Posted by af6aq on 28th October 2008
Don Rickerd, W8BQD was recently honored at PACIFICON 2008 for 50 years as an ARRL member. Don was presented a certificate from ARRL by East Bay Section Manager Jim Latham, AF6AQ.
Don was born in 1925 and grew up in rural Michigan during the Great Depression. He always had an interest in radio, and built many crystal radio sets during his teenage years. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and spent many months at Pearl Harbor at the close of World War II, installing radars on board the ships.
Don’s technical career kept him busy at a variety of jobs until he joined the staff of WKAR-TV at Michigan State University as a video engineer, where he worked until his retirement in 1987.
Licensed briefly as a Novice in the early 50’s, Don studied for and passed the Technician test in 1957.
Members of the Central Michigan Amateur Radio Club remember Don as an active member from the start, home-brewing most of his early equipment, including his first 6 meter rig, SWR bridge, and various other projects from QST magazine. He regularly spent Saturdays climbing towers for the local hams.
In the early 60’s Don worked with two others to build the first 2-meter repeaters in and around Lansing. John Hackman remembers Don’s major contribution as the settler of squabbles between him and Al Van Dyke, the third member of that technical trio. Don was a founding member of the Lansing Civil Defense Repeater Association and served on its board for many years.
Other Central Michigan hams remember Don as a true gentleman, ready to take on any task in the club that needed doing. To this day, younger members recall Don as an elder statesman of the group, and they miss him greatly since he relocated to California in 2004.
Don currently resides in Concord with his daughter and stays active on 20 meters, keeping a daily schedule with friends from Michigan to Arizona.