• ARRL President Emeritus Harry Dannals, W2HD, SK

    From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Thu Sep 1 23:03:07 2022

    Harry Dannals, W2HD, President Emeritus of ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio¨, died on August 30. He lived in Charlottesville, Virginia. In April, Dannals celebrated his 95th birthday and over 80 years of involvement in amateur radio. He served as ARRL President for 10 years, from 1972 - 1982, and his President Emeritus status was conferred in 1984. He was also an ARRL Life Member.

    In an interview, Dannals said that when he was 10 years old, he practiced Morse code with his best friend and was able to master 50 - 60 words per minute.

    Dannals served in the Navy after graduating from Balboa High School in the former Canal Zone on the isthmus of Panama, where his father was Officer in Charge of a radio receiving site. Eventually, Dannals himself would become the supervisor of more than 20 radiomen and support personnel. He was discharged in mid-1946 and attended Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University), where he prepared for his amateur radio license.

    In writings shared by one of his children, Dannals wrote, "I found a way to prepare for my amateur license by doing a research paper for an English class using amateur radio as a resource. Among my references was the American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Radio Amateur's Handbook with the latest ARRL license manual on the side! It worked, and my call sign, W2TUK, was received that year with a great deal of joy by me and my dad."

    After graduation from college in 1950, he went on to work for the Sperry Corporation, where he worked in radar and other engineering programs. "During almost 40 years of my employment there, the company provided a club station, W2YKQ, which was on the air during lunch periods, a fact that made the more than 200 ham radio operators that worked at Sperry very happy," wrote Dannals.

    While at Sperry, he met his future wife, Kay, and they were married for over 60 years. Dannals lived in Dix Hills, New York, prior to his retirement to Charlottesville, Virginia, in the early 1990s.

    Dannals volunteered for several appointments in the ARRL Field Organization: Official Relay Station (ORS); Official Phone Station (OPS); Official Observer (OO), and Emergency Coordinator (EC). He held elected positions as Section Communications Manager (SCM), Vice Director, and Director of the ARRL Hudson Division. He was elected President by the ARRL Board in 1972, and served for five two-year terms. During his office, he traveled extensively to help represent ARRL -- visiting all 50 states, the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the United Kingdom. International travel fulfilled his role as US Representative to Region II of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

    Dannals recounted that during his presidency, preparations were made for the World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC) of 1979. Through the efforts of ARRL staff, volunteers, and the FCC, the conference led to the worldwide allocation of the 30, 17, and 12-meter bands (the WARC Bands).

    "Without question, the time devoted to ARRL matters, working with the very capable and dedicated staff, and my association with the board of directors was a wonderful experience," wrote Dannals. "Each year was punctuated by new developments for ham radio. A volume of great memories will never be forgotten."

    "Since the time that he was President of ARRL, I always called him 'Prez.' And Prez would enjoy chatting about all of the wonderful people at Headquarters," said his son, Bob Dannals, W2GG, in a remembrance he shared with ARRL. "My dad considered each ham that he met to be a member of his extended family. He cared greatly and fought mightily for all hams in his administrative roles with ARRL. He would say that we are all members of the worldwide community that started with Marconi and continued with [Hiram Percy] Maxim. It's a wonderful legacy and I'm happy that he shared it with me (and everyone else he met)."

    Dannals was the oldest member of the Albemarle Amateur Radio Club, an ARRL Special Service Club. In 2018, Dannals received a visit from ARRL Roanoke Division Director Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, and Vice Director Bill Morine, N2COP, who presented him with the Roanoke Division Award for his dedicated leadership to all amateur radio operators.

    Dannals was also President Emeritus of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA), having served as President of the QCWA from 1989 to 1994. In 2016, Dannals was honored by QCWA for his 70 years as a radio amateur. In comments about the honor bestowed on him, Kay Craigie, N3KN, who was ARRL President from 2010 - 2016, said that Dannals set an example of "cheerfulness and enthusiasm, and friendliness to all hams, whether they qualify for QCWA twice over or are so new that they haven't memorized their call signs yet."

    A viewing will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at 10 AM ET at the Church of the Incarnation, 1465 Incarnation Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia, followed by a church service at 11 AM ET. Interment will be at Holly Memorial Gardens.


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