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Thursday, January 10, 2013

C.F. Rockey, W9SCH, Homebrew Hero, SK

In podcast # 148 I recounted how I had turned to one of his articles, "Prolegomena for QRP Transmitters" for inspiration.   Just Monday Brian,  N1FIY,  e-mailed asking for info on how to find the article.  Today, Mikey,  WB8ICN,  let me know that on December 23, 2012,  QRP Hall of Famer C.F. Rockey,  W9SCH, had become a Silent Key.  

I've been a big fan of Rockey's writing and projects for a long time.  I was sad to hear that he had passed away, but I know that through his writing his influence will be felt in workshops and on the airwaves for a long time to come.  

Here's a sample of Rockey's writing:  http://n4trb.com/AmateurRadio/QRPp_Vol01_No03.pdf

Here's Rockey's obit:

Charles Franklin "Rock" Rockey, Jr.,
Whitewater, WI (1918 - 2012)
June 21, 1918 - December 23,2012
Charles Franklin Rockey, Jr., known as "Rock", age 94, of Whitewater, died on Sunday,
Dec. 23, 2012, at Fairhaven in Whitewater. Rock was born in Oak Park, IL, on June 21,
1918, the son of Dr. Charles F. and Ada (Nichols) Rockey. At an early age, he became
interested in ham radio, earning his amateur radio license at age 16. Operating as W9SCH
for more than seventy years, he made contact with ham radio operators all around the world. In 1996, he
was inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame. Rock graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School in
1937. He enrolled in Elmhurst College, but interrupted his studies in 1942 by enlisting in the U. S.
Navy. He served as an aviation electronic technician in Port Lyautey, French Morocco, and in Naples,
Italy. After World War II, he returned to Elmhurst College, graduating in 1947.
Rock worked at Walhenius Institute instructing brew masters, then in the early 1950's, taught at
Milwaukee School of Engineering. From 1955-1979, he taught chemistry, physics and electronics at
New Trier High School in Wilmette, IL. He was also the faculty sponsor of the student radio station
On retirement, Rock and his wife (the late Frances) moved from Deerfield, IL, to Albany WI. Rock
became friends with the local farmers in Green County as a milk tester for the Wisconsin Dairy Herd
Improvement Association. In addition to contributing many articles to radio and scientific magazines,
Rock wrote two books: "Electrons, Atoms, and the World: Chemistry for the Young in Heart" and
"Secrets of Homebuilt Regenerative Receivers." He greatly enjoyed playing polkas on the accordion.
Rock is survived by his son, Joseph (Jane) of Highwood, IL; and two grandsons, Jonathan (Meghan) of
New York City, and William (Alexandria) of Esparto, CA.
A Memorial Service was held at Fairhaven in Whitewater. Memorial contributions are requested to
Fairhaven Senior Community, 435 Starin Road, Whitewater, WI 53190.

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1 comment:

  1. This turned up for me in a Google search for "Charles Rockey QRP ARRL" during a phone call with a friend of mine who was bemoaning that he never got a novice license because he could not master Morse code (he is in his mid-60s, as am I). I was taken back to the communications electronics class I had my freshman year at New Trier East in Winnetka (not Wilmette) IL in 1971. That class was taught by none other than C.F. Rockey, known to us students as The Rock. I think about him fairly often because I grew up to become a very hands-on engineer and can recall parts of his class quite clearly, even at this remove. Somewhere I still have the reports we had to write (typed on a typewriter) each week. He was a huge influence on me and I was saddened to have his passing undeniably confirmed for me. I have the little chemistry book he authored beside me now *Electrons, Atoms and The World* and am glad to be able to read his obit. One thing needs to be added to it: He won the ARRL 5000 mile-per-watt award for working Anzio, Italy from his home north of Chicago on 5W. I am very lucky to have had him as a teacher and mentor for those years. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Jeff Mizener, DFW-TX


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