Harry K. Wolf, W6NKT, of Morro Bay, California, has died. Just a couple of weeks short of his 108th birthday, Wolf may have been the oldest active radio amateur in the US, if not in the world, although no official records are maintained. Licensed since 1936, Wolf was an ARRL member and a Life Member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). Wolf was on the air daily, mostly on 40-meter CW.
Born in Paso Robles, California, Wolf said in his QRZ.com profile that he built his first radio as a young teenager in 1922. He got his ham ticket while living in Arizona, and held the call sign W6NKT for his entire life.
While serving in the US Navy during World War II, Wolf taught navigation to cadets in San Luis Obispo, California. Later, he served for 31 years as a professor of electronics engineering at two University of California campuses, retiring in 1973. Wolf was the founding advisor of the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club and signed the club’s original charter in 1947; in 2009, he donated a Yaesu FTDX-9000D transceiver to the club. After retiring, Wolf went to Hong Kong Polytechnic for 4 years and operated as VS6GF. His nephew, Tim Bryan, said his uncle also taught in Tanzania. After returning to the US, he lived in Florida until 1994, when he returned to Morro Bay.
Bryan told ARRL that his uncle was raised on a ranch in the Geneseo area and was once known as the fastest grain sack sewer in San Luis Obispo County, demonstrating the by-then lost art into his hundreds.
Neal Swanberg, KG6AYI, who is secretary of the Estero Radio Club, said Wolf last checked into the county net in late November. “We will all miss Harry’s bright smile and good humor,” he said. A memorial service is set for Saturday, January 28, at the Morro Bay Golf Course. — Thanks to Tim Bryan, Neal Swanberg, KG6AYI, and Marcel Stieber, AI6MS