Silent Keys

This page is dedicated to those that have made past contributions by “Members and AWA Friends” who are silent keys and have made significant contributions to the area of communications history of technology used to communicate and entertain.

“Silent Key” Sue Wildermuth, K2SCW

On August 25th, 2021, Susan (Sue) Copenhagen Wildermuth died at Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York at the age of 65. Sue was born and raised in Rochester, and is survived by her husband Roy Wildermuth, W2IT, sister Margaret Bertella, and children Phillip (Melissa) Ruffo, Amy (Alan) Niespodzinski and Paul (Lindsay) Ruffo, and their Father Daniel Ruffo. Sue was a proud and loving “Gwamma” to six grand-children. Sue spent much her life as a nurse administrator and educator.

Despite her own health struggles, she gave and cared for those around her. Sue held an MS in Nursing Administration from the University of Rochester, EMT-Paramedic, was a licensed Ham Radio Operator, K2SCW, and volunteered for events at the Antique Wireless Association. She also found great joy driving her Jeep and caring for her cats Merlin and Gizmo.

“Silent Key” March 26, 2023

It is with a heavy heart that I report that long time AWA member Bill Holly K1BH has become a silent key.

My thanks to Tom Perera who has the very heart-felt remembrance of Bill that follows.

Robert Hobday

Bill Holly, K1BH passed away peacefully at his hospice at 83 after fighting liver cancer.

He was surrounded by his family and had received and read all of the many notes from hams and friends thanking him for his years of dedicated work on the history of telegraphy and his enthusiastic participation in many ham activities.

Here is a note from his wife Fran thanking you all for sending them.

“Thanks to all the hams who wrote so sincerely about their appreciation of Bill’s contributions to ham radio and the history of radio and telegraph.  He was pleased to read their notes, and so was I.


When the AWA and NEVEC nets and others that he was a member of go on the air I hope you will put out a call to K1BH.  I am sure he will hear you 59 on his quadruple-conversion Super-Duper-Heterodyne receiver. I am also sure he will figure out a way to cobble together a transmitter to answer you. It most likely will be a spark transmitter like this one that I photographed in his shack in 2002 so listen carefully to what may sound like QRN or static and see if you can make out the breaks of Morse Code dots and dashes in his raspy spark transmissions that may sound like the noise level.

Bill has embarked on ham radio’s greatest DXpedition so listen hard for him and let us know if you make contact. Also, keep an eye out for Bill when you are walking around at the AWA or Near-Fest or Marlboro hamfests.  He will be there looking at whatever strange keys like this Schurr bug might turn up:

Bill Holly will never die. He will live forever in the hearts and memories of those of us who knew him.

73, 88 and 33 Bill.

Tom Perera W1TP

Olin Shuler – Silent Key


Olin Shuler

July 24, 1930 — December 21, 2022

It is great sadness that I report that longtime AWA member Olin Shuler has passed away.

Olin Glenn Shuler, age 92, of Quincy, Illinois, passed away Wednesday, December 21, 2022.  He was born on July 24, 1930, in South Palmyra Township, near Hettick, Illinois, the son of Oren and Josephine Piskacek Shuler.  He married Norma Schlipman on April 11, 1959.  She preceded him in death on November 17, 2015.   

Survivors include a son, William Shuler of Quincy, Illinois and a daughter, Elizabeth (Fred) Stevens of Divide, Colorado.  

He graduated from Central Technical Institute, Kansas City, Missouri with a certificate in electronics and FCC Commercial Radio License in 1955. Olin entered active military duty with the Quincy National Guard Unit: Medical Company,123rd Infantry Regiment, 44th Division in 1951, as company clerk.  Honorable Discharge with rank of Sergeant, two years later in 1953.

He was employed by Crescent Electric and later worked at Motorola in Quincy, where he was employed as a technician in the Engineering Department. Olin was named Production Engineering Manager at Motorola in 1968 until the plant closing in 1976. He had sealed the last box of product off the last Motorola Quincy assembly line in May 1976.  He was later employed in senior technical management positions at American Safety Equipment Corporation, Palmyra, MO, and Detroit, MI, Sheller Globe Corporation, Keokuk, Iowa, and MicroEnergy Corporation, Quincy.

A frequent attendee at AWA Annual Conferences, I always enjoyed our chats and learned something each time.

His philosophy for life included:

1. Be enthusiastic and honest; in the end, facts will rule the day.

2. Play to win, rather than playing to avoid losing.

3. See rule 1. Time heals all wounds and vice-versa.

Great advice Olin.

Bob Hobday
AWA President

Ronald Earl Roach W2FUI- Silent Key


It is with a very, very heavy heart that longtime Antique Wireless Association member and AWA Operations Manager Ronald Roach, 87, passed away peacefully on Tues (Oct. 4, 2022), at home. As Operations Manager and a member of the AWA Board of Trustees, Ron envisioned, developed and helped manage the plans for the AWA Campus. Ron was always a key member of and contributor to the AWA Leadership Team. He loved doing tours of the Museum and with his faithful companion Sam, was always at the door as official greeter for bus tours.

