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Prolific Author Tom Kneitel, W4XAA SK


Tom Kneitel, W4XAA, better known to hams by his previous call sign K2AES, died August 22 at age 75. He lived in DeLand, Florida, where he and his wife Judy had moved in 2004.

At the time of his death, he was editor emeritus of Popular Communications. Aside from serving as editor of Popular Communications, he had written for CB Horizons, S9 and Popular Electronics, and was the author of a number of radio hobbyist books on such subjects as scanning, CB radio and building electronics projects.

Dick Ross, K2MGA, publisher of CQ Magazine, who had worked with Kneitel on a number of publishing projects since 1961, told the ARRL he was "one of the most creative people I've known in my lifeā€¦.He came up with the name S9 and created the whole editorial package." Ross added: "His contributions were enormous. He kind of defined the personal communications hobby -- he brought together the whole range of disparate subcultures if you will -- it's all hobby radio. He was the one who brought them together. He saw the fun in the whole thing. He had a way of giving you a chuckle -- he had an enormous sense of humor. He was a terrific, terrific person."

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933, Kneitel first started writing about the radio hobby in the 1950s, and continued writing until recently. He was a 2004 inductee into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. He was the grandson of cartoon pioneer Max Fleischer, whose studio created the Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons.

Kneitel was predeceased by a son. Survivors include his wife, two sons, four daughters, a sister and 10 grandchildren. A private memorial service is planned. -- some information from



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