Superstition ARC Presidents Corner For 2021

For November 2021 By Steve, KB7KWK

I write this month's President's corner in memory of one of the best friends in my life. I met Dale around 1988 or early 1989. My brother Ken and I were in High School and both got our first cars. Like a lot of people back then we installed CB radios. My brother and I made a lot of new friends who were all CB operators. Dale was one of them. Some of those folks have long passed away. A few are still around and we are all still friends.

In 1990 Dale and I, along with several others in our CB group, decided to get our amateur radio licenses. Back then you had to learn 5 words per minute Morse code to get your Novice. As it turned out, Dale was pretty good at the code and passed his test fairly quickly. I was struggling with it and Dale would spend many nights helping me out. Although he could send and receive code okay, he never really stayed with it; however, he had an electronic Morse code machine and would help with the testing of new hams.

One night before a test started he and I were the only ones in the room. He told me that he was going to crank up the speed on the machine to something like 30 or 40 words per minute and have it send out "How are you Larry." This is Larry you all know as WB7C. He was WB7CRK at the time and he was one of the VEs working at the test session that night. Just as Larry walked into the room, Dale let it rip and you should have seen the look on his face when Larry responded "I am fine Dale, How are you?"

Around the time that I met Dale he was living with his elderly parents to help take care of them and he worked at a bicycle shop in Mesa as a bike mechanic. Dale could take a bicycle apart and put it back together with his eyes closed. He knew just about everything when it came to bicycles. Back in the day he rode bikes quite a bit, especially mountain bikes. In the mid 90's the bike shop closed up and Dale spent most of the time taking care of his parents until they both passed away.

As we entered the 2000's, Dale's struggle with weight gain became worse and his health started to decline quickly. I do not remember the year for sure but I think it was around 2004 when he decided it was time to get surgery for the weight gain and he had his stomach stapled. In the weeks following he needed help with a place to stay and to help him get around. My wife Brenda and I invited Dale to stay with us for a while until he could find a place of his own. Dale had no family here in Arizona. He had a sister in California and a Brother in Nevada. In around 2005 Dale found a single wide mobile home in a park around the area of Main and Ellsworth and moved in.

Not long after moving into his new place, Dale enrolled into Central Arizona College and got his degree in computers and website design. He loved working on computers and as it turned out, he was pretty good at it. Dale would later take over as the webmaster for the Superstition ARC.

In recent years Dale lost his sister and brother and began to go into deep depression. He lived alone and had no family here in Arizona. He got divorced long before I ever met him. He has two daughters in Omaha Nebraska where he is from originally. He was never really close to either of them although he spoke with one of them weekly.

Dale would often call me just to have someone to talk to about his life. He spoke to me recently about his depression and how he would think about just ending his life. I would stay on the phone with him and talk as long as he wanted. I would tell him that there are not that many good people like him around this world anymore and he has more caring people than he thinks. At the end of the call he would be feeling a little better about life and we would tell jokes and talk about the past we have had and I knew that his spirits had been lifted a little. I told him he could always call me when he was feeling down. If a week would go by and I did not hear from him, I would give him a call to see how he was doing.

On October 9th Dale was taken to the hospital with severe pneumonia and COVID-19. He passed away on Friday October 22nd at 10:09 am with a nurse by his side. His heart slowly stopped and he passed peacefully in his sleep.

Dale, you were not only a great person, but you were like a father or brother to me and I will always remember your great personality and attitude towards life. Even though you struggled with living at times, you found your spirit and knew that God would take care of you.

Rest in peace my friend. Until we meet again I bid you a final 73.
Your 2021 Club President
Steve Estes KB7KWK