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Ben Wright (K9DID)
September 27, 2005
Uncle Ben, K9DID passed away this morning doing the other thing he liked to do most besides ham radio - fishing. The photo attached here was taken just a few days ago. That's Ben on the right in the orange cap standing next to Pa. It was common for Ben to come for fishing season each fall. It was one such season that he and I surprised my father, Ron Gorzynski K8DID with the fact that I had secretly studied and was ready to take the Novice exam. Back then Ben was qualified to conduct the exam and he made sure this YL knew her stuff. I not only had to pass the regular licensing requirements but I had to pass Ben's licensing requirements too. Ben was known as the Original DID. K9DID was his assigned call. As soon as vanity calls were opened to all hams, our entire family became a DID and boy, DID we ever have fun with that! There were many nights where we would be communicating via the computer while we all lined up on a DX station's frequency to work them one, two, three DIDs in a row! Some stations seemed to enjoy our merriment. We were even asked once by OH6KN in Finland, "Three DIDS? Is this possible?" At the 2005 Hamvention in Dayton members of my club, the Alexandria Radio Club sought him out calling him Uncle Ben too. I know that made him proud, but he's the one that made me proud. I am proud to have learned from him not only the skills necessary but also the courtesies that help to make me a good operator, and I'm very proud to be a part of a stong and loving family that shares our joy of amateur radio with one another. I can't imagine being on air without him - he's been a huge part of my radio experience for the entire 20 years I've had my ticket. 88 Uncle Ben
Contributed by: Deanna Lutz (K7DID)
I will have to admit that I was a DID wannabe. I felt adopted by the DIDs and we have spent a lot of time together on satellites and just joking around. I was going to get a DID vanity when I passed my extra.
I first ran into Ron and Ben on AO-40, shortly after I became a ham. I was a tech, living in an CC&R'd condo, and had never been on HF before. However satellites were possible, and both Ben and Ron were instrumental in teaching me about DXing.
After AO-40 died, Ben, Deanna's Dad Ron and I would get on Echolink and it was a non-stop laugh fest. Ben and I had our first eyeball QSO this past May at Dayton when we worked the AMSAT booth together (see photo). We were already making plans for Dayton 2006 knowing that P3E would likely be launched by that time. Ben had a vision to get get other HEO satellite DXer's together for a eyeball rag chew and we were in the stage of thinking about a venue. He was very passionate about the subject, and it was Ben's secret wish to see it happen.
Ben had a great sense of humor and contributed a very funny anectdotal story about his upcoming 50th anniversary as a ham called "It's all my mother's fault." It will be published in an upcoming issue of CQ Magazine
My heart goes out to Ron, Deanna, Bonnie and Sue, Ben's kids and the reset of Ben's Family. You will probably never knew how many lives Ben touched in a positive way - as an operator, supporter of AMSAT and the ARRL, and as a VEC.
I'm going to really miss you buddy - this has really hit me hard. But I know you went with your wader's on and your fishing pole in your hand, doing what you loved best.
73 de W0EEC
Contributed by: Emily Clarke (W0EEC)
I am shocked at the loss of someone who was involved in ham radio with me back in the late 50's and forward. I remember the old days when Ben & Sue lived in Lake Mills, WI and I lived in Beaver Dam, WI. I became a novice KN9VDD in September of '59 and soon after met Ben on 40 mtr cw in the novice band. In 1960 I got my General and became K9VDD and then the real fun began on 75 meters on 3.950! Not living to far from him we were able to meet along with another friend Irv Bouchart W9QHR ( SK ) Irv passed away many years ago. We had regular schedules on 2 meter am and Irv's place in Watertown, WI was a real radio experience. Then there was the Fond du Lac, WI banquets and the Friday night sessions at Punky's in "Fondy" and the on the air parties at W9LUQ ( SK) Earl Jenkins' house in Fondy. Then there were the fun parties at W9HIF's (SK ) house in Brookfield. Later I moved to Madison, WI and Ben & Sue went to Appleton and the parties eventually fell away as the guys faded away. Early this last summer is the last memory and communications I had with Ben on echolink. Ron, you might remember it because Ben hasseled me about changing my call to W9CAR after K9VDD for 47 years!
My most sincere condolences to you Sue and the entire Wright family. To me, Ben was one of the finest ham radio operators I have ever met. May God rest his soul.
Contributed by: RALPH H. HENES (W9CAR)
I have so many memories of my good friend. I just don't know where to start.
Ben and I met in 1956. We visited each other regularly on what Ben called our "two wheel chariots" between Lake Mills and Watertown, Wisconsin. I was WN9PJT and he was KN9DID. (A side note is Ben's mom instructed me how to raise Siamese cats.)
Our friendship continued through the many years, and I can hear Ben now affectionately calling me "PaJute". (W9PJT)
I simply called him Didder. It was so great how we would pester each other! It was so great to watch complete strangers question our behavior. What fun we had!
Ben was always ready to help. He patiently got me going on RTTY this summer, and a super secret two meter frequency was established. Only Ben and I know what it is. He helped me with my antennas..and other amateur endeavors (He could really penetrate you with his eyes to explain a point.)
The trips to Dayton Hamvention are memorable and some of his antics will never be forgotten. Ben was also a life member of the Northeastern Wisconsin DX Association. This amplifies one of his interests in amateur radio-"DX Is." I knew of his other interests in satellites and figured I'd have him help me with that in the future.
I could write forever about my friend. I do have some unanswered e-mails, but I know Ben is smiling and telling me he was away on a fishing trip at the time I sent them and the day will come when we will discuss them over a beverage.
My deepest sympathy to the Wright's, Ben will always be in my prayers.
God speed, Bennett...You sure had alot of friends. I'll miss you. 73 Mark Michel, W9OP ex-W9PJT ex-WN9PJT
Contributed by: Mark Michel (W9OP)
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