We Have Lost Our Good Friend NORM...KN6JE
***(Click on each photo for enlargement and description)***
We will be adding more photos in the future
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Metropolitan Amateur
Repeater system announces the Silent Key of one of it's trustees, Norm
Larson, KN6JE . After being admitted to St. Joseph's' Hospital in Burbank on
November 25th for symptoms of a stroke he passed away quietly on December
7th. Norm was the Inspirational and technical backbone of the Metropolitan
Amateur Repeater System, as well as the one of the kindest and best friends I
have ever had the privilege of knowing.
I want to take this opportunity to remember a dear friend of mine and of our's who we all lost
last December. It was through amateur radio that I met Norm Larson, KN6JE. It was back in the
late winter of 1992 at the very Shakey's Pizza parlor in North Hollywood where MARS get-togethers
are occasionally held at. A mutual friend of ours and I were
attending a get-together for a different repeater group we were members of at the time. You see,
back then there was no MARS. The day I met Norm, he was not even a ham yet. This mutual friend
of ours, Hal, stood up in front of the whole group at the meeting and said that Norm was planning
to take the test and get his license. Well, at the time, Norm had no firm intention of doing so.
He always joked about that being the kick to get him to actually take the test. He figured that
he was committed because the whole group knew about him.
So, he took the test and was issued the callsign: KD6HNC. When that callsign was assigned by
the FCC, it is clear that amateur radio, at least here in Los Angeles, would be blessed. Once
Norm got his callsign, he began slowly making his way around the dial meeting people. He even
got out on my then home frequency and said hi once in a while. At this point I still didn't
know him too well, but as time went by I talked to him more and more. One day, while
conversing on the air, we discovered that we both loved coffee. So, we decided to get together
for a cup of coffee one evening. As time went by, we met quite often and seemed to be able to
talk about anything and everything. What really took me about Norm, were the stories he would
tell me about the people he would meet over the radio and help out. I cannot tell you how many
elderly and disabled people Norm ended up assisting with radio installations, home repairs and
so many other things. I was so amazed at how caring and unselfish Norm was.
Throughout the fall of 1992, Norm and I started talking about how challenging and interesting
it would be to own and maintain a repeater. He always joked that if I was crazy enough to want
that kind of responsibility, he wouldn't try to talk me out of it. Well, we planned out
everything from A to Z, and by May 03, 1993, MARS signed on the air from Loop Canyon for the very
first time. As the system grew and members came and went, everyone who knew Norm realized
just how special a person he really was. I will tell you right now that if it were not for Norm
and his moral and technical support, there never would have been a MARS. I will not ever be
able to go up to either repeater site and not see Norm's works and contributions.
Norm continues to live in all of our memories and in all of our hearts. I am sorry that I was
not in town to be with him during his final days. However, I have to think that he would want
us all to remember him as we knew him, not how he spent those final days. I miss him dearly.
Thanks to Dave Smith, KE6CNL, for originating this page!
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