W3BFH - August 22, 2006

Tom Dix

Thomas Simpson Dix Jr., 91, died on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at Paoli Hospital in Paoli, PA.

Born in Philadelphia, PA on November 14, 1914, he resided in King of Prussia, PA for the past 44 years. Tom was a graduate of Mooretown, NJ High School in 1932 and attended Lehigh University and Drexel Institute of Technology; however, he was mostly a self-taught electrical genius. Growing up Tom spent his early years in Merchantville, NJ at the beginning of the Radio Age, learned Morse Code, and got his Ham Radio Operator's License in 1931 (W3BFH). In 1935 he won the Silver Cup Trophy for the 'Best Amateur Station in Southern New Jersey' transmitting from his Dad's attic! His 75 year 'love affair' with his radios led him through a life long career in the electronics industry in many varied work venues, lastly that of Owner, Great Valley Technology Company. He held two US Patents.

Member of The Institute of Radio Engineers, The American Radio Relay League, The Radio Club of America, The Antique Wireless Association, and Life Member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

He was a Boy Scout and was involved with his sons in their Boy Scout activities. In his later years he was introduced to boating on the Chesapeake Bay and enjoyed 20 years of boating with his wife Sally and family on his yacht 'Dixiecup'. He was a member of the United States Power Squadrons and rose to the highest rank of Commander in the local Main Line Power Squadron. He taught many courses on radio communications, navigation, and engine maintenance and received much recognition for his contributions to safe boating.

He worshipped at the Valley Forge Presbyterian Church where he was an active, long time member.

Son of the late Marjorie (nee Logan) and Thomas S. Dix Sr, and sister of Therese L. Crawford (deceased), he is also predeceased by his loving wife of 58 years, Sarah (Sally) (nee Lenz) Dix. He is survived by his five sons and four daughters-in-law, Tom and Ruth Dix, Jim and Kathy Dix, Bob and Fran Dix, Ron Dix, and Steve and Patty Dix. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held on September 7th @ 11AM with luncheon to follow at the Valley Forge Presbyterian Church, 191 Town Center Road, King of Prussia, PA. 19406.

I have been asked as ex-secretary of Chapter 5, to make sure that this Silent Key announcement is sent in for the QCWA Journal. It is a little on the special side since Tom Dix, W3BFH, was elected as the first Chairman of the Delaware Valley Chapter 5 back in September 11, 1956.

Tom passed away on August 22, 2006 at the age of 91. He was a radio engineer and electronics expert. He earned a ham radio license as a teenager growing up in Merchantville, NJ. In 1935, he won a trophy for Best Amateur Station in Southern New Jersey. His station was in his attic.

He attended Lehigh University and took night courses at Drexel University to gain his education. In the 1940's, he was involved in developing black and white television for Westinghouse Corp and helped install a television aboard the USS Nautilus before its 1958 journey under the polar ice pack. He later worked for Philco and RCA before starting his own business, Great Valley Technology. He held patents for a lightning protector for invisible fences and a control device for golf carts.

Tom had been a Boy Scout volunteer in King of Prussia. He enjoyed boating on the Chesapeake and was active with the United States Power Squadrons. He was past commander of the Main Line Power Squadron and taught squadron sponsored courses in radio communications, navigation, and engine maintenance.

Tom was a Life Member of QCWA holding membership number 1084 and a Life Member of Chapter 5. He was active on the air and checked into the Sunday morning net of Chapter 5 as often as he could. Tom was an avid county hunter and had worked all the counties 3 times. Quite an achievement.

Tom is survived by 5 sons; Jim, Tom, Bob, Ron, and Steve, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His wife of 58 years, "Sally" Lenz Dix, died in 2002.

Don Field, W2UAE ex-Secretary, Chapter 5