TAPR President Emeritus Dr David Toth, VE3GYQ (SK)
Dr David Toth, VE3GYQ -- President Emeritus of Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) -- passed away Friday, February 26after a long battle with cancer. He was 55. A resident of Spencerville, Ohio, Toth served as a Director and Executive Vice President of TAPR in the 1980s and was elected President of the organization in September 2005. With his advancing illness, he decided not to stand for re-election last October and was instead named President Emeritus with Steve Bible, N7HPR, taking the reins as TAPR President.
"Dave was a great manager during his tenure at the head of TAPR," said ARRL Contributing Editor and TAPR Secretary Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU. "I give him a lot of credit for the success of TAPR's involvement in the high performance software defined radio (HPSDR) projects. The ham radio world has lost one of its best with VE3GYQ's passing."
An ARRL Life Member, Toth was a medical doctor who, despite his busy schedule, still made time to be an active amateur. In addition to experimenting with digital communications, he was an avid VHF contester. Licensed since the 1970s, Toth -- a native of Windsor, Ontario -- came to the US in 1993 to practice emergency medicine in Ohio. He was a partner of Premier Health Care Services in Dayton and worked at Lima (Ohio) Memorial Health System and St Rita's Medical Center (also in Lima) until the time of his illness.
"Dave was an extreme pleasure to work with," TAPR President Steven Bible, N7HPR, told the ARRL. "Most people saw Dave's dry wit and humor, but underneath, he was also very passionate about TAPR and promoting the technical side of the Amateur Radio."
QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, remembered Toth fondly: "After years of telephone chats and e-mails, I finally met Dave Toth in the flesh at the 2006 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference in Tucson. Some say a brilliant intellect and a well-developed sense of humor are mutually exclusive, but Dave defied the stereotype. It was difficult to keep a straight face at the forums while Dave was muttering irreverent comments. He will be greatly missed."
Bob McGwier, N4HY, who worked with Toth on SDR and other digital communications projects, told the ARRL that Toth was important to Amateur Radio "in so many ways. He was an early member of TAPR, a long time supporter of AMSAT and he gave of his time and talents to promote technical endeavors in Amateur Radio. Dave was an important player in the earliest days of packet radio in that he helped promote packet and supported it with on the air hardware, but he also participated in the development of a widely used BBS software suite that helped promote packet radio. As a board member and President of TAPR, he helped TAPR become the principal support for Open HPSDR, a project to promote the development of hardware and software for software defined radio use by Amateur Radio. TAPR kitted the hardware developments and made the widely available to amateurs everywhere. Dave was a great confidante, advisor, and friend. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
Toth was a private pilot for more than 30 years and an avid amateur astronomer. Since he was a young boy, Toth enjoyed looking at the night sky and reading about space and the stars. He had his own observatory that he opened up on clear nights. Toth was the founding member of the London (Ontario) Astronomy Club and served as its president; he was a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and belonged to the Lima, Dayton and Columbus Astronomy Clubs.
Friends may call from 3-8 PM Monday, March 1 and 1-8 PM Tuesday, March 2 at the Shawnee Chapel of the Chiles-Laman Funeral Home in Lima, Ohio; a parish wake service will begin at 8 PM on Tuesday. Services will begin at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, March 3 at St Charles Catholic Church. Burial of the cremated remains will be at a later date.