I’m sorry to report that Al Barrios KI5CAD passed earlier this afternoon after a brief illness. He was 77. Al was one of the first members of the RWK that I had the privilege to meet. He brought his non-ham talents to the RWK. Al redesigned the RWK logo to its current design and was instrumental in getting club shirts and other items produced with the new club logo. Many of us proudly wear the navy blue RWK logo pocket t-shirts that Al had made for the club. Recently, after I expressed that we needed some new club “merch”, Al went off and worked his magic to get a new set of hats produced – embroidered this time – with his 3-color RWK logo design. He was always ready to help the RWK.
Al didn’t let his HOA-restricted living situation get in the way of him having a good time with his new hobby. He tried out several portable antennas and was on the lookout for the elusive stealth antenna that could both work and pass the scrutiny of the HOA. He also was eager to learn about new modes – he jumped in and was one of the early adopters of DMR, and he even tagged along with me one Saturday as I attempted to show him the nuances of how to find the fox! He was at the ready each first Wednesday for the monthly siren tests and he frequented the Wednesday lunches at Sonny Bryan’s and was always a pleasure to talk to. Al was also very active on Yaesu Fusion and enjoyed a frequent QSO with someone in Italy.
Bill Owens AD5EW relates “I was always impressed with Al’s resourcefulness. He would always use materials at hand to fashion what he needed for the job. He was very clever in that way. Al also enjoyed building kits in his past such as Heathkits, but also some more up to date kits he purchased off ebay. His most recent was an HF transceiver.”
Al worked for some time in the mental health field, where he not only showed those who were institutionalized for various mental handicaps how to be productive, but he also called on businesses where he was able to contract with those businesses to outsource its production to his group. Obviously this was a win-win since the mentally challenged and the businesses would benefit. Later, Al used his ability to draw and use graphic software to found his own sign company where he would sell his talents to commercial concerns for graphics advertising their business.
Al was fortunate to be active until very recently. I thank Al’s friend and fellow RWK’er Bill Owens AD5EW for sharing the news. Bill shares that Al was fortunate to have not suffered in pain during his illness. We should all be so lucky.
– Chip KD4C
June 4, 2021