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Jim Dionne (K1MEM)
I was saddened to hear the news about Jim. Jim was a super
encouragement to me when I first got the bug for topband back in the mid
80's. I used to call Jim on the phone regularly to chat about
conditions, listening antennas, tricks of the topband trade, etc. Jim
was always happy to spend time on the phone with me during those calls.
Plus, he used to call me and alert me of new ones which would appear on
topband. We also enjoyed many wireball chats on the phone during work
Along had passed since I had talked with Jim on the phone but he always
was a definite show at Dayton each year. Usually got a few minutes with
him each Dayton before the mob would move in to hear war stories from
the Great One of Topband. Jim also was very influential with DX
triumphs on other bands and modes. And Jim was a super contest op who
once made the top ten of a CW Sprint his first time oping the
contesting. That was quite a feat and not a well known feat.
We will all miss Jim. Jim was the mainstay behind the CQ WAZ checking
committee as well as a topband op from some great multi-multi efforts
such as K1EA in 1993. His topband effort, like DG said, was the best of
the best. I know because I did topband from N2RM that year and I
thought I had the top score until I heard the EA topband score! Wow!
Let's continue to remember the loss of a great DXer and contester - Jim
Contributed by: K3UA (K3UA)
I learned yesterday of the passing of Jim Dionne, K1MEM, holder of 160M DXCC
number 30. Jim also had confirmed more than 250 countries on Topband and
surely more would have been possible had he been a well man during the latter
years of his relatively young life.
Like most of you, I knew Jim from his accomplishments on 160m but I also knew
him from the old Murphy Marauder Contest Club days and from his membership in
the Yankee Clipper Contest Club. Jim is remembered for a number of
dxpeditions (I remember one to either Sable or St Paul Island in 1982) and
also because he administered the CQ WAZ awards for CQ Magazine until his
death. Under Jim's tutelage you **ALWAYS** knew that when you read about
someone achieving a 40Z WAZ award on Topband that it was the **real** thing -
he checked that stuff religiously once he took on the responsibility for it.
Jim was also a personal friend for nearly 40 years. I first learned of him
from a summer camp acquaintance in 1981. That fellow, Justin Eringus, told
me his neighbor was a guy who identified over the air using the phonetics "K1
Man Eating Monster"! Somehow, I never forgot those phonetics although I
doubt Jim used them much beyond his very EARLY General class licensee days!
Over the years, Jim and I shared an interest in Cape Cod - we often spoke of
the best restaurants on the Cape as he and his lovely wife Genvieve often
visited the Cape for weekends in the Fall - AFTER the summer crowds had left
it to true "lovers" of the Cape and Islands.
In September 1997, Jim sent me an email asking about where he might stay for
a week's vacation. I suggested that since I now had a place available
(complete with a pretty fair 160M station and antennas) that he was welcome
to stay at my new home - just for the asking.
Jim and Genvieve came on down - spent a week and Jim worked alot of 160M and
also VK9WM on both 80 and 40m. Not a chance on 160M, but he tried....
Several weeks AFTER his visit, my wife and I revisited our home and found
several totally unexpected GIFTS from Jim and Genvieve - two bottles of fine
wine, some Video rental gift certificates - and a $100 GIFT certificate to
the finest beach club restaurant in Orleans. I appreciated his kindness then
and obviously I have not forgotten it now.....
Jim, regrettably, suffered from kidney disease and had received a transplant
from his DAD many years ago. I am no expert in these things - but matching
of these things is critical and he had troubles early on just staying alive.
I know it was a horrible burden that he suffered under in later years - yet
Jim never complained - even after he had to undergo hip transplants just so
he could walk without pain - these being required due to the huge volumes of
steroids he had to take - just to stay alive each day.
As others have mentioned, Jim never sought to call attention to his
condition. He hung in there and fought for every day - and while we always
hoped for a succesful outcome, it just was not to be.
Like many who knew him, I will always remember Jim - as a fine Dx'er,
Contester and Topband expert - as he was surely one of the best - attaining a
fine DXCC score with only a 65 foot high inverted Vee as a Xmit antenna.
Some of his **best** Topband contacts included 4S7VK, J28EI, 3A2ARM and ZA1QA
- all being made BEFORE 1990!!
Sleep well my friend - you will be missed.
Contributed by: K1ZM (K1ZM)
Had a priviledge to meet Jim at K1EA, in 1987, and remembered him as nice person. God bless his soul.
Contributed by: Kele Kecman (YU1AO)
Oh gee. I found out about this right here, right now. What a shocker. One is just never prepared to read this type of thing, even though "it is expected." I am very unhappy, saddened, angry. Jim really loved this stuff. I recall that despite terrible illness, he came to Dayton to party "with the boys." Then, he discovered he did not have necessary medical supplies and had to run all over buying up what was available there...all just be make it to Dayton and be with "us."
So long FRIEND.
Contributed by: Doug Zwiebel (KR2Q)
Jim was a great op and dxer. He worked a simply amazing total of stuff
from a pretty average station in a very average QTH. Check out your
DXCC yearbook sometime. He also did 160 in one multi-multi
contest from EA's place. He worked **everything** and won the band by
something ridiculous like 20 mults.
Among the photos on the wall at Jim's wake was a piece of paper his
wife found when she went into the "important papers" file looking
for Jim's life insurance paperwork. She had never seen this paper
before, but it was obviously pretty important to Jim.
The top half of the page contained a drawing of the front panel of
an S-20R receiver (it had the model number prominently included in
the drawing). Under it was a neatly handwritten essay on "The
Shortwave Receiver", in careful penmanship, between the lines, with
mistakes carefully erased. It read (within a few words here and there):
"On Monday, I visited my Friend Kenny [note - this is not K1EA] and he
showed me his shortwave radio. We talked to other people with radios
in Framingham [Mass...about 20 miles away...DG], England, and South
America. Kenny is going to help me get my novice license which you
can get when you can receive morse code at 5 words per minute. He
said he is going to sell one of his radios soon and I am going to
buy it from him."
That was written in 1957, when Jim was 9 years old in the 4th grade.
Contributed by: Doug Grant (K1DG)
Jim grew up in the home where his parents still live, in Westwood, MA. It is next to a funeral home. As a teenager, he convinced his father to allow the erection of an 80 foot tower there. Later the tower came down as he moved away from the house for college. A sturdier tower, this time Rohn 25G, went up when he bounced back home -- which remained in the sky until he bought a house in Sudbury, MA (from which you heard him on the air ever since his marriage to Genevieve, N1CPC). I once asked Jim if the funeral home people had any objection to a tower next door, and he replied: "No, but I'd better not get into their PA system."
He was waked at that funeral home. I suspect it was the first time he was ever "into" that funeral home.
After the wake, K1MM, W1UQ, K1YL and I went out for pizza and a beer (K1MEM's absolute favorite food group) at Bertucci's.
By the way, did you ever notice he had the "thickest" dot for the the E in his call that you ever heard? Wonder how he did that . . .
Contributed by: Fred Hopengarten (K1VR)
Unlike most, I only knew K1MEM from a distance...I knew him as a great op... a call I respected. Certainly a competitor-- one of those East Coast guys; but he stood apart-- something special; gracious,patient in pileups, polite--- simply NICE.
Contributed by: Bud Foster (K4ISV)
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