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Former ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director Robert Smithwick, W6CS (ex-W6JZU) (SK)


Robert “Smitty” Smithwick, W6CS (ex-W6JZU), of Los Altos Hills, California, passed away March 22. He was 92. An ARRL Life Member, Smithwick served as ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director from 1978-1981. A pediatric dentist by trade, Smithwick was one of the founders of Foothill College, a two-year community college in Los Altos Hills, and served as the first president of the college’s Board of Trustees; Smithwick Theatre on campus is named in his honor. 

Ross Forbes, K6GFJ, had known Smithwick since high school. “I fondly remember my days at Foothill College and working very close with Smitty on a number of projects,” Forbes wrote on the NCCC e-mail reflector. “Besides [Smitty’s] support for Project OSCAR, I remember the days [when] the NCDXC was looking for a new location for its repeater. While Smitty convinced the Board of Directors of Foothill College, and I handled the details at the radio site, we were able to move W6TI up to its present location on Black Mountain. Smitty was always there to support young people and Amateur Radio in particular. There are just so many ways that Smitty was involved in Amateur Radio. We have lost one of Amateur Radio’s great individuals.”

According to Jim Abraham, W6EB, Smithwick was “an active DX chaser and contester, and participated in many other ham radio activities for decades. He also was very active in humanitarian efforts in Africa and the Soviet Union/Eastern Europe dealing with the aftermath of Chernobyl.”

Plans for a memorial service are pending.



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