2015 – Earl Fornter K4KAY & Greg Huffman W4GCH
2014 – William “Bill” Martin, W4AFU (SK)
The Piedmont Spotter Group is pleased to announce the William E. Martin Award of Excellence.
This is an award that we plan to award each year, to a deserving Amateur Radio operator who has demonstrated the advancement of Amateur Radio through good service, Promotion of good Amateur practice, and the encouragement of fellow Amateur Radio Operators.
The name sake of this award is for William “Bill” Martin, W4AFU, and Bill is our first recipient of this award. Bill’s award is a little special and it’s for Lifetime Excellence.
Bill has a special place here at the Piedmont Spotter Group, and is a big reason this group was formed in 2012. We wanted to honor Bill by having an award and recognition that bears his name, and hope that others would have the drive and dedication to Amateur Radio that Bill has had over the years.
Bill has had so many life experiences it would be hard to list them all, but here are just a few:
Bill has been licensed for 60 years, Continuously. His first license was K4AFU. Another ham had his current call, and his name was Bill also. They made a pact, that whoever passed first, the other would carry on the others call.
Bill started his Military career at the age of 17, going into the Navy, and later went over to the Marine Corps to continue his career.
Bill was one of the founding members of GCARS in Gaston county. Bill was also a broadcast engineer during his career.
For 60 years, Bill has shown his Excellence in Amateur Radio, guiding younger and older hams alike the correct radio procedures.
Sadly, on November 12th, 2014 Bill became a Silent Key (SK). The Piedmont Spotter Group Net for November 13th was dedicated to his honor.
William “Bill” Eugene Martin, 86, of Gastonia, passed away November 12th at Caromont Regional Medical Center.
He was born July 24, 1928 a native of Gaston County, son of the late William Alexander and Esther Hollifield Martin.
He was a member and Past Master (1977) of King Solomon Masonic Lodge #704 in Gastonia. He was a member of the Valley of Charlotte Scottish Rite. He was an Oasis Shriners and co-founder of Oasis Radio Car. He was a co-founder of Gaston County Amateur Radio Society. His amateur radio call sign was W4AFU.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Betty Martin; son, Patterson “Patt” Martin; brother, Ronald Martin; grandchildren, Connery, Ross and Hillie Martin; nieces and nephews, Rick Hill, Rita Short, Ken Beach, Sandra Porter and Brian Martin.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his grandson, Gabriel Martin and brother, Jim Martin.
A memorial service will be held 3 pm Saturday at Greene Funeral Service – South Chapel – 1503 S. York Rd., Gastonia, officiated by the Rev. Jerry Millwood.
Visitation will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your choice of: Shriners Hospital – 604 Doug Mayes Place, Charlotte, NC 28262 or Oxford Masonic Home for Children, c/o King’s Solomon 704, PO Box 704, Gastonia, NC 28053.
Arrangements are with the South Chapel of Greene Funeral Service and Crematorium, Gastonia.
Born: July 24, 1928
Death: November 12, 2014