W5EJ - December 25,1993|
Leland F. 'Ted' Heithecker
General Manager 1976 - 1991
QCWA # 5812
Christmas morning of 1993 we lost a good friend of QCWA. Ted Heithecker, W5EJ, was the General Manager from 1975 to 1991 and in that period of time helped implement many innovations for QCWA and its members.
Ted made many friends and close personal relationships through both his work with QCWA and the engineering activities. He was always active in developing relational charts of activities and membership statistics. He equally loved to talk with young people and encourage their education in amateur radio for it exposed them to the beauty and order of the scientific and engineering world. For that interest he was always active in the QCWA Scholarship program and as Executive Secretary of OOTC started to establish a similar program in that organization after he stepped down from QCWA.
Ted was born April 7, 1914 in McPhearson, KS and spent his childhood on a farm in that area. During his growth he spent some time working in a print shop and also doing some electrical work from time to time as an apprentice. In 1929 he obtained his amateur license, W9BEB. This led to his getting involved in crystal manufacturing. Around the same time he became involved in broadcast radio work, initially installing a new radio station for one of his friends.
In 1934 he met and married A.C. Richards and they had two boys. He then obtained his commercial radio license and some schooling in higher math so he could work in designing and installing directional antenna systems. He started that work in 1939 in the Tulsa, OK area. WWII came along and Ted then went to Colorado and once again became involved in a crystal plant, producing frequency control units for the war effort. He also, at that time, taught non-technical citizens to become employees in the various electronic companies.
In 1952 he became the manager of Quartz Crystal Plant in Kansas and then in 1955 he joined A. Earl Cullum, Jr. and Associates. For the next 31 years he enjoyed amateur radio and his occupation on developing antenna systems for broadcast stations. Then in 1976, he took over the management of QCWA and continued his broadcast antenna work until the engineering firm was dissolved upon the death of Mr. Cullum.
Ted was an exceptional person and friend and I will miss him very much.
73, good friend, de Jim Walsh, W7LVN