More bad news

From the ARRL:

ARLX006 Former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML (SK)

 ZCZC AX06 QST de W1AW Special Bulletin 6 ARLX006:
From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT May 23, 2012
To all radio amateurs
SB SPCL ARL ARLX006 Former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML (SK)

After a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, of Dumont, New Jersey, passed away May 23. He was 67. An ARRL Life Member, Mendelsohn began his time with ARRL in 1983 when he was elected as Vice Director of the Hudson Division. After two terms as Vice Director, he was elected as Hudson Division Director in 1987. In 1996, the ARRL Board of Directors elected Mendelsohn as its First Vice President, where he served until 2000. The next year, he was again elected as the Hudson Division Vice Director, serving through 2004.

Outside of his League activities, Mendelsohn was active both as the Communications Director of the New York City Marathon and, along with his wife Heidi, W2MLW, as the Game Day Frequency Coordinator (GDC) for the New York Jets. The November 2007 issue of QST featured Mendelsohn on its cover along with an article about him and the GDC program. Mendelsohn was inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame last week for his contributions to the ARRL, the New York City Marathon and the National Football League.

Mendelsohn was a 30 year veteran of the US Navy, rising to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer, with a Cryptologist rating. He received two Navy Achievement Awards for creating an important national security database for personal computers. While stationed in Scotland in the late 1960s, Mendelsohn was GM5AHS. He was a member of the North Jersey DX Association (NJDXA) and was the current President of the Bergen Amateur Radio Association (BARA). At one point, Mendelsohn served as President of both organizations simultaneously.

”Steve’s passing is a great loss in the world of Amateur Radio,” said ARRL Hudson Division Director Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF. ”I will always treasure the times I spent with Steve over the many years I knew him. To me, and to all of Amateur Radio, he was a strong leader, dedicated mentor and most importantly, a true friend to many of us throughout the entire Amateur Radio community. Most recently, as a courageous fighter, Steve battled pancreatic cancer, but still continued to serve the ham community until the end and enjoyed many hours on the air. Our prayers go out to his family and his beloved Heidi. Rest now, my friend, you are at peace. We will miss you.” ‘

‘Steve brought a unique personality and perspective to the ARRL Board,” said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. ”Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time of loss.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Further information about Steve’s life may be found on the web at,


I knew Steve through my time as President of the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club and oddly enough, through this blog.  Some of you may remember that I posted about him early on after his initial diagnosis.  We had maintained some e-mail communications from time to time about Amateur Radio and other things.

Above all, he was a boon to the Ham community and a true, true gentleman. He will be sorely missed.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least.

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “More bad news”

  • Richard Corso:

    An outstanding gentleman, condolences to his family and friends from a once Bergen County NJ resident (Mahwah).

  • Arne WA1ZBN:

    Steve and I go back to 1966 when we both attended US Navy CTR (Manual Morse Intercept) A-School at NTS Bainbridge, MD. Both of us being HAM Radio operators, the only thing we needed to learn was to copy code on a typewriter instead of with a stick!!

    We also reopened the dormant base HAM station W3ORS during our six months of schooling.

    At graduation, Steve and I were both assigned to NSGA Edzell, Scotland where we again reopened a dormant HAM station and I operated as GM5DIG. Steve also attended my wedding in Scotland.

    While I stayed on active duty with the Navy for 24 years, after completion of his 2-year active duty stint, Steve went back to being an active Reserve.

    Our paths did cross a number of times, most notably in the early 1980s when I (now a Russian linguist) was the Operations Chief at NSGA Edzell and we were a mobilization site for Naval Security Group reservists.

    The last time Steve and I ran into each other was at Pacificon a few years back and we reminisced about our time together at Bainbridge & Edzell.

    I’ll miss my friend Steve.

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