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Saturday, July 9, 2011

More on Merrill Budlong, W1MB

K1KT's recent e-mail alerted me to the interesting life story of Merrill Peckham Budlong, W1MB. Wow! What a guy! Killed a Great White Shark with a spear gun! Homebrewed his own diving gear! Insisted that the hams he was Elmering actually UNDERSTAND the circuitry! And -- most importantly -- he was obviously a very good person.

We don't run many obits here on SolderSmoke, but even though he passed away four years ago, we thought it would be a good idea to reprint W1MB's. His story can be an inspiration for us all.

Bob, W1YRC, wrote this about him: He was responsible for launching a great many Amateur Radio careers in Rhode Island. He was uncompromising in his teaching and demanded that all his students understood why a circuit performed its function or why it was essential to know how to solder correctly. He was respected and loved by hundreds of hams that knew him.

Here is a para from his obituary:

An active, athletic man, as a teenager Mr. Budlong made his own surfboards and sailing kayaks. In high school and college he was on the wrestling teams, played trumpet in dance bands, and was a lifeguard at Bonnet Shores. He graduated from Cranston High School in 1931 and from the University of Rhode Island in 1935 with a bachelor's degree in business. He was a member of Phi Mu Delta fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. During World War II, he held a second job at Kaiser Shipyard in Providence. As an avid amateur radio operator (call letters W1MB) and proficient Morse Code operator, he enjoyed contacting radio hams throughout the world. He founded the Fidelity Amateur Radio Club, which met for more than thirty years at his home. He was a Major in the R.I. Civil Air Patrol and a director of the New England Wireless and Steam Museum. Mr. Budlong was an alumnus of Fidelity Chapter DeMolay in which he was a Chevalier. He was a member of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen and, into his 70s, participated in bicycle races and 100-mile rides. He was often seen riding his bicycle around Edgewood and Pawtuxet Village. He was a pioneer skin diving and spear fishing enthusiast. In the 1940s he built much of his own equipment before it was commercially available. In 1964 he speared a ten foot great white shark in Narragansett Bay. He was also a frostbite sailor, member of the Edgewood Yacht Club, and member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Read the comments that people attached to his obituary:


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