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John F. Pomfret (W2AAF)
July 2, 2004
An e-mail dated 7/2/04 from George Sintchak, WA2VNV, announces the passing of John F. Pomfret, at 2:55 PM on 7/2/04. John was a retired Industrial Arts teacher from the Three Village Central School District on Long Island. He was responsible for recruiting many young students into the great hobby of Amateur Radio. He will be missed.
Contributed by: John Bagno (KD2RD)
John will be missed by many. God Bless W2AAF.
Contributed by: Bruce Schaarschmidt (W2EH)
I never met John, but had the pleasure of becoming friends with many of his ham "progeny". John was quite prolific at turning out new young hams - we can never have too many Elmers like that.
Contributed by: Mike (N2MG)
John taught "shop" class for one year ('65-'66) at a school here in Oswego, NY. Luckily, I was one of his students. And, naturally, he started a ham radio class after school. He and another John, the original W2PGS ("Stoney", also SK) elmered me. I'm happy to say that, because of their influence, I've been a ham for more than 35 years. Their influence also was felt in my professional life. My B.A. in Economics could not have provided me the career that my extra-curricular education in electronics has.
John was a tireless educator; in school, outside, with young and old, he shared his knowledge and passion. Like it or not, you learned something new every time you were with him. His energy was boundless; he was almost impossible to keep up with.
John was able to visit Oswego briefly several years ago. I'm glad to have spent several short hours with him at that time, having not seen him since 1966.
It is my understanding that John's influence has resulted in SEVERAL HUNDRED people obtaining their amateur radio licenses. Wow....
He will be sorely, sorely missed.
73 es RIP, OM, Redd, WB2DVU
Contributed by: Redd Swindells (WB2DVU)
I met John for the first time in 1974. I am so sad to hear the news. He will be missed greatly. I learned and gained so much from John over the years,he was an amazing man. It was my honor and privilege to know him. He will always remain alive in my memories.
Contributed by: Scott Miller (NQ2F)
John came to Three Village schools in 1967, still a young elestronics shop teacher he brought with him a passion for teaching and ham radio. I still remember how he influenced many of us to the radio hobby. I myseld was one of the first few that John help with obtaining our ham tickets, he devoted many hours both on school time and off with the club station which he help revive (K2TKE). He not only tought us about electronics but in the scheme things help us with whatever our goals were later on in life. He was a teacher, leader, friend and all around good soul. We will all miss him and remember the fine legazey tha John leaves behind.
Contributed by: Jim Idone (KE2TR)
I have known John since I was a 13 years old student at Murphy Junior High School. He has been a great friend over the years. He touched many lives and will be missed. He was one of the biggest influences to me. Not only did he help to start me in ham radio, he also got me motivated to become a commerical radio operator doing ship to shore communications for several years as a CW operator. John was always available to help out whether on the radio or later on the internet. Me, my wife Phyllis (N2NIV), and my boys have always had a nice time visiting with JP whether in N.Y. or at his condo in Florida. His memory will live within all that knew him.
Contributed by: Howard Koenig (WB2TQE)
When I was WN2GJH/WB2NVY in the early 60s, John was my neighbor and good friend. We went to the Oswego County Amateur Radio Ass'n FD. I also recall helping him put up a dipole between an apple tree and utility pole in freezing rain. He was a good and generous friend and I'll always remember our good times.
Contributed by: Whitman Keith Conroy (WB2NVY)
John was an outstanding teacher at Ward Melville High School. He taught electronics, drafting, and architecture and was instrumental in getting over three hundred teenagers started in ham radio over a period of about three decades. I was fortunate enough to be one of those teenagers, obtaining my ticket in 1971. In particular, John was into QRP, running homebrew rigs and Ten Tec Power Mite series QRP rigs - back in the late 60ís and early 70ís before QRP had the draw it has today. In addition to Ham Radio, John instituted numerous other programs to get kids interested in electronics - such as the establishment of a student-run school AM broadcast station, WMHS. John and I kept in touch over the years. When I got my first ham station on the air, I contacted John on 20 meters CW. On the back of the QSL card John sent me was a simple piece of advice that I have tried to follow over the years: "Keep Building And Learning". In John's class, we built radios but we also built things that were more important - character, life skills, values, and a sense of responsibility. For me, these led to a 25-year career in electronics and over 30 years of experience as a ham. John was the VE team leader at the VE session where I upgraded to Extra in 1987. In 1993, when I was President of Radio Central Amateur Radio Club, we held a dinner to honor John for his dedication to the ham community throughout his teaching career. John will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Contributed by: Neil M. Heft (KC2KY)
As I read this terribly sad news about John Pomfret, I want to say that I will remember John with great admiration for all that he has accomplished as a dedicated high school teacher and avid amateur radio enthusiast. Like others who have left their comments here, I was also a student of Johns back in the mid 70ís at Ward Melville High School. Although I had no previous exposure to amateur radio nor any particular interest, John Pomfret made getting a Novice license a requirement for his electronics shop class. Because of his push to learn about the excitement and responsibilities of international radio communication, I am convinced that dozens, if not hundreds came away with the same enthusiasm and life long dedication to amateur radio that I did. How often do you hear about having a life long experience from high school? It was an exceptional achievement of which I have no doubt has to be a record.
