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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Alan J. Wormser (N5LF)

August 12, 2005

Alan was almost 48 and died of a stroke last Friday. He was an active member of the Alexandria Radio Club and the Mt. Vernon Radio Club, an avid and proficient CW operator, QRP radio builder, and Elmer to many in both clubs. Alan was a friend to many and always willing to lend a hand. He was also an award winning archeologist working for the Army Reserve responsible for the preservation of our history. Alan was also very active in trying to preserve CW and had presented well engineered views to the FCC on many NPRs. Alan will be missed by those of us who knew him.

Contributed by: Richard R. Bunn (N4ASX)

Alan was also a contributing member of FISTS. He left behind a very nice web site. Please visit

Contributed by: Ian Keith (N8IK)

Thank you, Alan, for passing on your knowledge of amateur radio in our meetings and on the MVARC repeater on 146.655. I remember the time you brought the Vibroplex bug you purchased to the MVARC breakfast. It was amazing that I knew the original owner from when I was stationed in San Francisco in the mid-70s! You will be sorely missed. 73.

Contributed by: linux_author (LNXAUTHOR)

Alan Wormser, N5LF September 16, 1956 - August 12, 2005 What I remember most about Alan was his passion. His passion for everything. Alan enjoyed living life to the fullest. He was active in the Amateur Radio Service. A leader and mentor in our club, Alan was always available to help with projects and classes. He was currently serving the Alexandria Radio Club as our club secretary. His experience in emergency communications stemmed from assisting during actual hurricanes and tornados while in Texas. Beyond Amateur Radio Alan was active in folk dancing and had recently taken up mediaeval fencing. He delighted in showing us his accoutrements and sharing his new found skills. Alan was also a spirited political debater. When ever our group got together we would eventually find a political topic to discuss. Alan was never one to shy away from the majority Republican group. We called him our token Democrat and could always count on him keeping us in check. Alan loved his family and would often talk about the time he spent with his nieces. Alan had also recently become engaged to a lovely lady Laura. Alan and Laura were planning a new life together. They enjoyed each otherís company and it was obvious to all how he felt. Alan was struck down in his prime. It is seldom that we get the pleasure of knowing someone so capable of enriching our lives. I am still in shock that someone so full of life has been taken from us so soon. Alan, you will be missed by all that knew you. I trust you have found your peace.

Contributed by: Randal E. Browning (KB3IWA)

A gentleman ham and a generous and prolific contributor to the amateur radio service.

Contributed by: Philip Cala-Lazar (K9PL)

Although I only met him a couple of times, he was always very friendly and helpful. He will be missed.

Contributed by: Jesse M Barton (WJ4VA)