Ron was born on Jan. 22, 1935, in Rochester and was the son of the late Earl and Esther (Becker) Roach. He worked as a vice principal in the Rush Henrietta Junior High School. Ron enjoyed trains and radios. He was an amateur radio operator, call sign “W2FUI”, who loved to communicate on his ham radio. He was also a devoted member and volunteer of Our Lady of Peace Parish, a contributor to “Unbound”, to assist those in poverty and volunteered his registered companion dog, Sam to visit nursing homes and hospitals.

He is survived by his sons, Everett Roach of North Carolina and Daniel (Jing Liang) Roach of Brighton; grandchildren, Brendon (Mary) and Jessica Roach; great-grandchildren, Bryanna, Kyleigh, Camden and Lewis; nieces, Barbara (Mark) Williams of Asheville, NC, Bernice (Tim) Facer Angle of Fullerton, CA and Betty Rose Facer of VA; and constant companion dog, Sam.

Ron was predeceased by his sister, Natalie Facer.

He will be missed by all those whose knew him and were lucky enough to call him a friend.

Bob Hobday
AWA President

Len Gessin – Silent Key


Len Gessin, AWA Member, Museum Volunteer and Radio Amateur WA2ZNC, Dies at 89

It is with a very heavy heart, that I inform you that Len Gessin passed away on Monday, September 19, 2022 at age 89 in FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, NY. He was born in Rochester, NY to the late Robert and Pearl (Rosenberg) Gessin. Len is survived by his children, Leonard Gessin Jr. (Lisa Beadle), Scott (Karen) Gessin, Terry Green (Dick Milton) and Jeffrey (Dorene) Green; his brother; Bernard Gessin; and his grandchildren, Jennifer (Tom) Frechette, Jeffrey Green (Janessa Davis), Nicole Mason (Chris Mack), Michael Green (Natalie Pope), Michael Gessin (MarKayla Nash) and Megan Gessin, along with a very large beloved extended family.

After graduating from High School, Len serves his country in the Unites States Army during the Korean War. After Len’s discharge, he began his career with the Monroe County Department of Public Safety, where he became an Assistant Superintendent. Len had a passion in wireless communications. He was a lifelong amateur radio operator (WA2ZNC).  He volunteered for the Antique Wireless Museum in Bloomfield NY, where he was a Museum Historian guiding tours of the Museum. If the Museum was open for visitors, Len usually was there.

Len was a member of multiple organizations, including Antique Wireless Association, Rochester Amateur Radio Association, Honeoye-Hemlock American Legion, Eagle Lodge 619 and the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance.

Len was an interesting, likeable friend. He was always ready help in any way he could and very knowledgeable. He made friends easily. Len will be sorely missed by his many friends who lives he touched.

Bob Hobday
AWA President

Dick Ransley – Silent Key


Richard Grant Ransley

July 2, 1934 – June 28, 2022

Longtime AWA member Dick Ransley, age 87, passed away on June 28, 2022.

After graduating from Alfred State College, Dick enlisted in the Navy and completed the Navy Electronic School. During his four-year enlistment, he specialized in radar and communication equipment. He was discharged as Petty Officer 1st Class, Electronics Technician. He served an additional 4 years in the Reserves.

In 1959, Dick accepted a job in the Heavy Military Electronics Depart of General Electric Co. in Syracuse, NY. He was proud to have worked on radio guidance systems which were installed on rocket boosters used on the Atlas, Gemini and Apollo NASA manned space programs. In 1965 he transferred to the Semiconductor Product Department, working as a Reliability Specialist. He also worked for GE in the capacity of an Application Engineering Specialist in semiconductors, in Auburn and Syracuse NY. In 1989 he worked as a Supplier Quality Specialist in the GE Aerospace Division in Syracuse and later in Utica. The Aerospace division was subsequently acquired by Lockheed -Martin. He retired from Lockheed-Martin May 31st, 1996 after 38 years.

Dick was an avid history buff and longtime active member of the Antique Wireless Association. He was an enthusiastic collector of radios and phonographs and all things related. At AWA he served on the AWA Board from 1973 to 2002, as AWA Board Secretary from 1977 to 2008, 2nd Vice President from 1989 to 1990, 1st Vice President from 1990 to 1995, AWA Journal Want Ads Editor from 1983 to 2018, and Official Photographer from 1989 to 2019.

He was a quiet, thoughtful gentleman and he will be missed by his many friends at AWA.

Floyd Jury – Silent Key


With a heavy heart, I want to inform you that longtime AWA member Floyd R. Jury, age 96, of Lancaster, passed away on May 10, 2022, at Willow Valley Communities. He was born in Canton, OH to Cloyd Jury and Ada Ophelia (Laird) Jury. He was married to his dear wife Erma from 1960 to 1982 until she passed away. Floyd was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Landisville, PA.

