Ray Wade K5JCM - SK (May 18, 1998)
September 13, 1935 - May 18, 1998
In memory of our friend and fellow Net Controller, Ray Wade K5JCM, who became a silent key on Monday May 18, 1998. As you
all know, Ray and Joe KE4LO ran The Ray & Joe Show
every Sunday afternoon on the net for years and together
they became a net tradition.
Tom, K5OVT, of Tulsa Oklahoma, sent this short biography
Ray was a native Tulsan and was 62 years old at the time of his death. Ray graduated from the University of Oklahoma
with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He retired as Vice President of Midwestern Manufacturing, an oilfield equipment manufacturer, several years ago and had been
active in managing investments since. Previous employment included engineering management at Leland Equipment and Autocrane
Company here in Tulsa. Ray was a member of ASM, ASME, ARRL and was a Mason and a registered professional engineer in
the state of Oklahoma.
He was active in the amateur radio activities in Tulsa holding several offices in the Tulsa Repeater Organization and was
license trustee for TRO for several years. Ray had been a ham since about 1957, his call, K5JCM, being issued on the
first pass through the K5s. Along with his radio activities, he was an avid reader and in past years enjoyed motorcycle
Ray is survived by his wife Sondra of the home, one daughter and two sons, all who live in Texas, one step son of New York
City and four grand children.
Courtesy of Tom Scott K5OVT
Brian, W5YE, ex. W5CHH, also wrote a tribute to Ray
I first came on board the MMSN, about a year and a half ago. Originally, I was assigned to the Saturday - 1900 hour
- by Chip, W4RLL, our recently retired Assistant Net Manager. Shortly after coming on board, the Sunday - 1300 hour
- opened up, and Chip asked if I would take it. It turned out to be one of the better decisions I have made in my life,
because I got to know, and become good friends with K5JCM - "Just Can't Make it".
I soon found out, Ray had manned the 1400 hour - for many years, and had teamed with his good friend Joe Ferguson, KE4LO
(who had the following hour), to become affectionately known as "The Ray & Joe Show". I soon became aware
that I was in the presence of greatness (as net controllers go), and was very proud to be the "opening act" for
the now-famous "Ray & Joe Show".
It didn't take long for Ray's easy style and mine to connect. Before long we were exchanging email (he loved my Texas humor,
and I loved his "laissez faire" approach to anything).
We often would spend a few minutes rag chewing (if time permitted), as I turned the net over to him at the top of the hour. It
became a ritual, as I would advise our listeners to "point your verticals toward Tulsa, and K5JCM will bring you the
opening hour of the Ray & Joe Show". On days when the contesters would be QRMing us badly, I would bid him "good
luck in the contest", as I handed the reins over to him for his hour.
Just prior to our arrival in Mobile in September, 1997, for the MMSN convention, Ray ask me if I were going to drive to Mobile,
and what kind of mobile rig I had. I told him we were driving my wife's car, and that I didn't have an antenna setup for
it, and doubted if she would let me drill holes in her beautiful Buick. Upon hearing this, he declared that he too, owned
a Buick, and proceeded to described his custom designed "no holes" mount for an H.F. mobile antenna, through the
taillight lens. Then, to make sure I could understand what he was saying, he sent me his original engineering drawings! Although
I never got around to installing his system on my wife's car, I did take the time to photocopy his engineering plans, before
I returned the originals to him. Someday, I might just have a "K5JCM Special" on one of my vehicles.
Mobile, Alabama was great fun. Meeting all those "voices" and putting a "face" on them. But
one of the things I remember best, is having lunch the day we arrived, with Ray at a nice little oyster bar just down the
street from our hotel. We really got acquainted during that visit, and a terrific friendship was born. We told
each other our life stories, and later, back home from Mobile, Ray and I found out that my first employer after graduating
from law school, was his famous cousin, Henry Wade, the Dallas District Attorney who prosecuted Jack Ruby. (He had only recently
found out that Henry Wade was his cousin). Small world.
I could go on and on. It would be easy to write a book about Ray Wade. He was an incredible man, and will be
sorely missed by all that knew him, especially his close friends in MMSN. I know it will be impossible to fill his
shoes. He was one of a kind, and no one did it better than K5JCM. I will be "holding down the fort" until
Ray's replacement is named. Don't be surprised if you catch me clearing my throat a lot. It will be due to the
lump in it, and the tears in my eyes.
I am honoured, and humbled at the same time, to be filling in for K5JCM. All I can say is, whoever gets the spot permanently
better have awful big feet, because the shoes are enormous.
Farewell dear friend. Best 73s, until we meet again.
de W5CHH - ar sk