Past SCM, DXer, Propagation Forecaster Lee Wical, KH6BZF, SK
Lee C. Wical, KH6BZF, of Kaneohe, Hawaii, died May 2 after a period of declining health. He was 79 and had not been active on the air in recent years. Growing up in Ohio, Wical became interested in radio after getting an old Atwater-Kent from his grandfather in 1938, becoming a BCL and, later, an SWL. His uncle and a cousin both were hams. His early aspirations were to become a minor league baseball player, but he opted eventually for a career in electrical engineering.
Wical said on his QRZ.com page that he learned Morse code while in the Boy Scouts, and that his knowledge of the code attracted the interest of the US Army Signal Corps when he was in the service during the Korean Conflict. He got his Novice ticket in 1955 while in Hawaii and almost immediately became interested into DXing.
While attending college on the GI Bill, he got his first class FCC Radiotelephone License and went to work for broadcast stations in Ohio. After graduation he moved to Hawaii and was employed in various engineering positions before signing on with the federal government for 36 years. Following that, he resumed his career at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, working around the world before finally retiring in 1997.
From1962 until 1972, Wical served as ARRL Section Communications Manager (now SM) for Hawaii. He also was a state MARS director. Wical was an ARRL VEC and W5YI volunteer examiner “to put something back into radio, which gave me a great vocation and a great hobby,” as he explained. He was an ARRL Charter Life Member as well as a life member of the QCWA and of AMSAT. He was a charter member and co-founder of the Honolulu DX Club and on the club’s Board of Directors.
Wical had attained the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll with 358 entities confirmed. He belonged to the A-1 Operators Club and ARRL’s Old Timer’s Club. He edited and published the “KH6BZF Reports” HF propagation forecast and occasionally prepared the ARRL Propagation Bulletin for W1AW.