NCC Mourns Loss of Charter Member WT8C
NCC members and countless others mourned the sudden loss of Reno Tonsi, WT8C, who passed away at his home on February 27, 2020. Reno was 83. Reno had had health issues and had been hospitalized last year but was released and seemed to be doing better, so his loss came as a shock to everyone. He was active on the air until the day before his unexpected death. NCC member Bob Liddy spoke with Reno on the phone just hours before his passing and reported that Reno sounded “chipper and up-beat.”
Reno at K8MR’s annual Xmas party in 2006 (TNX K8MR):
The following is from Reno’s page on QRZ.com:
I was first licensed in 1957 as a Novice with the call of KN9LJI (IL). Since then, I have held the calls of K1UVP (MA), W8LIK (MI), W9KUL (WI), W4OUE (GA) and WT8C (OH).
Member of our local radio club, Lake County Amateur Radio Association (LCARA) located in Lake County, OH. As a LCARA member, I am a Volunteer Examiner and have held that position for about 25 years.
Also, I am a long term member of the North Coast Contesters (NCC) radio club and operate both from my home station and from the K8AZ multi-single/multi-two contest station in Chesterland, OH. NCC operates mainly in international contests. For domestic contests, we belong to the Mad River Radio Club.
As an active DXer, I have confirmed all active entities in both SSB and Mixed modes and on CW only need (P5) North Korea.
Station consists of a Yeasu FT-2000 transceiver and an Alpha 9500 amplifier. I live in town on a triangular 0.23 acre lot and have a 54 foot crank up tower. Antennas consist of a Bencher Skyhawk tri-bander for 10-15-20 meters at 55 foot, a Cushcraft rotary dipole for 12-17-30 meters at 57 foot and a Cushcraft 2 element trapped 40 meter yagi at 60 foot all on a single mast. I also have an 75/80 meter inverted Vee at 50 foot and a coaxial inverted L for 160 meters also at 50 foot. Both of these antennas are supported by a single cross support going through the tower.
In all of this, I have to thank my wife, Connie, KB8ZZW, for her understanding and support. Without it, I would not be in the position that I am.
73 de Reno
As Reno mentioned, he was an active operator from K8AZ’s station in Chesterland, Ohio. Here are some comments from NCC president and station-owner Tom Lee:
Reno joined the K8AZ Crew in 1989, and participated in more than 110 K8AZ multi-operator contest efforts since then. Further, over the years, he answered the call for the many K8AZ antenna work parties many hundreds of times, showing up to help out countless weekends over the years. (One summer, he even got the nickname “Reno the Riviter” from when we built multiple HF yagis).
Plus, since about 1990, every contest Sunday, he cooked individual omelets for each K8AZ operator, making Sunday morning of every contest the biggest turnout day of each contest weekend. I estimate Reno cooked over 700 contest omelets over the years. A great tradition we’re now doing our best to honor in his memory.
73, Reno. RIP, OM. Know that you are missed, and all of us are grateful were granted the great privilege of a contest weekend immediately following your passing to remember and honor you. The Glenlivet toast to you after the contest was something special.
With a big mix of sadness (and joy) and respect.
Reno will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and especially by the regular ops at K8AZ who got to know Reno doing one of his favorite pastimes: spending time with his fellow contester friends.
RIP, friend Reno. We miss you already.