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Walt Donner - KA8O - SK (Oct 10, 1994)

At the request of Dick KD5BZ and Chip N6BFH, Ralph WA8GAK, Lakeside, Ohio, spoke these words in memory of the Net Manager of the Maritime Mobile Service Net, Walt Donner KA8O on Sunday October 10, 1994, at 1330 ET.

I feel highly honoured today to be asked to say a few words about our former manager of the Maritime Mobile Service Net, King Arthur 8 Onions, Walt Donner, who is now a silent key.  I first knew Walt in Cincinnati and was impressed by the efficient and personable way he ran the Maritime Mobile Service Net.  He always knew my name and asked how I was.  Whenever I would ask him how he and everything was, he invariably would answer "Fantastic."

I was glad when he became the manager of the Maritime Mobile Service Net.  I answered his request to help and became a Net Controller.  Working with this quiet, gentle, dependable, kind and understanding man was always a pleasure.  His devotion was marked by the many hours behind the scenes making sure the many slots were filled and that everyone knew their scheduled times to serve.  No one will probably ever know how much of his own time and money he gave to see that the work was done.  He also knew how to delegate the work assignments.

Seeing him at Charleston, S.C. at our 24th anniversary, confirmed my mental picture of a man clean-cut, soft spoken, steady, quiet and gentle.

During the HECTIC days of the Net when opposition was great, he encouraged us constantly to ignore intentional interference.

The Maritime Mobile Service Net is the lengthened shadow of Walt Donner.  His spirit lives on in Chip N6BFH, Hugh W4BOZ, Hugh W5EOD, Don WA4AAR, and Dick KA0OIT...and many, many more too numerous to mention.  He never hesitated to make that phone call or go out of his way to help someone else.
Samuel Walter Foss, wrote these words, that remind me of Walt:
"Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by..
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban--
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
And be a friend to man."
When I had a neck problem and was forced to give up as Net Controller for a while, I called Walt and explained it to him. Was surprised to learn he had almost the same problem and kept on going, even though he would have to spend time on the couch recovering.

Today we do well to remember King Arthur 8 Onions, KA8O, Walt Donner now a SILENT KEY.  His spirit lives on in the Maritime Mobile Service Net.

Ralph R. Metheny WA8GAK
437 Cedar Avenue
Lakeside, Ohio 43440