Silent Key – Bill DeWolfe, WØLVI

Bill DeWolfe, WØLVI
1931 – 2017

A long-time RMRL member and great contributor to the ham community has passed away.  Services were held at the Mile Hi Church at 1030am on January 23, 2017, 9077 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, 80226. Reception followed at Red Rocks Country Club, 16235 W. Belleview, Morrison, 80465. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Bill’s name to  your favorite charity.

Bill is survived by his wife Joanna, brother Tom, 7 children, 9 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by 3 grandchildren.

We asked Bill’s friend, Gary, NØERG, to share his remembrances of Bill. This is what he shared:

Bill DeWolfe, WØLVI, best known to the ham radio community as The Weather Guy. He was very active in the Colorado Amateur Radio Weather Net for decades, and eventually became the Net Manager.

Bill’s family moved to Colorado in 1945. Bill attended South High School in Denver and Bill and a group of South High classmates went to lunch every week—until his death. They called themselves the ROMEOs (Really Old Men Eating Out).

At the age of 20, Bill joined the Navy and was posted to the USS Antietam, an Aircraft Carrier, where Bill worked on all the radio equipment on the carrier and its planes.

Bill had many hobbies, taking up photography when he was in the service and going on to be the wedding photographer for his children’s weddings. Another lifelong hobby was golf, a passion shared by his wife, Joanna. Bill used to say that he had lost a golf ball in every state in the union, and several foreign countries.

Joanna, Bill, and their seven children moved to Evergreen, where Bill became active the volunteer fire department and city planning. He also started participating in the Burro Races at Fairplay, providing communications. At some point, (not sure of the date) when Bill retired from Lockheed Martin the family moved to the Morrison area, near the Red Rocks Country Club—I assume to be close to the golf course. He also became very active in the VFW and other Veterans associations.

WØLVI of “near Morrison” as he liked to check in, began his relationship with the Colorado Amateur Radio Weather Net in 1969 under unusual circumstances. Five Glenn L. Martin Company employees had disappeared in a private aircraft, and Bill was involved in the search. The search effort was ultimately successful, but the aircraft was found with no survivors. Bill gave his weather report at the crash area… his first.

He was, I understand, quite insistent with the family that the weather reports get turned in, whether or not he was home. When he was gone—on business, a hunting or fishing trip—the duty fell to his children to get the report in. They would collect all the readings, and phone them in to Bob Swanlund, WØWYX, up on Squaw Mountain so he could get the report into the net.

In 1989 WØLVI became weather net manager, taking over from Val Eldridge, KØESQ.

For any NTS traffic handlers out there, as of the end of 2016, Bill had originated 17,350 messages, just for the Weather Net.

Bill was also active for decades in ARES, and reported the statewide high and low temperatures, extreme snow depths, and so on, to the various ARES state-wide nets on Sundays, along with other ARES duties.

Needing some more time to complete a long-term golfing project, Bill stepped down from the Net Manager position in the autumn of 2012, and I took over. It’s been a tremendous pleasure and a real job trying to fill the shoes of my great friend, ham radio colleague, and fellow “weather-nut”.   73, Bill–I’ll keep listening for you. ___Gary, NØERG Colorado Amateur Radio Weather Net Manager