In memory of our friend,

Richard Clark Keller - K5WA

January 6, 1950 - March 16, 1997

Obituary from the Houston Chronicle:

Richard Clark Keller, 47, died March 16, 1997. He was born in New York City on January 6, 1950. Mr. Keller was an amateur radio operator, K5WA (formerly WB2UFG). Prior to becoming a member of the Texas DX Society, he was active in the American Red Cross Radio Club. As well as becoming an Eagle Scout, he was a PADI Master Dive Instructor. He was a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, 1974. Mr. Keller is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Keller of Houston; his mother, Dorothy Keller of Webster; brother Robert Barlett of Houston; nieces, Eileen and Andrea Brand; and nephew, Johnny Brand. Friends are invited to visitation with the family on Wednesday, March 19, 1997 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm in the drawing room of the Settegast-Kopf Co., 3320 Kirby Drive, Houston. Interment will be in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Queens, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Heart Association, Houston Chapter, P.O. Box 20448, Houston, Texas 77225 or Divers Alert Network (D.A.N.), 3100 Tower Blvd., #1300, Durham, N.C. 27707.


Tributes to Rich Keller - K5WA from the
April 1997 TDXS Bullsheet:


This is a collection of memories if Rich that went out over the TDXS Reflector upon the news of his death. I was not
dry-eyed putting this together, Dave WB5N.

A call from KG5U this evening informed me of the loss of one of our fellow contesters, Rich Keller. I thank Dale for
sharing this news with me because it means that there is still a bond between the group, no matter how far apart we
travel or how much time elapses. I shall miss you Rich and all the great times we used to have as the Rowdies. de KN5H

As will I. In the times of fighting the cluster, the friendly little operating tips whence I was but a novice, and the big
yellow school bus club. Ron KK5DK

Godspeed Rich, You graced us with your friendship far too short of a time. 73 . . Mike K5NZ

I am fairly new to the TDXS group, but I also share the sense of loss with Mary Ann and all of you at TDXS over
the loss of our good friend. When I was preparing to move from Oklahoma City to the Houston area, Rich was one

of the first answering my email inquiry, inviting me to attend TDXS meetings and offering his help and information.

Rich was also my TDXS membership sponsor. The news of his passing is a terrible shock. As KG5U said,

this is a tragic loss, and Rich will certainly be missed. 73, John NJ1V

You know the quality of friends not so much by the passage of time, but rather how much pain you feel when
they move on. I feel a lot a pain, Rich, but thanks for the hand of friendship while you were here. See you on the
far shore someday, and good DX, pal. Regards, Madison W5MJ

Last night when I saw the post from "Hose" I thought that he was joking about Rich being gone from the ranks of
contesters because he missed the last one. For some reason, I got Dale's sad news-delayed-several hours later
on the reflector. Boy, it really makes you think! Last week, I talked to Rich a bunch of times.

What a really fine guy and loyal TDXS member! I will miss him, but I am sure he can contest and
scuba at the same time in the new environment. 73 Rich,
NN5O

I am shocked and very saddened at the sudden passing of Rich. He has been a steadfast friend to us all. I am so
very sorry and will miss him. Time and the miles shall never diminish my feelings for all my TDXS friends and all
the fun times. 73/88 Rich. I'm sure there was a place of peace and honor waiting for you. John K5JS

It sure was a shock to hear about Rich. You could of knocked me over with a feather. Rich was always a gentleman.

He was a wonderful example of how an amateur radio operator should act. I never heard him say a foul word

about anyone. His sense of humor in the morning and evening runs to/from work were uplifting.

He was great to be around at club events. I just cannot think of enough things to say about him.
I wish Mary Anne the very best. We will all miss you Rich.
God bless you. Dennis W5KU

Dear Mary Anne:
I am not too good at type-written condolences so if I ramble a bit, please forgive me.
I am not sure if you remember me. I cannot remember exactly when the last time was that we saw each other.
Perhaps it was when we all drove down to Monterrey, Mexico for that radio contest.
I do know when I last saw Rich. It was a couple of summers ago when a lot of the Houston guys drove up to
Dallas for a ham-convention. I remember how much fun it was to be with everyone again. Rich, Dale, Chuck,
Barbara, Kenny, Joe and more. I remember Rich and I would stroll through the flea market area looking at all of
the junk for sale and we would say 'boy, would our wives love it if we brought all this neat stuff home'. I told Rich
that Mary Anne needed a new computer and the one we were looking at was just for her. Actually it was an old
piece of junk that only a goofy ham would want and we both laughed at the thought of you or my wife Karen
actually using this clunker. I remember sitting around the happy hour table laughing so hard that we would choke on
our drinks and have all the other customers scowling and frowning at us. The bartender and waitress had also had
their fill of our antics and they were very glad to see 'happy hour' end because we were too cheap to pay
for drinks. I would borrow Rich's room key, go up to the bar a get another free round, and I wasn't even staying at
the hotel!  It is hard to explain ham radio to some people. There is a certain 'knack' to it. Whatever that 'knack' is,

