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Don Hilliard (W0PW)
I reacted with deep sadness when I heard of Don
Hilliardís (W0PW/W0EYE) passing. I canít tell you the
number of times he and I had lunch when I was starting
in the world of VHF/UHF operating. His advice and
hearing stories of what he and others had done
encouraged me to get active and do things people
never thought possible!
Don lived on a mountaintop near Boulder, Colorado in an
A frame house with towers..many towers. It was a
location we all dream of having. I used to go up to visit
and just dream what it would be like to have a QTH like
that. He would fire up on 2 meters and work Iowa
anytime night or day. What a motivation! His stories of
accomplishing the first meteor scatter contacts on 144
and 220 Mhz. When he lived in California, he traveled
the midwest operating portable MS back to his friends
near LA. Stories of early EME contacts, exploits by
W0UN and himself in the Collins tube rig days operating
VHF portable at huge distances. Don was always
pushing the boundaries!
Don and his wife would just stop by our home in
Colorado Springs when our son was a toddler just to say
hi. That meant so much to us.
Don was an organizer. He helped start the CSVHF
Society and single-handedly started Microwave Update.
He loved bluegrass music and played a good guitar.
Many late nights at the early MUD conferences in Estes
Park, Colorado were blue grass jams.
Don helped me get on the microwave bands and
encouraged me to do things that had not been done
before. Like operating 1.2 Ghz., 3.4 Ghz. and 2.3 Ghz.
from the top of Pikes Peak.
Don loved the Ozarks and would drive from Boulder to
southwest Missouri for weekends. I could never figure
out how he could drive all weekend and still work at the
NBS labs in Boulder, Colorado.
Iíll sure miss Don. He was a gentlemanís ham! An
experimenter. An encourager and a pioneer. Someone
should write a book on his ham radio life, it is a story of
excitement and challenges.
With warm remembrances,
Lauren Libby, W0LD
Contributed by: Lauren D. Libby (W0LD)
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