But there was so much more about John that will always be remembered by those who knew him, not the least of which was his humor, his generosity, and his remarkable sprit that made John a pleasure to be with and a privilege to know. I will always remember John Pomfret for how he encouraged me to pursue amateur radio, and how he made me laugh and strive to push myself in college. John Pomfret was an exceptional man, and as others have already noted, he will be surly missed. I want to also extend my deepest sympathies to Johnís wife and children, and say once again that I will always remember John with admiration and affection.
Contributed by: Michael A. Schwartz (WA2YVN)
I just wanted to take the time to remember John as well. I did not have him as a teacher, however I had friends that were Hams in high school and they encouraged me to join the club at Ward Melville. He helped me get my license as well as provide a great club for the school. I was very sorry to hear of our loss, he is missed!
Contributed by: C M (KB2TBI)
After not operating radios for some 20 years, and now re-
entering the hobby, I was very saddened to learn of John's
passing. Some of my most vivid WMHS memories were
operating both the amateur station and WMHS. Enough
cannot be said for this tireless teacher who infuenced so
many young people. This continued years after we had
graduated, by his sending post cards informing us of
packet radio during the dawn of widespread home PC use.
The principles which he expected of his students as ham
operators percolated into my academics in general, which
led to other later successes. He is one of a small group of
outstanding mentors I have had in my career who
maintain a presence eventhough they are no longer with
Contributed by: Gregory D. Jay (WA2EDY)
Although I did not become a ham in high school, being in Johns class made me very interested in ham radio. I have a copy of tune in the world with ham radio with the cw instruction tape that I aquired from him. I am now 20 years out of high school and have become reinterested in ham. The first person I thought of was john. I posted a question on e-ham as to his whereabouts. That is how I ended up here. I am very saddened by the loss of John and know that he inspired many many young people to reach their full potential in ham as well as many other areas. He will be missed dearly im sure. I have dedicated myself to achieving what he always spoke of in his classes for ham licensing, and now will do it for myself and him.
Contributed by: michael erodenko (FIGUSMAKEM)
To those who knew him, no words are necessary. To those who didn't, there aren't enough words to describe him.
John was a wonderful man, teacher, mentor, husband, and father. I knew John since 1969 when I was a Junior High student at Gelinas Jr. H.S. and my electronics shop teacher (Walt Russell, also SK and another fine man) introduced me to John and told me he would be my H.S. teacher. I spent many hours after school and on weekends with both of them, usually involving some type of ham activity, sometimes just "hanging" and talking. John was the epitome of the word "teacher". Although I lost touch a few years after my graduation from HS, John was always in my thoughts. God Bless him, his wife Becky, and his children.
Contributed by: Martin R. Nielsen (W2NCS)
I was another of John's students, for
three years at Ward Melville. My original
Elmer was Mr Tamuk at Murphy JHS during my
one year there. (My family moved to the
area between my 8th and 9th grades.) I
never actually operated the station at
Murphy; my Novice ticket arrived a week or
two after school ended.
But that opened the door to the playground
that was the Ward Melville electronics
shop. It had a very well equipped ham
station: a full Drake 4-line including the
linear, a Teletype machine, an electronic
keyer (a rarity at the time) and bugs, and
a 5 element 15 meter beam on the roof. I
don't know how John got the school
district to provide such a spread of ham
goodies, but he did.
John was an inspiration. He got so many of
us to get licensed, get operating, and get
building. Building things on the bench was
always a big part of the program there.
He will be missed. All of us who owe a
debt to John should do our best to pay it
forward by being there for the next
generation of hams, just as he was there
for us when we needed him.
Contributed by: Mark Dulcey (KE1L)
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