Rich had it.  He had the skills to design, build, implement, test, troubleshoot and operate a highly sophisticated,
complicated station. All those towers and wires all over your property weren't there just to drive you crazy! He then
had the 'knack' to put his station to the test. Operating contests is what I mean. Rich succeeded in radio contests
and don't you ever forget it.  I have learned that as long as we have memories of a friend or loved one,

somehow that person is still with us.  I know my memories of Rich shall never fade. I know he shall always be with me,

in one way or another. I wish there was something more I could do or say but please understand that I am

truly very sorry for your loss and I hope that maybe someday Karen and I can visit with you and talk about the old times.
Sincerely,
Steven, KN5H and Karen Nace
 

Good Bye Rich... Letter to Richard Keller, K5WA after his passing on March 16, 1997. Richard died peacefully in his sleep. Rich will be missed by his contester friends all over the world. The Texas DX Society will particularly feel the lose of one of their most active and supportive members for many many years. Ah, Rich, I have been so torn up since I heard you left, Man. I have tried to drop you a note like the other guys but I just haven t been able to do it, Buddy. I can t see my keyboard now as I cry but I need to say a final good bye so I will try. I hurt so bad inside, Rich. It feels awful like when Dave, N5JJ, left. Actually, its worse because we didn t know you were leaving. I guess this is good doing this because my sobs are so big and hard now that I started this...finally they came! Maybe the pain will come up now and I can find some peace with the fact that I can t pick up the phone and call ya anymore. When I finally had to get into AA years ago because of too much contesting and not enough mature life, they told me that part of the reason I was just another sorry drunk was because I couldn t cry. Well, I wish they could see me now. They also showed me that it was okay to say to another guy that you love him and I loved you Rich. I wish I would have said it before but, heck, it would have just felt weird for both of us so I just hope you know. I knew you cared about me like you did everybody, Rich. My own brother never would accept me through all my terrible weaknesses and faults like you did. I wish you were here now so we could do this good bye thing together. Yeah, I know we are sort of because of the spirit bond that will forever live in my heart and, I guess, that is what this life and death stuff is all about. I don t get it why it hurts so much though! I know you know what I mean because you would be all messed up too thinking about my wife like I am about our Mary Anne. I am in such panic not being with her tomorrow when all the gang gets together to share their sorrow and tears with Mary Anne. I hope she knows that I would do anything for her if she ever needs me. I am so darned far away, Rich. But I ll call her when I can without blubbering all over myself and just make her feel worse. I ll tell her that in my Buddy Code that she is now part mine forever to watch over as best I can because that is what buddies like us do, isn't it? Not everybody understands that but we do, don t we? I m sitting in a darned hotel room doing this and, Man, do I wish one of our friends were here because I almost can t stand this huge thing exploding in my soul or whatever it is God gave us when your whole being just wants to scream so hard and loud to block the pain. But we lived some cool times didn t we, Pal? Remember that 160 contest with N5JJ and all those crazy Field days? We knew how to play hard with our buddies, didn't we? It sure was fun down at XE2FU, too. I ll never know how you put up with me when I was making your other radio friends talk so badly about me. But you always hung in there with me and with that heart of yours you always were able to be a friend to all of us even when we acted like children with our stupid egos. I was envious of your power to maintain an open mind and your ability to forgive so easily. I surely pushed you to the edge so many times with my self-centeredness. But you were always there for me, Rich, when I surfaced out of the blue and at the end of another one of my runs from reality. I wish so badly that we had made that DXpedition together. It was always so cool running the heck out of 'em someplace and there would be ol K5WA in the pile-up with a perfectly dropped tailend. I ll find some time in all of my future trips to drop your call right smack in the middle of a huge pile-up on me to answer K5WA 5NN. And as the pile waits, I'll take that moment to be real close to you for few moments, Rich. You'll feel me, I know, and I want to know that you will smile. I know I will feel that smile and maybe this leaving thing will get a little easier for me to take each time I work ya, Rich. I know you know how hard it is for me to type right now as my whole body trembles but its okay, right? This must be what buddies do when they can t see each other again. I've lost friends before in Nam and out here in the World but I never lost you before and I just don t know quite how to do it. Talking to you through my heart is kind of better than on the air but it sure hurts a heck of a lot more. If we were together now, we would be laughing like mad, wouldn't we, with me slobbering all over the place. I guess I know in my heart because of my beliefs that your are here but I am still a Novice at copying this way. Help me from there if you can, please. While you re at it, please put in a good word for me there because I m going to need it someday. Yeah, I m going to need a buddy in the right place like where you are at. But, they say He has a heart even bigger than yours so maybe I'll have a chance. OK---I am going to try and let go now. Oh God, here comes the tears again but, they say This too shall pass so I am sure I will learn this new mode of communication with you, Rich. Good bye, my friend. I loved ya, Buddy.....

Your Pal, Dennis Motschenbacher K7BV & all those other terrible calls you and I used to laugh about. God, I miss you...

 

Photo courtesy of N5LZ

 

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