Tribute to Jack W. Ballard - W8GZI
1923 - March 2017

Jack W. Ballard was born in 1923 in Painsville, Ohio. He served in the Navy in WWII as a radio teletype operator on Okinawa. After the war, he returned home and applied for a job at the phone company (which is where his mother worked as an operator) and became a central office technician. He worked for the company for 39 years, retiring in 1986. He was licensed as a ham in 1952 as W8GZI. He was active on the radio throughout the 50's and 60's, but became inactive while raising us kids. After he retired, he went back to the radio, first mobile in his truck and later in the station he built in his workshop in the basement. He loved to tinker with building antennas and equipment. I even helped him build and maintain a huge cubical quad antenna which he used on 20 meters.

My father loved his radio hobby and it gave him an outlet for both his love of tinkering with equipment and his enjoyment of talking with others from all over the world. His health began to decline in the eary 2000's, but we kept him on the air until the beginning of 2016. At this point he became too fragile to operate the equipment any longer and he lost interest in it. He passed away from pneumonia in March 2017 at the age of 93.

Ham radio was a hobby and a passion for him that brought him a lot of joy. Although I was never interested in radio myself, I enjoyed spending many hours helping him with building and fixing the equipment and will always cherish those memories. He was a kind and good man. I honor his memory.
His son, Al Ballard.

W8GZI 2016 Painsville, Ohio

 

W8GZI Jack in his hamshack.

 

Jack operated mobile from his truck.

Tribute, QSL, Photos courtesy of his son, Al Ballard

 


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