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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

John Basilotto (W5GI)

Jan. 14, 2011

John was a well known ham, found many times on 14.185MHz and 18.130MHz. He was the face of Flex radio for a while. I knew him for over 20 years and called him a good friend. Even though I am a total ICOM guy, John respected that and still enjoyed tech discussions with me and my ICOM friends. Ham radio has lost one of the good guys in our hobby. He died of pancreatic cancer. Originally given 90 days to live, he made it an impressive 1.5yrs through shear will-power. Even though many of his friends knew the end was coming, it still does not reduce the pain of his lose. He will be missed by many. Rest in peace John...

Contributed by: Matthew A. Erickson (KK5DR)

Very nice man and friend. He will be missed.

Contributed by: (WX0B)

A true good guy ham. Always willing to help. May the good Lord bless and keep you John.

Contributed by: Larry M. Wassman (W3OZ)

I knew John as WA8ZAN during the early 70's when he was the Program Chairman of the Dayton Hamvention. He was able to convince the DARA people that a Contest Forum would be a good concept. His highly sensitive Kenwood TS900 motivated me to replace the Drake TR-4A I was using with a TS-520. John was a true leader and I am sorry that I lost track of him when we both left Dayton.

Contributed by: Steve P. Gecewicz (K0CS)

Great Guy, I had known John for 20 years and will miss him for sure. Denny Hilbert K8KAS.. 73 John

Contributed by: Denny Hilbert (K8KAS)

The amateur radio fraternity has lost a true friend, teacher and wonderful person. W5GI always put a great signal on the air with his 'Mystery Antenna' that he worked hard to develop and helped so many build their own. A true 'Hams Ham', John was a retired AF Col., traveling extensively thus operating from all corners of the globe. He loved amateur radio. He owned hundreds of radios during his life. He was involved with the FLEX radio as a design consultant and one of the best customer service reps - ever. John was involved in final Beta testing of many of our Heil microphones and guided us through many products the past 15 years. Our condolences to his wonderful wife Pat and each of his family that have cared so well for John throughout his 18 months of this horrible disease. God Bless you, John. You will be missed. We attach a picture of John's last beloved Dayton with Sarah Heil and his son Chris, KC9RAZ

Contributed by: BOB HEIL (K9EID)

So sad to find out John is gone. I had the pleasure of meeting John on the air several times. Once I was testing a QRP phone rig and John took the time to record my signal and play it back to me. He was that kind of guy, and he had the technical knowledge AND the communication skills to be able to discuss just about anything in the hobby. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Condolences to his family.

Contributed by: Lowell Rieger (NY4D)

John and I never met, but during my time in Orlando over the last 12 years, propagation let me have several QSOs over the years. I always found John to be a true gentleman and a great advocate for this wonderful hobby we are all part of. John and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers. We will all miss you John.

Contributed by: George Sereikas (K2WO)

John was a good friend, both on and off the air. He represented the spirit and comraderie of amateur radio and will be missed by many. Rest in peace John

Contributed by: Richard Kalt (W1FYI)

Worked John many times on the air with his fine signal and station. I had the pleasure of working with him during the 2007 ARRL SW Division Convention and subsequent IDXC's in Visalia. We keep in contact during his fight on CaringBridge, the air and via E-mail. He maintained total optimism throughout. Always a gentleman -- always offering a helping hand. He will be missed by all who had the privelege of knowing him. Our sympathies to Pat and the family.

Contributed by: Douglas L. Dowds (W6HB)

I met John on air a few years back, and had the pleasure of meeting him at Dayton a couple years back at the Flex booth. Very nice man, always wanted to help.....he will be missed.

Contributed by: Stephen A. Parker (NZ4Z)

I first met John in the early fall of 1983 several days after we moved into our new home in Woodbridge, VA. I was putting up an antenna and John and his wife Pat came walking by. That was the beginning of a friendship and long set of QSOs. John and his family moved out of the neighborhood in the summer of 1987, but we maintained a regular weekend schedule. No matter where he was or where I was we made the contact. One Saturday when he was in Panama (HP1XUT) we made contact on every band from 75M to 10M. In 27 years we have QSOed from 160M to 432 and I don't think we missed more than 20 weekends, and that was because some were eyeball QSOs... and also included the XYLs. John was also my wife's gift consultant. A number of years back I thought about getting a Flex-Radio. John, Gerald and my wife got together and a brand new SDR-1000 arrived for my birthday. He talked my wife into some other great toys for Christmas and birthdays. Over the 27 years we have been to many hamfests, hauled lots of good stuff back and forth and have some good stories to tell about some amazing sales or acquisitions. While John was living in Texas it but a crimp in some of our hamfests together but I did manage to join him twice at the Belton hamfest and Dayton at least a dozen times. If I wasn't at the hamfest with John, at least I got a full account during the next QSO. My last QSO with John was 2 January. His son Chris talked him into going out to the ham shack and turning on the radio. Lucky for me I was sitting by my rig tuned to 14185 when he came on. Thanks Chris for bringing your dad out to the ham shack. We are all going to miss John's generous assistance and advice, enthusiasm, out going spirit and friendship. It's been an honor to call him my good friend.

Contributed by: K8MLM (K8MLM)

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