John Crockett, W3KH, of Columbia, South Carolina, died on October 12. An ARRL Life Member, he was 69. Licensed in 1963, Crockett was the developer of and project manager for the Southeastern Repeater Association (SERA) Universal Coordination System, as well as project manager for the entire SCHEART system, analog VHF and UHF linked repeaters, and, most recently, the Digital Mobile Radio linked repeater system. He was a member of the SERA Board of Directors and served as SERA Vice President.
“John was perhaps one of, if not the most beloved hams in South Carolina, but known far and wide,” said ARRL Roanoke Division Director Dr Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, who previously served as South Carolina Section Manager. “He is probably responsible for more Amateur Radio licensures in South Carolina than any other individual.”
Crockett worked with the South Carolina State Guard, sponsoring licensing classes and was a mentor and technical advisor. He was President of the Columbia Amateur Radio Club.
In 2011, Boehner and past Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF (SK), presented Crockett with the Roanoke Division ARRL Vic Clark W4KFC Service Award for his contributions to Amateur Radio.
“He was probably the best diplomat I’ve ever known,” Boehner said. “He worked with multiple repeater owners, clubs and groups, and helped them work together — a skill that has thoroughly impressed me.”
Crockett was an electrical engineer and, in his professional life, was Vice President of Engineering for the South Carolina Educational Television. He was an ardent advocate of emergency communication and served as net manager for the South Carolina Statewide ARES VHF/UHF Net, which met on the SC HEART Linked Repeater System.
“Amateur Radio and emergency communications had no greater advocate in South Carolina than John Crockett,” said Jenny Myers, WA4NGV, the president of the Charleston Amateur Radio Society, of which Crockett was an honorary member. “He will be greatly missed.”
Crockett served in the US Air Force and was a Vietnam War veteran. In the past, he held the call signs KC4YI, WA3EAJ, WA4EVC, WA4VUS, and HS3MC.
Boehner said Crockett was a strong supporter of the ARRL and very modest of his accomplishments. “When I think of an individual who has truly made a difference in Amateur Radio, his name comes right to the top,” Boehner said.