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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX006 (2009)

ARLX006 ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 6  ARLX006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 5, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX006 ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU

The ARRL is sad to report that Southeastern Division Vice Director
Sandy Donahue, W4RU, of Dothan, Alabama, passed away on May 4. He
was 63. Donahue, an ARRL Life Member, served as Vice Director since
January 2002 and as Georgia Section Manager from 1997-2001. In his
professional life, Donahue worked at a television station in Atlanta
for almost 25 years before retiring.

Licensed for almost 50 years, Donahue received his first call sign
-- WA4ABY -- at age 15. Exhibiting a lifelong commitment to public
service throughout his amateur career, he always supported the ARRL
and the Amateur Radio Service. Donahue was a fixture at every major
hamfest in Southeastern Division -- and many across the country --
as well as many of the smaller ones in his area, promoting the ARRL.
He spent the weekend of May 2-3 at the BirmingHamfest 2009.

Former Southeastern Division Director and current ARRL Honorary Vice
President Frank Butler, W4RH, appointed Donahue as an Assistant
Director in 1982. "We spent hours and hours together at the ARRL
table at so many hamfests and conventions," Butler recalled. "Sandy
became my Vice Director in 2002, and in the next six years, I got to
really know him. Over the past 26 years, we must have sold thousands
worth of ARRL books, study guides, operating aids, pins, patches and
stickers. Sandy was always promoting the League to hams, encouraging
them to become active members of the ARRL. He took great pride in
the number of people who joined the ARRL through him."

Butler said that after a hard day's work at the ARRL booth, "all
Sandy ever wanted was a good dinner! He loved to eat, and he showed
me many fine places to do that, from Atlanta to Birmingham, to
Orlando to Miami! I'm glad we got to do that again the last weekend
of his life -- at the BirmingHamfest 2009."

Current Southeastern Division Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, fondly
remembered Donahue: "I was happy to say that I spent this past
weekend with Sandy where he spent the last day of his life doing
what he loved -- in the ARRL booth, representing the ARRL at the
Birmingham, Alabama hamfest, catching up with old friends. Sandy
was, as usual, in rare form all weekend, joking and having a good

Sarratt said that on Sunday, May 3, "Breakfast began with Sandy
surrounded by a group of friends, where he, as usual, did his dead
level best to get the best of me with a joke. On this occasion, he
managed to succeed, and, in fact, he continued to enjoy this until
we parted ways at the conclusion of the hamfest. Sandy could relate
to all hams, both old and young. He -- and his sense of humor --
will be sorely missed."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that even
before Donahue sought elective office in the ARRL, "Sandy was a
fixture at conventions and hamfests, promoting the League and
supporting the association in any way he could. Sandy thought of the
ARRL as his family, and he was an important part of it."

Jeff Beals, WA4AW, was a long-time friend of Donahue's. "I've known
Sandy for more than 25 years," he told the ARRL. "He was very, very
devoted to Amateur Radio, especially the public service side:
Emergency Communications, traffic handling and helping out wherever
and whenever he could. We had a lot in common." Beals currently
serves as an Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club
Coordinator in the ARRL's Northern Florida Section.

"Sandy had developed an interest in community theatre these past
couple of years," Beals said. "He had been involved in a few
productions with 'The Featured Players' group in Dothan."

ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, said that
Donahue was one of the three ARRL Volunteer Examiners who
administered his first license exam back in 1997: "He was helpful
after the exam as well, always eager to share his experience with a
variety of Amateur Radio activities with me and other impressionable
young hams at the Georgia Tech Amateur Radio Club. While I suspect
that his stories were sometimes accompanied by a degree of
exaggeration for dramatic effect, I enjoyed them and will miss

Service details will be made available when they become known.



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