Raleigh “Lee” Shaklee, W6BH, SK
Raleigh “Lee” Shaklee, W6BH, of Newport Beach, California, died September 23 following a brief illness. He was 91. Born in Iowa, he co-founded Shaklee Corporation with his father and brother in 1956 — pioneering natural vitamin and nutritional products and following with an assortment of “green” household and personal products. Shaklee Corporation became a Fortune 500 company traded on the NYSE. The business was sold in 1989, and Lee retired.
First licensed in 1937 as W6PQW, Shaklee says in his online biography that he got interested in DX and contesting the following year and began experimenting with Yagi-Uda antennas. World War II broke out while Shaklee was attending UC Berkeley, and he joined the Navy and became involved with the then-cutting edge radar systems. He spent 2½ years in the Pacific Theater, where he contracted malaria, leaving the Navy in 1945. After the war, he resumed hamming, experimenting a lot on 10 meters with various antennas that combined driven and parasitic elements and with new AM techniques.
He obtained W6BH in 1968, and in 1972, he co-founded and funded the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF). In 1996, after a slow period in ham radio, he sought out and found his dream location near Anza, California, and his Radio Ranch became a reality.
“After more than 70 years of hamming and with a new sunspot cycle, this is a dream come true,” he wrote. Shaklee had plans to establish a 501(c)(3) foundation to leave the Radio Ranch for clubs and new hams. Shaklee could remotely control his Radio Ranch station from his home in Newport Beach. — Some information from Inside Bay Area