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ROBERT DOUGLAS (W5GEL)
Contributed by: Robert Gobar (N5RMQ)
I met Bob only once and spent a few hours with him and his wife. Back around 1992 I was working on a government research vessel (NOAA Ship Whiting) and we happen to be tying up in Ingleside, TX every second or third weekend. Ingleside isn't too far from Corpus Christi where Bob made his home. Anyway, I don't remember how but I learned of Bob and called him on the phone, out of the blue. I told him I was a ham and just wanted to spend some time with another ham. It was something I was missing, being on a ship. He invited me over and a few hours later I was at his front door. I went into his house and he showed me his shack which was very well equipped. We talked ham stuff for a while then Bob and his wife took me out to lunch. After my visit, I made the effort and set up my station aboard ship. I managed to get the Captain's permission and the electronic tech's gave about three feet of counter space. They even helped me put up a random wire antenna. I spent about two years being a maritime mobile. Thanks Bob for inspiring me to set up my station aboard ship and some of the most enjoyable time playing radio!!
Contributed by: Joe Seitz (NR7Z)
Bob,was a great pioneer and always on the cutting edge of amateur radio. It seemed that regardless of the mode I was experimenting in, I always ran into Bob on the air, ahead of me, cutting a path of experience ... cw, rtty, amtor, pactor, psk31, vhf packet, hf packet, amateur radio tcpip, hellscriber, he tried and did them all. Even as Bob grew older, his desire and thirst knowledge continued. He was one of the very best CW operators that I ever knew. He opened his shack to new hams and did what he could to generate electronics interest in young children via AMSAT. Bob Douglas will be missed.
Contributed by: K5AWI (K5AWI)
Bob Douglas was a friend I will always remember. In 1977, our 3-1/2 year old son was diagnosed with cancer. Facing an almost certain fatal outcome, my wife & I were devestated. Furthermore, we were separated because she was in Houston with our son at M D Anderson & I was in Corpus at work. One day, I stopped by Douglas Electronics to look at ham equipment and to distract myself. Bob & Hallye invited me to go to the Yacht Club for lunch with them that day. I know that it was a small gesture of caring but to me it was greatly appreciated.
Today our son is 29 years old & when I think of Bob & Hallye, I remember their act of kindness & empathy for a fellow bereaved ham.
I am attaching a photo of Bob & me taken in May 2002.
Contributed by: Leo L. Bailey, Jr. (K5AVJ)
For those who knew Bob, he was forever young! Everytime I'd go to visit he and Hallye, God Bless her, Bob was always so eager to show his newest, latest toy! Many times he'd joke that after getting something new, that he would write a "Thank You" letter to his daughter for spending her inheritance, then he would laugh! He was always like a kid in a candy shop. As those who knew Bob can atest, he did it all. He was a true pioneer. He shared his love of the hobby with ANYONE who wanted to know, or was just curious. That is how I met him. I stopped by the store to intruduce myself and the rest was history. For next nearly five years, on Thursday I would visit Bob and Hallye. My weekly visits ended when I was transfered out of town. We would visit in the living room, then Bob would say; 'John, there's something I want to show you!' And off we would go to his shack to learn his latest achivement. The last great achivement, when I last saw him a few years ago, was working EME with his satellite station during a contest with a VE using a radiotelescope! Bob had learned so much, and had given so much. His wall in his shack noted his life. From providing emergency communication during the Texas City explosion, his FOC and Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society certificate, and too many things to remember. Both Bob and Hallye will be sorely missed. I saw in them what I wanted to be when I was old, in love with the same person! Bob, you had a good long life. You had a hobby that kept you young and a wife that loved you, and whom you loved very much. The both of you will are missed.
73's (Father) John
Contributed by: John S. Wojtasczyk (KA5SWC)
I met Bob Douglas through my Dad, who was an opthalmologist. Bob and his wife had eye problems occasionally over the years, and Dad became well acquainted with them. He used Bob as a resource when I got to Boy Scout age and was interested in electronics. Bob's company was the Hallicrafters dealer, and soon I had a little Hallicrafters portable radio that would do AM and SW. Boy, was I happy. The next step was to stop by W5GEL and get a tour of the shack. As I grew up, got a ham license, got an EE degree, and so on, I know that Dad was occasionally "touching base" to get Bob's advice on things electronic. I'm happy to be a practicing EE and an active ham today, and I know that W5GEL had a gentle hand in it. Thanks and 73, Bob, and Good DX!
Contributed by: Tom O'Brien (AB5XZ)
I want all to know that I still have the Kenwood 790 satellite radio I purchased from Bob in October 1995. It was his personal radio that he worked satellites and now I read EME with. I am still using this radio and I am happy that I was able to get it from such an avid HAM. He took great care of the radio and it works perfectly to this day.
Contributed by: Fred Juch (N5JXO)
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