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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Jerry "Phred" Matthews (KM5SB)


May 13, 2013


This week our friend Jerry "Phred" Matthews of Soper, OK passed after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Phred was a native of Soper, OK and was a larger than life character. Never a dull moment around him or when in QSO. He often referred to himself as a "bonafide Choctaw war chief." He might embellish a little too, but who doesn't enjoy a little dramatic effect. At a young age - - and again later in life - - he worked in a cattle salebarn. Phred served in the US Army, notably during the Vietnam War. His professional career was spent in plant engineering. In recent years he operated a small electronics "emporium" otherwise referred to on-air as the "barber shop." Customers were commonly known as "victims". Attached is a picture of "Gizmo" (another moniker) in the barber shop. Phred loved ham radio, an adult beverage from time to time, fine cigars, a good poker game, and trips around the country on his Gold Wing motorcycle. He was proud of his "donkey mobile" radio operations at the salebarn a few years ago. The man could make a mean BBQ brisket too. On-air, "Kilowatt Maximum Five SideBand" loved holding court on HF, primarily on 40 and 75m. He served as a net control operator for years on the sunday morning Texas Traders Net on 40m. He owned and built a few repeaters and enjoyed 2m simplex with several of his local friends in SE OK / NE Texas. Phred was loved by many. His wife of several years, Beverly, survives. I'm proud to call him my friend and will miss him and his unmistakeable persona. The airwaves won't be the same without him and my other mutual friend W5XK who also succumbed to cancer within hours of Phred (will have a seperate tribute for David). RIP and 73 Phred. See you on the other side. Nathan Bailey N5REL

Contributed by: Nathan Bailey (N5REL)


The first time I went to the "Barber Shop" meeting Phred was something I will never forget. We laughed so hard I cried as Phred held court. Bigger than life. Funny, hard working and the patience of Jobe. He had the best Moonshine in Oklahoma and he shared it with only his select friends. You could not drink much of it but the effect was more than I would like to remember. HI HI David W5XK and Phred were good friends. They spoke to each other during there treatments for cancer and although I was not privy to the conversation I bet it was some funny comments past to each other as the tried to console each other as only they could. They died within hours of each other and their funerals were at the same time and on the same day. RIP you two. A bunch of us are not far behind. Dennis w5dpk

Contributed by: Dennis Kippa (W5DPK)


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