I knew Alan well, and would like to comment on his life and his passing. This won't be eloquent. Eloquence was Alan's forte, as I shall bring up shortly. Alan was a bit dislexic, by the way. It showed in his typing, at times, but when it was critical, spell-checking saved the day. His website - see below - is an example of careful typing. I found one transposition of characters. There may be more, but to me, it was what he said and how he said it that made the site a real standout. It is about ham radio, but a surprise of sorts is located at Other Interests. It's the rest of Alan's story. Back when we were involved with the Wormser-Adsit-Dinelli filing with the FCC, Alan was married to Karynn, and had moved from Texas to the Washington, DC area at the request of his employer. It was hard finding a home, but they managed. Here is Alan's website, created in that time frame. . Why not go to all the links at the Other Interests and in the links section. You will find out what a well-rounded fellow Alan was. The individual and joint petitions and comments were filed in the time frame that I met Alan in person. At the time, these were about the only substantive retorts (criticisms) of the FCC-intended Restructuring. The writing as I recall was almost entirely Alan's. He was an expert at that, and I found myself marching in lockstep with Alan on all but some very minor points. I felt a bit guilty at the time, almost rubber-stamping what Alan wrote, but after all, it was a collaborative effort, and a unified stand was taken. That it failed is sad, I feel, but what we had to say is a testament to what we thought should have been done, but was not done. It feels good to be a part of ham radio's conscience and history. Even though many disagreed with our stand, nobody criticized the logic and thoroughness of it. It was easy reading. Again, that was primarily Alan's doing. Alan and I had a lot of side communications about everything from playing GO to the details of his personal life. One day he said he was coming up to Verona, NY to see the Oneida Indian Nation (creators of what is now the Turning Stone Casino and Resort). The trip was an example of his job with DOD/USArmy/National Guard Bureau - he is (was) in the DOD phone book listed by his name. We decided to meet. I went over to his hotel overlooking the Vernon Downs racetrack, and got a look at his laptop computer and the view of the track, a place that was less than an hour from Syracuse but which I had never seen. We went out to a nearby steakhouse for a late dinner, and talked, and talked, and talked some more. It was a truly memorable evening. Alan kept his appointments. I am happy he kept that one. I knew him even better by chatting person-to-person. Alan had diabetic health issues that carried with them a high probability of complications, his recent death being one of those, although I doubt anybody, Alan included, predicted what actually happened. He led a full life. He cared about his own life, but he had a passion for caring for the lives of others, in many walks of life. It may not be politically correct to say this, but I will.. I believe he surely is with God now. He was such a decent gentleman. He packed more into every day than most of us can muster. When I was having a serious and dangerous series of coronary artery blockages, a precursor to open heart surgery on a weekend in 2004, it was Alan who insisted, as we communicated via e-mail, that I call 911, never mind the weekend. I had little time to live, as it turned out. That call, and the rather hairy and daring bypass operation that came as a result, literally saved my life. Alan, a lot of people here valued your acquaintance and camaraderie. We miss you, and always will. God Bless......., Fred .............SRI this is run together due to the way I copied and edited it.

Contributed by: Frederick V. Adsit (NY2V)

I am writing, partly, as President of the Alexandria Radio Club, but I am also writing as friend of Alan's and Lara's. Not hearing this phrase is probably what Janey & I will miss the most. A major facet of the ham radio hobby is communication - two-way communication. Alan actively listened. When he marked up on the repeater (when he came on the air), his "N5LF, listening" was clear, crisp and he was truly ready to listen to you. Most of us say "Listening" when we really want to talk. Alan taught, not only in our formal clases for new hams and those seeking to upgrade their skills. He also taught us about archeology, morse code and the other ideas that mattered to him. He did this simply by the way he talked. Alan was a patient teacher. He knew that people have different skill-sets, interests and abilities; and he know that these things shape the way a person learns. Sometimes we teased Alan because he had been labeled as 'the Club Liberal'; but frequently his views were more conservative. Regardless of the topic, Alan's views were always well-reasoned and thoughtout. Even when I didn't agree this his position, it was always interesting, and frequently entertaining, to exchange views with Alan. It was OK to disagree with Alan; he was tolerant of the views of others. Alan was passionate about the things he believed in - not necessarily loud or boisterous. He loved Ham Radio and CW (morse code). Members of the Alexandria Radio Club usually meet on Monday's for half-priced burgers at a local watering hole. Alan was a frequent participant. (Fewer dollars spent on food meant more money for CW Code Keys, which Alan collected, and more money for airplane tickets to Indianapolis.) At burgers and other gatherings, he would often talk about folk dancing and, more recently, about fencing with the SCA. His voice carried the excitement about those hobbies. Alan liked to tell old jokes and puns of all ages. His sister, Lisa, talks about this on her blog, so I won't elaborate. But I will say that the jokes were still funny when Alan told them - not only because the joke itself was funny, but also because of Alan's obvious joy in the telling. Some people might say that Life had dealt Alan two bad hands - the death of his wife, Karen, a few years ago and the short amount of time he and Lara had together. I strongly disagree with those people. So many of us have trouble finding one person to spend the rest of our life with; Alan found two. I think that when all the cards are counted we will find that Alan was dealt two excellant hands.

Contributed by: Andy Arnold (WV8AA)

30 years ago, Alan and I were Novice class ops and friends here in Dallas. We were in our early twenties and Alan was a student at SMU. I thought of Alan many times since then and I am very saddened of this news. I hope I can find that WN5QLF qsl card oh his so I can place it in a place of honor here in the shack. Jerry KD5OM alias WN5PRD

Contributed by: Jerry Karlovich (KD5OM)

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