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from Scott Neader KA9FOX on February 12, 2004
View comments about this article!

From K4OJ's mother, W1YL:

Dear friends:

In September of 2002 K4OJ sat at this computer and wrote a poignant obituary honoring his father, W1CW, who had died that very morning.

On this afternoon of February 12, 2004, it is my reluctant turn to sit here and tell you that Jim did not survive yesterday's surgery. He left us about 11:30 a.m. this morning following liver failure after the somewhat risky heart valve replacement.

Just this past weekend he had a tremendous time operating the FOC Marathon and producing a splendid accounting of himself. This was just one more achievement during his lifetime of fun in and service to Amateur Radio and, in particular, the Florida Contest Group of which he was the first president. His operating abilities were manifest and he almost always the first one to volunteer his help, in spite of his declining physical abilities.

I know many of you will share my loss.

Ellen, W1YL/4

Wow, I'm just floored. Contesting will never be the same, nor will the annual trek to Dayton! He was a regular, and was often up till the last person stayed awake.

Here is a link to a collection of photos of K4OJ and friends, via Google. What a great, fun-loving contester he was. I will sure miss him, on and off the air!

73 - Scott KA9FOX

Here's how many of us will remember Jim - surrounded by friends, and everyone laughing.
Left to right: Tyler Stewart K3MM, Dr. James Breakall WA3FET, Jim White K4OJ, Jeff Bolda WC4E, Dan Street K1TO, Dennis Motschenbacher K7BV, Ralph Bellas K9ZO and your editor, N5NJ
(Photo from Dayton 2000)

Member Comments: Add A Comment
K4OJ SK Reply
by N5NJ on February 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Wow. Dayton will never be the same, the contest reflector will never be the same, and my contest logs will never be the same, as they always had Jim's call in them.

Ham Radio just got a whole lot less fun.

Bob N5NJ
K4OJ SK Reply
by N5NJ on February 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Scott - I apologize as I did not read your comments at the bottom of the article before I wrote mine. However, it's obvious to me that we both knew Jim the same way as our comments are nearly identical.

I think it's likely that there are many more of us who knew him in that way, and we are all likely joining with his Mom, sharing the feeling of loss.
RE: K4OJ SK Reply
by KA9FOX on February 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ellen W1YL's e-mail address is

w1yl at

- Scott KA9FOX
K4OJ SK Reply
by kr2q on February 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Oh geez....

One of the big reasons to go to Dayton is gone.

Jim had discussed his priorities with me during the last few months....towers, contest station, wedding, heart procedure. He wanted to get the important stuff done before going along with the MD suggestions....a good decision OM.

A sense of humor like yours is a rare and fortunate find...will miss you a lot.

de Doug KR2Q
K4OJ SK Reply
by k4kk on February 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Jim was always in everyone's log. I met him one time at Dayton and had a blast as it sounds like many did. Sad news for the contesting community. 73 OM!
K4OJ SK Reply
by k4vu on February 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i'm still stunned from the news. i was just scanning through the ARRL 10M
log submissions and spotted his call. it was cold and eerie to think of jim
as a silent key.

jim's indiscriminate enthusiasm seemed to affect everyone he encountered. through w4rh, i
shared a room with him at the atlanta national convention in '86. had never
met him before then (and unfortunately, hadn't seen him since), but the first thing i
noticed was that he was one of the more personable folks around. walking
around the floor of the hamfest was an experience. it was almost as if he
had never met a stranger in his life. he seemed to know everyone, and was
very quick to introduce me to all of his chums. i can still remember him
spotting john/k4bai from a distance, and in his best flip wilson impersonation, started
chanting 'here comes da judge! here comes da judge!'. however, one of the more
memorable experiences was later that night. we (jim, myself, aa4ga, aa4nc
and n5ko) met up at a restaurant in atlanta. trey's old orange volkswagen
bug GPF'd on him in the middle of the parking lot. as the patrons were
watching us push it to a parking space, jim was quick to ease the moment
with a 'i hope none of my friends from the club see me.'

after getting back into radio and contesting last year, i reconnected with jim through email. he never once mentioned his health issues, but enthusiastically filled me in on the W1CW superstation status and his mom ellen. i was recently in tampa
visiting my future in-laws, and was planning on paying him a visit. i regret that i let other things of lesser importance get in the way, and
i never made it over there. just figured that there would be 'another
time' in the near future. i guess all who knew jim -- even from a very casual
distance -- sincerely wish that there could be 'another time' for a quick
visit with OJ.
K4OJ SK Reply
by w0joe on February 22, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I never had an oppourtunity to meet Jim, but worked him in several contests. I also remember his unbridled enthusiasm for contesting in his many posts in various contesting and amateur radio online forums. He will be missed by all those who had the oppourtunity to be influenced by his love for contesting.
K4OJ SK Reply
by KZ1A on March 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Jim was such a fun guy, both on and off the air. Somehow, my next Dayton experience will not be the same.
Rest well.
K4OJ SK Reply
by KN4LF on March 7, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I live very close to the Florida Contest Group QTH. Last fall Jim emailed and then phoned me and asked me if I would stop by and assist in installing new beverage antennas. Of course I said yes BUT unfortunately never made it over for an eyeball QSO, due to my own personal medical problems. His death is a real shock to me.

Thomas Giella, KN4LF
Plant City, FL, USA
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