Remembering John Hays K7VE SK

John Hays (K7VE) at an ARDC hamfest booth

John Hays (K7VE) at an ARDC hamfest booth. Image credit: Ray E. Waldemar (WA6NVL).

As many of you likely know by now, we recently lost one of our beloved colleagues and friends: John Hays K7VE.

Those who knew John – of which there were many – knew he was incredibly passionate about amateur radio and a brilliant engineer. First licensed in 1973 under the call sign WN7WHV, John was a skilled operator with an Extra Class license, as well as a skilled organizer in the amateur radio community. He was a founding member of several ham organizations and an active participant in many more, attending a weekly breakfast gathering with other hams at his local club. He also served as a Volunteer Examiner, helping to bring more people into the amateur radio community.

Here at ARDC, John was a crucial piece of the puzzle in transforming our organization into the one we are today. He was a key component in the operationalization of the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC); serving as the Outreach Manager, he took us from an unheard-of foundation to one that routinely receives hundreds of grant applications each year. He helped spread the word about ARDC both in the U.S. and internationally, traveling to events in Germany and Japan in addition to many U.S. locations. Importantly, John was an ever-patient teacher, helping me and others new to amateur radio and computer networking to understand concepts that would otherwise be hard to grok. Even beyond that, he provided endless insights into our technical projects, not to mention thoughtful and well-informed advice on a variety of related business topics.

The space left behind by John at ARDC touches every part of our organization. It’s going to take us some time to determine how to fill John’s uniquely shaped shoes, particularly while we grieve his sudden loss. We thus ask everyone to be patient with us over the next few weeks and months while we get our feet back under us. We may be a little slower in responding to your emails, and we may not be at every event we’d initially planned to go to.

Everyone at ARDC sends love to John’s family and all of those who were close to him. We, too, miss him very much.