Floyd served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II where he received Radio Mechanic, Electronic School, and Radar School training. After his discharge he received additional training in Radio, Television, and Reliance Industry Maintenance. He worked as an electronic technician for Hamilton Watch Company for 38 years before retiring in 1981. He was a licensed Ham Radio Operator (W30LV) for over 60 years. He was a life member of the American Radio Relay League and the Antique Wireless Association. He was also a member of the MidAtlantic Antique Radio Club and the Tube Collectors Association. He enjoyed collecting early tv camera pick up tubes, early cathode ray tubes, early radar tubes, oscillographs, and oscilloscopes. His hobbies included building, repairing, and converting radios and other electronic equipment. He and his twin brother, Lloyd, started building radios and televisions at a young age. Floyd was a pleasant and easygoing man who will be missed by his surviving family. Floyd is survived by 2 nephews, Charles (Skip) Schiefer and Thomas Jury, 5 nieces, Susan Tomlinson wife of Craig Tomlinson, Amanda Rosh, Laura Sage wife of Alan Sage, Jennifer Jury, Elizabeth Hahn wife of Edward Hahn, 4 great-nephews, and 3 great nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife, Erma (Earhart) Jury, brother George Jury, sister Catherine (Jury) Schiefer, and identical twin brother Lloyd Jury, and a great nephew.

Robert Hobday, AWA President/Chairman of the Board

Raymond Shatzel – Silent Key


I am sorry to report that long time AWA member Raymond Shatzel W2XC of Lancaster, NY passed away on June 24, 2021. He was the loving brother of Charlene A. (Paul) Blakita; dear father of Royce, Navarre and Marina Shatzel. Ray was an avid amateur radio operator (W2XC) and was Vice President of Electronic Sales at Hammond Manufacturing. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Hammond Manufacturing, HEL Hammond Electronics Limited (UK) and the Hammond Museum of Radio in Guelph Ontario Canada.

Ray will be missed by all who knew him.

Bob Hobday

Ray Shatzel

Tom Peterson – Silent Key


It is with a very, very heavy heart that I report that Tom Peterson passed away in February 2021. He was a gentle man, inquisitive, quick to laugh, and brilliant.

Tom Peterson served for 22 years on the AWA Board of Trustees and 17 years as AWA Director. Under Tom’s leadership AWA has achieved international recognition as a premier communication’s historical organization with a world-class museum. Tom led the way to develop the Thomas Peterson AWA Campus which includes 4 buildings on five acres. Tom’s leadership and support made that possible.

Tom Peterson

Tom filed for his first patent (for a perpetual calendar) at 13. He established a home laboratory and continued to invent and publish in peer-reviewed journals for decades. Tom attended MIT, but returned early to help with the family firm, Preformed Line Products. His father had founded the firm in 1947 after inventing an advanced protective rod to cover conducting lines for electric utilities. Tom also had a passion for photography that had been inspired by one of his MIT professors. Even as Tom continued to support his father’s enterprise, he also pursued this emerging art. He eventually founded Motion Picture Sound, Inc., which provided audio services for corporate and government projects as well as Hollywood movies like A Christmas Story.

Upon his retirement as AWA Director, the AWA Board of Trustees elected him Director Emeritus. Tom received the AWA President’s Award in 2007. Also, a member of Radio Club of America, Tom received the RCA Ralph Batcher Award in 2017.

I always enjoyed our long conversations (they were never short), his enthusiasm, his thoughtful counsel, his encouragement, and his support. He will be missed by all and especially by those lucky to be able to call Tom their friend.

Bob Hobday.

“Silent Key” October 21, 2020


Howard A. Corey W1CL

0It is with a heavy heart that I report that Howard Corey (“Howie”) of Randolph Center, VT passed away October 21, 2020 after a brief illness. He attended the AWA Annual Conference each year and I looked forward to chatting with him every year. Howie was a quiet man worth listening to and always was trying to learn something new by asking questions. He grew up in Bristol, CT and after high school attended the General Motors Institute where he majored in engineering. After graduation, he worked on brake design at the Bristol GM plant for several years.

From 1961 to 1964, Howard served in the Air Force. He attended electronics and radio school and served in Korea where he maintained aircraft navigational aids. After his service, Howard returned to Connecticut where he worked in television as a transmitter engineer at WTIC in Hartford.

Howie retired from WTIC and moved to Randolph Center where he lived high on a hill assuring good radio reception. He was an active member of the National Association of Amateur Radio, American Radio Relay League, and the Antique Wireless Association.

Howie enjoyed dinners with family and his many friends and conversing with his radio friends all over America. The Annual AWA Conference will not quite be the same without Howie to talk to.

His smile, humor, conversation and friendship will be sorely missed.

Bob Hobday