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In Memorium Keith Pugh - W5IU:
Keith Duane Pugh, age 80, died on Friday May 24, 2019 at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was born on October 3, 1938 in Dodge City, the son of Thelma Hammer Pugh Clare and Clifford Pugh.
He attended public schools in Dodge City, graduating from High School in 1956. He became a licensed Amateur Radio Operator, WN0QMG, between his freshman and sophomore years in high school in 1953. With a conditional license, he became W0QMG in 1954. Amateur Radio strongly influenced his decision to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering. While at Kansas State University, he became of charter member of the Smith Scholarship House, an affiliation he was very proud of. After completing a BS in Electrical Engineering degree at K-State in 1961, he went to work for Convair (later General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin) in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon moving to Texas, he became W5IYH. In the early ‘70’s he upgraded to Amateur Extra and became W5IU. He retired from Lockheed Martin in 2004, after a long career in RADAR and Navigation Systems Engineering.
In his successful career in engineering he was involved in many projects. Some notable projects were:
- F-111 on site radar engineer at GE Utica for APG 113 fire control radar development
- F-111 radar flight test at Edwards AFB
- F-111 engineering on-site support in Thailand to support Vietnam war
- F-16 radar support for flight test and development
- Radar support for F-16 cold soak testing at Bodo, Norway
- F-16 block 60 development and flight test
In the early 1980s, he became interested in Amateur Radio Satellites. His first satellite contacts were conducted through AO-08 and AO-10. Beginning in the 1980s, Keith served with distinction as an “Area Coordinator” representing AMSAT to local communities in North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Keith’s enjoyment of amateur radio, his passion for sharing the hobby with others, and encouraging everyone to become involved with space communications is reflected in his personal involvement with AMSAT.
His first association with manned satellites came from participation in the Soviet Space Exhibit held in Fort Worth in 1991, where he helped to install the exhibit as well as hosted Musa Manarov, U2MIR's visit to the USA. As a part of this exhibit, regular contacts with Cosmonauts on board the Space Station MIR were conducted.
Keith enjoyed coordinating contacts between students and the astronauts in orbit flying the Space Shuttle as part of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX). When initial construction of the International Space Station in space commenced in 2000, amateur radio was installed and the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program (ARISS) began. Keith served as an ARISS School Mentor since 2004, providing technical support and advice to ensure that schools around the country that were selected for a scheduled ARISS contact had properly prepared their amateur radio communications equipment to successfully conduct two-way communication with the Space Station while the ISS orbited over their location.
He gave numerous satellite presentations to local clubs and organizations, provided an AMSAT presence at many small hamfests and swap-meets in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well as coordinated AMSAT’s presence at Ham-Com and other larger hamfests in the Southwest. Keith also served as Chairman for the 2002 AMSAT Space Symposium in Ft. Worth and prior to that the 1993 AMSAT Space Symposium in Arlington, TX. His passion for demonstrating “working the satellites" was reflected by his annual trips to the Dayton (OH) Hamvention where he setup and operated a fully functional satellite station at Hara Arena on behalf of AMSAT. His activities drew large crowds of amateurs who had not previously witnessed a satellite contact. He did this until 2016 when his medical condition limited his ability to travel and he turned over the reins to Paul Stoetzer, N8HM who has continued the tradition established by Keith. The last hamfest where Keith had an AMSAT presence was the 2019 Cowtown Hamfest in Forest Hill, Texas.
For many years Keith served as net control for the AMSAT International HF Net on Sunday afternoons that encouraged amateur radio operators throughout North America to exchange information about amateur radio satellites as well as provided a conduit for reading the weekly AMSAT News Service (ANS) Bulletins.
Keith joined QCWA (Quarter Century Wireless Association) as soon as he was eligible. He was also interested in casual DX, weak signal VHF/UHF and Microwave. His passion for sharing and helping others was seen in his final wishesthat his radio equipment be given to the Cowtown Amateur Radio Club to help others continue to pursue Ham Radio.
Keith held a private pilot license and even took a tour around Australia in a Cessna 172 aircraft. He became a member of First Presbyterian Church Fort Worth in 1998 and served as an Elder. In his retirement, Keith was a faithful member of the committee that met every Monday morning to count the weekly receipts and make a record of contributors. Serving others came naturally for Keith. He was part of the Southwest Care Team, shuttle driver coordinator, and choir member at First Presbyterian Church. In the community, he was a long-time member of the Kiwanis organization. Other volunteer activities included some aspect of radio. He was support radio coordinator for Cowtown Marathon and many other fundraising events for charities for over 40 years.
Keith never married or had children but nonetheless he was part of a large family, he was proud to be included in holidays by his cousin, Kay Schmitt’s family in Kansas, when his immediate family had passed. Spending Christmas with his extended family was a special time. Everyone enjoyed seeing pictures of his travels and hearing stories of talking to astronauts. He was included in a studio family picture one year and he determined he had officially been adopted at 70 years old.
Memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth at 2:00 pm, Thursday, June 6, 2019. Graveside services will be held at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City at a later date. Swaim Funeral Chapel, Dodge City is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Fort Worth First Presbyterian Church or donor’s choice in care of Swaim Funeral Chapel. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.