WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-20
FORMER SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER AND LAKELAND ARC VICE PRESIDENT SK
Wilbur “Chet” Carruth AB4XK became a Silent Key on Monday March 29, 2021, following complications from COVID-19 and heart failure. Carruth was 78 years old.
Carruth had been an avid CW operator and traffic handler in the National Traffic System and was originally licensed as an amateur radio operator in the early 1960’s. Carruth served as the first Section Traffic Manager for the ARRL West Central Florida Section from 2000 through 2004. Carruth also founded the Eagle Net, the NTS Traffic Net for the ARRL West Central Florida Section in 2001. Carruth started the Eagle Net on the NI4CE Repeater System, owned and operated by the West Central Florida Group Inc., right after their first repeaters on 145.430 MHz and 442.950 MHz went on the air in 2001, where it still operates today.
Carruth was a veteran of the United States Navy where he served aboard the USS Newport News CA-148 during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Carruth operated his own business, Precision Petroleum, installing and serving fuel pumping stations for fuel stations and in the latter part of his career worked for Precision Petroleum until his retirement. Carruth was a member of the Inman Park Church of Christ.
A celebration of life memorial is being planned and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers anyone wishing to make a donation, should send it to Inman Park Church of Christ 1750 6th Street Winter Haven, FL 33881.
Herman “Top” Smith WB6ZEQ became a Silent Key on Friday April 2, 2021, following complications from contracting COVID-19. Smith was 83 years old.
Smith was originally licensed as an amateur radio operator in the 1960’s while serving in the U.S. Marines. Smith was serving as Vice President of the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, was a member of Polk County ARES, and participated in multiple public service events that used amateur radio communications every year.
Smith retired from the U.S. Marines in 1976 after having served since 1956, including service in Vietnam. Following his retirement from the U.S. Marines, Smith worked for and retired from Raytheon Service Company. Smith was a member of the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, and sang for the Florida Worship Choir.
A memorial service will be held, Thursday April 15, 2021 at 1600 at Turkey Creek First Baptist Church, 4915 W. Trapnell Rd. Plant City, FL 33566. Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.