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David Fridley (KG4FZR)
February 9, 2006
John David Fridley, KG4FZR, 50 years old, Niota TN, passed away Feb. 09, 2006
David passed away after a fall from one of his commercial towers in Thomasville, NC. He had climbed the tower to repair a stobe, and was decending when he fell from approximately 20 feet above ground. It is believed he had a heart attack, which led to the fall and his death.
David had 30+ years experience as a RF engineer. He was involved in electricity and electronics all of his life. At the age of 21, He started teaching at a state vocational center. At that time, he was the youngest State of Tennessee certified teacher for vocational electricity and electronics that had ever been in the state. He taught for 5 years. He resigned and went to work for Channel 26 in Knoxville TN (then call WTVK, now TV Channel 8 WVLT) as an engineer and performed maintenance on their 5 million watt UHF TV transmitter. Sometime later, he opened his full time communications business, Business Cell Systems, a paging and mobile communications provider, and later AAA Tower, a tower space leasing company, in Athens Tn.
David owned and maintained 192 towers (in 10 states) on which he leased space to industry, government, and amateur radio concerns. He was a Amateur Extra class ham and holder of a First Class FCC Commercial license. David was also an Amamteur Radio Relay League Technical Specialist in Tennessee and a Southeastern Repeater Association Tennessee Assistant Director and East Tennessee Frequency Coordinator. He was also a life member and president of the McMinn County Amateur Radio Club, Inc. for the years 2004 and 2005. He and his son John owned several amateur radio repeaters in East Tennessee on the 2M, 220MHZ and 440MHZ bands, and he enjoyed buiding and maintaining repeaters. He also enjoyed Field Day and area hamfests, and supported local events by furnishing his 160 foot tall mobile crane where he flew a large US Flag to mark the area of the event. David's own home amateur station was featured recently in QST magazine, and on Mosley's web site.
David was a fantastic Christian man and member of Fairview Baptist Church in Athens TN. He supported missions work with his gifts, and was active in his church. David has recieved a great reward for his work on earth. He leaves behind his wife Rita (KI4MJR), son John (KF4PVQ), his mother, and other relatives, as well as many, many friends. He will be greatly missed.
Contributed by: James (NA4IT)
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