Who Was John Oliver?
John Oliver, KB5A (1938–1994), was, along with Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG, Jim Gerke, K5JG, Lee Cheever, W5IG (SK), Tom Brewer, K5MET (SK), and others, a founding member of the then-called Carrollton Amateur Radio Club. Allan remembers that during the initial years he and John taught license classes for Novice and Technician.
Allan recalls, “Back then we had to teach Morse code as well. I think John was the first President of the Club. I remember coming to his house many times to work out how to get the club started and how we would teach classes for new hams.”
Besides being an enthusiastic promoter of ham radio, he was a loving father as well. John’s son, Aaron said this:
“I can tell you about the dedicated father who never missed a practice or a game of any sport I ever played. He must have thrown 1000 pitches before I got my first base hit! And when I started football, he threw me 16,500 ‘down and ins’ until I caught my first, first down reception!
“He could really fix anything—cars, plumbing, electrical, electronics. He taught me so much in such a short time. He would be considered an influencer in his time!
“We all lost him too soon at 56, but in the 17 years that I had him in my life he taught me to be prepared for conflict and stand up for myself, to be a gentleman and respect women, and to respect my elders. He prepared me for life.”
Through the efforts of Bob Linker, W5SQA, and others, the Club sought to honor John’s contributions by acquiring his call sign, KB5A. The Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society is proud to carry his call and remember John Oliver.