I am deeply saddened to report to you that Director Wade Walstrom, WØEJ, became a silent key this morning while undergoing a lung biopsy at a local hospital.Solveig (Wade's wife) called me a few minutes ago with the unfortunate news.
Further arrangements will be passed on as they become available.
As you all know Wade's EE knowledge, love of ham radio, boardsmanship and willing service to ARRL will be sorely missed by members of the Midwest Division and our board.
While Joel's news (phone call relayed by Janice) came as a shock it wasn't a complete surprise. Wade was not his usual spot-on self two Sundays ago at the KS convention in Salina, and last Thursday he asked me to cover him at Joplin, mentioning he thought he could be headed for the hospital again. When my report email went un-commented on I was afraid he might indeed have been sent to the hospital, but goodness -- this was not expected. I suspect he may have been more concerned than he let on.....
Wade had health issues 2+ years ago and was found to have a leukemia- like condition. The Doctors thought it was not as serious as leukemia, but the nebulous nature of it was troubling. He'd improved enough by election cycle time to re-run, but was having troubles again the last few months -- in particular the past 3 weeks.
NEWINGTON, CT, Sep 1, 2006 -- ARRL Midwest Division Director Robert W. "Wade" Walstrom, WØEJ, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died August 31 during surgery. He was 59. An ARRL Life and Diamond Club member, Walstrom was elected in 1999 to succeed retiring Midwest Division Director Lew Gordon, K4VX. He won a third term (2006-2008) as Midwest Division Director last fall. Born in Nebraska and raised in South Dakota, he'd been an Amateur Radio licensee for 46 years and previously held the call signs KØZTV and WA6TXE.
"Wade's sudden and unexpected passing is deeply shocking to all of us who worked with him during his many years of service to the ARRL," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ.
A member of the ARRL Executive Committee, Walstrom -- an electrical engineer and recently retired Rockwell-Collins project manager -- was a former three-term Iowa Section Manager before becoming Midwest Division Director. He'd previously chaired the ARRL Board of Directors' Volunteer Resources and Programs and Services committees, and he'd served on the Membership Services and Election and Ethics committees.
Walstrom was instrumental in the effort to end interference to Amateur Radio from a broadband over power line (BPL) pilot project in Cedar Rapids. He not only worked with local radio amateurs but co-authored a technical report that pointed out BPL's harmful interference in the amateur bands and the inadequacy of "notching" techniques. Copies of the report went to each member of the FCC.
Walstrom also served on the Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission.
An active and serious DXer and contester, Walstrom was a member of the Eastern Iowa DX Association, QCWA, AMSAT and the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club.
Walstrom was a graduate of South Dakota State University. He received his PhD from Iowa State University.
ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, worked with Walstrom on the Volunteer Resources Committee, which, in 2003, revised the rules and regulations governing the ARRL Field Organization.
"He could always find the right words when I got stuck for how to phrase something," Craigie recalled. "It was a pleasure to work with him, and I am very sad that there won't be any more opportunities for us to benefit from his intelligence and good sense."
ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, said he was shocked and saddened to learn of Walstrom's untimely death. "I had the good fortune to get to know this quite bright man pretty well, sitting next to him at meetings and working with him on committees. He was a very fair and intelligent individual. I think I can speak for all of us on the Board when I say we admired him and the values he stood for."
ARRL Midwest Division Vice Director Bruce Frahm, KØBJ, has succeeded Walstrom as the division's Director. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, will appoint someone to fill the now-vacant Vice Director's seat.
Survivors include Walstrom's wife, Solveig, and their sons Robert and Steve, KCØLGE. Visitation is Monday, September 4, 2-5 PM, at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids. Members of the ARRL Board of Directors will attend the memorial service Tuesday, September 5, 10 AM, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.
September 1, 2006