Good friend and long-time club member James WW5XX passed away April 6, 2022. He was 78. James died from complications of Covid.
The official obituary was published by the Rushing-Estes Knowles Funeral home in Uvalde at https://www.rekfunerals.com/obituary/James-Hensarling
However, I was told that obituary contains a few minor errors; so I’ll quote James’s self-written bio here, as shown on QRZ.com:
HELLO IN THERE – Jim WW5XX
My dad was a Ham, and he got me off to an early start. His call was W5LBF (sk), and along with being a pilot and then a Flight Instructor in the Army Air Force in WWII, he also attended radio school and was licensed in the late 40’s. He retired as a Lt. Colonel. I obtained my Novice Ticket in 1956 with a call of KN5HKI. My first station consisted of a HQ-129X receiver, and the transmitter was a converted ARC-5. My dad helped me build the power supply out of surplus parts, and I know it must have weighed at least 100 pounds. My next transmitter was a Heathkit Apache which I built with my dad’s supervision.
In 1957 I upgraded to Conditional Class with the call of K5HKI, but I let my license expire in the 60’s. In the late 70’s got another Novice ticket so I could operate CW. In 1982, I scheduled an appointment with the FCC at San Antonio and took the General Class test and Advanced Class test the same day. My new call was KD5KP. My Vanity Call WW5XX was obtained in 1997, then later that year I upgraded to Extra Class.
My present setup includes the Yaesu FTdx3000, Kenwood TS-590SG, Yaesu FT-817ND, Yaesu FT-1000D, and a Kenwood TM-281A for 2 meters. Antennas are dipoles, and an end fed half wave at 20 feet due to restrictions. Also just installed a 6 Meter M2 half wave loop, and I am looking forward to learning a little about the Magic band.
My favorite operating mode is CW, however, during the low sunspot cycle I began to operate FT8 and FT4 digital modes, as well as RTTY. I don’t discount these modes because of their lack of ability to rag chew, but rather view them for their ability to immediately show where your signal may be ending up. It is a fun way to check out those antennas.
Now that I am retired, I am spending more time enjoying the hobby. After graduating with a Degree in Finance and Economics in 1966, I was a Secondary Education School Teacher, then spent 20 years in the mortgage lending business, The last 20 years before retirement I was Owner with my two daughters of Garner Abstract and Land Company, a title insurance agency, researching real estate chains of title, and closing real estate residential, land and commercial transactions.
Some of my other interests include photography, hunting and fishing, exploring West Texas and Big Bend, driving my Nissan Maxima Sport through the Texas Hill Country, bird and game watching, and listening to music.
LoTW is my preferred way to confirm contacts, and I upload regularly. I will also be glad to reply direct to your QSL.
I am a member of the Coyote Amateur Radio Club in Uvalde, Texas. See our club info under KN5S, or check out the web page at www.coyotearc.net .
So 73 for now, thanks for reading my bio, and stay safe out there.
ARRL Membership for 40 years
5BWAS WAS Digital 40/30/20/17/15/12/10
WPX CW 350 WPX Digital 1000 WPX Mixed 1050
James was lovingly known by his childhood nickname “Skeak”by his family and his radio friends as “Jim”. He had been a member of the CARC for many years; but rarely showed up for the club meetings due to health issues. I got to know him quite well, after many personal visits. So I decided to share some information for those of you who might not know him that well.
One of the things that he showed me a few years ago is an article that was published in a 1982 article of CQ Magazine. I obtained a copy of that, shown here:
It’s a good thing he didn’t give up on the hobby!
And James was always improving and experimenting. In fact, a few months after that article was published he put a “for sale” ad in another 1982 edition of CQ Magazine, selling some of the antennas he mentioned earlier that year:
It was thanks to the proceeds of his generous vintage Yaesu and Kenwood equipment donation that we were able to purchase the Yaesu antenna rotator and the Spiderbeam antenna on our tower. And that donation, even today, still allows us to “have fun building”. In a way, he may have been aware that this donation would live forever 🙂
After permanently relocating his radio equipment from Montell to Uvalde he was forced to scale down his antenna park. But that certainly didn’t discourage him! In fact, when he discovered FT8 a few years he became more active than ever, and started chasing all kinds of awards, whilst at the same time trying to find the perfect antenna to snag all that juicy DX. Barbara, his wife, allowed me to take a few photos of the award he proudly displayed on his shack wall:
Quite an accomplishment! And that’s just the ones displayed on his wall; he had several in a filing cabinet that were so old they had gotten a bit fragile to be on display. And the endorsements keep coming, as Barbara showed me an endorsement sticker for the 1,000 WPX Award, about a week or so after he passed.
James is also the only person to ever have made a QSO with us on 160 meters. And we sure had some good laughs about that. 😉
It is an honor and a privilege to have been your friend, James. Rest in peace. And I hope that the thief who robbed you of your last wish gets the Wouff Hong treatment, somehow.
(Erik – K5WW)