Empty Jelly Jar
Beryl H. Masters (WBØEJJ), 85, Kansas City, MO, passed away Sunday, October 3, 2004, at Timberlake Care Center. Funeral services will be 7p.m. Wednesday, October 6 at D.W. Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Chapel, with Rev. Robert Seals (WØFLQ) officiating. Visitation will precede services, 5:30-7 p.m., at the chapel. Graveside services will be private. Memorial contributions are suggested to the charity of the donor's choice.
Beryl was born April 5, 1919, in Corder, MO, and came to the Kansas City area in 1920. He was educated in the KC schools and MO State School for the Blind in St. Louis, MO. Beryl was preceded in death by his parents John L. Masters and Ruth (Hedges) Masters, two wives, Rosemary Duncan and Joyce Phillips, and brother John L. Masters, Jr. He is survived by son James L. Masters, El Paso, TX; three stepchildren, Mary Simpson, George Duncan, and Helen Dankert; sister Winnie Schwab, Raytown, MO; two nieces and two nephews; he is also survived by a host of friends, including very special friends Al Hartig, Chet and Mary Jo Hallberg, and Milan and Kathryn Vunovich.
Beryl became a member of Allied Workers for the Blind in 1939, and held multiple offices. As Financial Chairman, he was instrumental in increasing the AWB's treasury from its meager beginnings to an amount that has allowed AWB to do many projects to help blind persons in KCMO. In 1959, he became the AWB representative on the Education and Welfare Committee of the MO Council of the Blind (formerly the MO Federation of the Blind), of which he was a life member. As AWB Representative, Beryl was active on the legislative front. He appeared personally before the State Senate and the House of Representatives for many years advocating for blind pension benefits, white cane legislation, and other laws designed to make life better for Missourians with impaired vision.
In 1950, Beryl was the first person with a disability hired by Bendix Allied Signal Corporation, where he served as a Tool Room Machinist until retiring in 1985. He operated lathes and other machinery for cutting and shaping metal items, thereby demonstrating his resourcefulness in overcoming his disability by the use of Braille tools to do the same work as the sighted. His exemplary performance was instrumental in motivating Bendix to hire many additional persons with disabilities in future years.
Beryl was the recipient of many amateur (ham) radio operation awards, including the A-1 Operator's Award (highest grade license available), and the Quarter Century Wireless Award. He assisted other blind persons in obtaining FCC licenses and equipment. He co-founded the KC Association for the Blind Amateur Radio Club (KCABARC), and actively worked through fund raising to secure the equipment for Alphapointe Association for the Blind. He created the routes used by the MS150 Bike-A-Thon, arranged for the volunteers needed, and used his skills to provide radio communication each year to raise money for research of multiple sclerosis and also worked with communications for the Heart Foundation, Cancer Fund, March of Dimes, diabetes, and other charitable organizations.(Arr. D.W. Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Chapel, 816-3531218) - Published in the Kansas City Star on 10/5/2004.
The "ARRL Letter Online," January 22, 1996 - HAM RADIO FOILS THEFT ATTEMPT
The "ARRL Letter Online," 8-14-98: WBØEJJ honored
A huge thank you to all those (estimate 100) who attended the visitation and funeral service of Beryl Masters, WBØEJJ. - Larry Staples, WØAIB
I moved from the Kansas City area in late 1989. In the mid 1990's I returned for business. When I made my presence known on 94, I heard "Welcome Home, Jim." Naturally, it was Beryl. I shall miss him. - Jim Lasley, NØJL, Iowa Section Manager, ARRL
We are going to miss Beryl. He was indeed a fine gentleman and I'm sorry to hear that he is a silent key. - 73, Lee, WØAR
We have been listening to beryl for over ten years on the paul revere net. We will truely miss listening and talking to him. - Lee and Martha Baker