Donald Purnhagen K4ILG Silent Key

Donald Purnhagen K4ILG, PCARS Club Secretary for the past few years, passed away suddenly on the evening of April 6th. He leaves behind his wife Analyn, & his 3 daughters, plus children from previous marriages & several grandchildren. Donald was 65 years old. A Funeral Service was held on April 14th, with several members of PCARS in attendance. PCARS Club President K5LD spoke at the service, by the request of Donald’s family, on behalf of PCARS & the Amateur Radio community in general.

I had met Donald in 2017, at SKYWARN Recognition Weekend, during the late shift. Donald had just gotten his General & was still learning about HF. He operated during the overnight shift, had a great time & was hooked! Donald joined PCARS shortly afterwards & began getting involved in club activities. He volunteered frequently, as time allowed, as he spent quite a bit of time with his 3 daughters. But that didn’t stop Donald, & many a time, he would bring 1 or all 3 of his daughters with him to activities & events. You could say the girls grew up with Amateur Radio, around their Dad. They would come out for Kids Day, Field Day on the GOTA Station, & sometimes come with him during an overnight contest shift at W4MLB. Donald loved contesting & he was our overnight operator much of the time.

Being a Laurel VE, I encouraged Donald to go out for his Extra ticket. He was not completely confident at the time, but he went for it anyway. He passed his Extra & we celebrated after the VE session with a nice Charlie & Jake’s lunch. He was thrilled to pass his exam & he went on to become a Laurel VE himself. He later went on to become a part of several VE test sessions.

Donald went on to become PCARS’ Secretary, as well as its Webmaster. With Donald’s new improved Website, he replaced a 30 plus year old site with an updated modern one, full of content & easy to use. He made updates easy to do & did some great work for the Melbourne Hamfest, coming up with a new easy to understand flyer & reusable forms.

He was also heavily involved in Emergency Communications, becoming PCARS’ EC & later on, EC of the South Brevard area. He did the various training courses for the county. Donald also worked with PCARS’ Go Kits & organized & ran a few local PCARS SETs, to test out the Go-Kits.

Moreover, Donald truly loved being a part of PCARS & on the PCARS’ Board of Directors as an officer. Donald was a friend to everyone he met. & will surely be missed, by always wanting to be involved & lending assistance when needed. This Website is Donald’s legacy.