W2ODC - April 16, 2007

Howard L. Lester
A-1 Operators Club

Howard Leroy Lester passed away on April 16, 2007. He was born in Troy, N.Y. in 1923, to Leroy and Elizabeth Lester. He graduated from Lan-singburgh High School in February 21, 1942 he married Ruth Lampman, also of Lansing-burgh.

With the onset of World War II, Howard joined the United States Navy. He was a resident of Alplaus, N.Y. for over 50 years. After the war, Howard Lester graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, and began a career in Electric Engineering that spanned six decades. He was one of the inventors of color television (at RCA) and tracking radar that locks onto moving targets. He retired from the General Electric Company in 1993 with credit for many patents. He is well known by engineers all over the USA and Europe with whom he has worked on various projects, including a collaboration between General Electric and Ericson of Sweden that was the basis of much of today's cellular telephone networking technology.

Howard's lifetime avocation was Amateur Radio. He was known to many "hams" around the world as W20DC, and operated a station from his home in Alplaus to the end of his life. His father, brother, and three of his sons have held Amateur Radio licences. He was well known as a knowledgeable, friendly fellow, always ready to lend a helping hand to others both in and out of the world of Amateur Radio. He gave many hours of time helping local, State, and Federal officials solve radio communication problems including the Schenectady Police Department and the Schenectady County Emergency Operations Center. His expertise was valued, and always freely given to the community. He was a member of the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association (SARA), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and held both an Amateur Extra Class license and a First-Class Radiotelephone license from the FCC.

Howard Lester was a 51 year member of the Alplaus Volunteer Fire Company. He served for many years as a fire fighter, on the Fire District Board of Commissioners, and in the Fire Polic e. Howard frequently consulted on radio communications for the fire service in and around Schenectady County.

Howard was a communicant of Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills. He served as a lay reader and was a member of the church choir.

He is survived by his wife Ruth; his brother and sister, Donald Lester (Estelle, dec.) and Margaret Dalheim (James); sons, Carl (Amanda), David (Susan), Donald (Laurie) and Eric (Maureen); eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Howard will be missed by his neighbors and many friends and relatives, close and distant. There will be visiting hours from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Rd., Glenville, NY on Saturday, April 21. Services will be at Calvary Episcopal, 85 Lake Hill Road, Burnt Hills, NY at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Interment is to be in the Saratoga National Cemetery, Monday April 23, 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Calvary Episcopal Church. His voice is silent now but his words and his love will remain with us always.

Published in the Albany Times Union on 4/20/2007.