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Remembering WT0N

To all satellite operators,

I am filled with deep sadness as I type these words.

AMSAT-NA announced that B.J. Arts, WT0N, known as 'BJ' to all of his
many friends, passed away very early Monday morning, February 9, 1998
at Hibbing Memorial Hospital in Hibbing, Minnesota.  BJ, who was 37 years old, had suffered for a number of years from acute diabetes, and succumbed to a heart attack soon after being taken to the hospital Sunday evening.   

As a volunteer EMT, I deal with life and death much more frequently than most, and yet this news about BJ leaves me with a great feeling of loss. I've only known BJ for about a year, but in that time have grown to call him a close personal friend. We've talked many, many times by satellite, exchanged hundreds of e-mail messages and I've even had the wonderful opportunity to
drive the 3 hour trip from my QTH to Hibbing to see him.

As ANS assistant editor, I had just last weekend sent him material for the ANS release, the latest on Saturday morning. In typical WT0N fashion, he replied with a 'thank you for all you do' message. 

He never complained. He was honest and caring, dedicated to his hobby and to AMSAT, and to his family and friends.

I did attend the funeral Wednesday morning in Hibbing, and passed along how grateful all of us were to have known BJ and to have called him friend. In talking to his mother and sister, I learned that many of you were calling to express your sorrow. I can tell you that his sister was deeply moved. She told me that they really had no idea just how many people BJ had touched in his life. 

Tonight, very soon, I'll be swinging my antennas around for AO-10, and as I point them skyward, I'll be thinking of my good friend WT0N, and BJ will know that my beams are also pointing to the heavens where he is... and BJ will be looking down at us, smiling, no longer in any pain.

I will miss him.

   --Dan NN0DJ--
   ANS Assistant Editor