club President-Elect for 2021.  His service to the world, our country, our state, our local community, and Amateur Radio will be greatly missed.

Depending upon COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, services or a celebration of life may be planned for a later date.

A “Silent Key” Service is planned for the Sunday Night Net on December 27th at approximately 8 PM EST to honor Rich for his contribution and support of Amateur Radio and the help & friendship he gave to one and all.  Details on how to listen in or participate on the Sunday Night Net are available here.

An informal “obituary” taken from Facebook sums up much of Rich’s life, accomplishments, and his core values:

“Richard Charles Wagner lived an extraordinary life. He was born on 6/22/1950 in Erie, PA. He served as a Marine from 1968-1972, and fought for his country in the Vietnam War. He married the love of his life, Ramona, a gorgeous redhead on 05/18/1969 and together they had two beautiful daughters, Sherry and Tasia. After he was discharged from the service, he served as a Tennessee State Trooper, and eventually he answered God’s call to missionary service. He and Ramona dropped all the comforts of a life in the United States, packed up their children, and served as missionaries in Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. They carried the word of God to dark and intense places, led countless people to God’s saving grace, and experienced everything from living in the rain forest, finding themselves being smuggled out of a country in the trunk of a car, eating snakes and guinea pigs, learning to dance traditional Latin American and Spanish dances, and loving on everyone they met.

In his later years, Rich enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to shoot, bake bread, shooting SASS under the pseudonym Cherokee Slim, and singing in his church choir. His grandchildren will never forget the movie nights, meals, and wisdom he provided, or the delicious bread he baked. Some of their most precious memories include him officiating their weddings and being present at any and all sport/performance /graduations they might have had. He passed away 12/22/2020 due to complications from Covid-19. He is survived by his wife, Ramona Wagner, his daughter Sherry Dagnan and her husband, Michael, his grandchildren: Meagan Peck and her husband Nick, Kenneth Charles Shelton, Brandon Shelton, Rachel Timchak and her husband Jared, and Eric Ryan Pike and his sister Beth Koehne
Please find joy with us as we celebrate that one of God’s good and faithful servants has gone home to be with his Lord. As a final thought, when you get to heaven, look in the choir. He will be there or out on the shooting range, it’s a toss up which one.”

The membership of the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club expresses our deepest, heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his family and friends.

Gary Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2020
Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Club Phone Number:  423-308-3477


Charlie Curle, AD4F – SK

Charlie Curle, AD4F

Charlie Curle, AD4F - Silent Key (SK)

2020-06-18 9 AM EDT

Good Morning All,

Charlie Curle (Charles Edward Curle, Jr.), AD4F’s obituary has now been posted.  Click Here to view it.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, there will be no services or memorials at this time.

We will all miss Charlie.  In the few years that I personally knew and worked with him on club-related activities, we may not have always agreed on some topic but I always knew he was always supportive of our club and Amateur Radio.  He was not a fair-weather member or friend and he understood that one of the truest measures of support to any cause or organization was to give of himself by being there in person through thick or thin.

Over the span of time, he endured many health issues but those issues seldom deterred Charlie from getting out and participating in radio events, hamfests, or a good meal thanks to his network of friends and family that helped keep him on the move until the day he left us for a far better place.

Charlie was not your average “ham”.  He was technically skilled, solidly competent, and practiced in how to get things done whether it was working DX, assembling an awkward, perplexing antenna, or sharing his knowledge with others just coming on-board to Amateur Radio.  His obituary commented on his similarity to the role of John Travolta in the movie “Michael”.  I think that’s true in many ways though Charlie’s skills and knowledge came not from a flash of light from the sky but from dedication and commitment to learning and applying those skills to helping others.

I, too, as others have noted, enjoyed his funny jokes and the goofy grin that he would share after the punchline set in.  He had a pleasantly mischievous nature about him that still makes me smile when I think of him.  The crooked halo in the photo above seems so fitting as we all have a touch of “devil or angel” from time to time and Charlie was no exception.  I remember several of us including Charlie were setting up the MCP for an event in the Red Cross parking lot.  Coax was being laid out but not connected to antennas and he was sitting in front of a radio, winked at me, and keyed up the transmitter for a brief instant.  We both heard someone yell from outside the MCP as they had gotten a minor shock.  Whether it was deliberate or accidental for him to key up…you can guess but I think the mischievous side won out that day.  🙂

On occasion, Charlie and I would talk about things outside of this world and I know that he did not fear death but was making the most of his time here and biding time until he would join his beloved wife in Heaven.

So as we shed tears for Charlie, let us smile too and remember the man, friend, and club member he was to bring back a smile to each of us.

Thank you.


Gary Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2020
Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

Phil Mullins, W4PRE – SK

Phil Mullins W4PRE Receives ARRL Elmer Award

On behalf of the Membership of the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club and the Hamfest Chattanooga Management Team & On-Site Staff, with great sadness, we report that long-time member and former CARC Director, Phil Mullins W4PRE passed away on September 9, 2018.  He was 63.  A memorial service was held and we all gave our final 73s.

Two of Phil’s greatest loves in Amateur Radio were Elmering and Hamfest Chattanooga.  Phil (left) is seen in the photo above receiving an ARRL Elmer Award for his outstanding mentoring and help to newcomers to our hobby.  Phil was a friend to all and never missed an opportunity to help anyone.  Antennas were one of his favorite things and a good day in ham radio for Phil was trying out new antennas.

For the last several years, Phil extended his service to our club and the ham radio community at large through his role as Vendor Manager for Hamfest Chattanooga.  He enjoyed the challenge and working with our family of vendors to make sure they were happy and had what they needed to be successful.

We will all miss his smile, his willingness to help, and his support of our club and Amateur Radio for so many years.