... Ham Radio County Hunting History/Archive

Rev. Art Dechent, SK

Gary, K4EXT (Aug 2012)

Long time county hunter Reverend Art Dechent, WA4WQG passed away on July 11, 2012 after a long battle with leukemia. A World War II Army veteran, Art died 3 days before reaching his 91st birthday. He is survived by Anne, his wife of 65 years.

A Baptist minister for 40 years, he was well known on the county hunter nets as "Reverend Art," and in his travels as a visiting minister, he put out many counties in Virginia and nearby states. When Rev. Art joined MARAC in November 1972 (member number R-340), he was already closing in on his USA-CA Worked-All-Counties Award. In April 1973, he wrote:

Have not been doing much lately about the mobiling, but after Easter when we get through this EMT Paramedic Training Course I will have some more time. As Training Officer, it does involve some extra time which has to come off the training and sharing in Ham Radio. Need 30 counties for the 3079 and help will be appreciated. I am not asking anyone to go out of their way, but if they are traveling that way, I would be very interested.

Rev. Art finally reached his goal of working all 3079 counties in early 1975. In late February of that year, he wrote:

Would like to express my personal thanks to Gerald, K0QIX and Don, W9KIL for the next to last and last county contacts. These were in snow country and snow storms. There were many who went in all kinds of weather and the only recognition that they got was a QSL card and satisfaction of sharing. There are the many wives and children who rode in their own cars too whose patience was tested too. Thanks to the many net controls or net moderators dubbed by W7SUY, the many stations who helped with relays and stations who helped keep the frequency open. All these deserve recognition in helping me to work all counties. Have the book filled out and just waiting for QSL's from Don and Gerald before sending in to Ed. Sure hope to make the Convention in Dogpatch, Ark. this 4th of July weekend to see all the gang. Well here we go for the second time around. My thanks to MARAC news and all the help from the members. ART

Rev. Art received USA-CA #124 dated March 6, 1975. He later obtained BINGO and an additional five MARAC stars. Over the years, he passed out 259 last counties to thankful County Hunters.

I would think that one measure of a man is how much he is respected by others. After Mike, W0MU posted on the K3IMC forum and in the CH Group on Facebook that WA4WQG had become a Silent Key, many tributes and reflections were posted by the County Hunting community. Here is a sampling of what people had to say about Reverend Art Dechent:

  • Sad day and he will be missed. RIP Rev. Art (KM9X)
  • He's now in his final Home County! (N8HAM)
  • A WWII hero too... we all owe a lot to him and to "The Greatest Generation." (WEAR)
  • A true friend... I will miss him greatly. (WA4UNS)
  • Every time I ran through Greene County, Virginia, Rev. Art would hop in his car and meet me for an eyeball. (KE3VV)
  • I have known Art since 1983. The only thing I can say about him is "I have never heard him be anything but a perfect gentleman." Always friendly, polite and courteous. Good example for others! (KG5J)
  • So sorry to hear. We met Art and Annie several times traveling around the country. Great people and always had a good word for everybody and everything. One of the great county hunters. So long friend. We'll see you soon. (AE3Z)
  • I first met Art on 75M on the CHC/FHC net in 1966, when I got into county hunting. He was a fine fellow and will surely be missed. (WBCQO)
  • Worked him many times over the last 28 years ... he's still hunting counties in an easier place now. (WY7LL)
  • Art was a great guy. Like most I worked him many times. Always so nice and willing to help. (WMU)
  • Hate to hear the news. He's in the logs here many times, and my dad and mom's too I am sure. (W5UGD)
  • Really sad to hear. I have lots of Rev. Art's cards and lots more QSOs in the log. God bless, old friend, and RIP. (N9ID)
  • Very sad news indeed. It was a pleasure having worked him so often over the years. You will be missed Art. (KK7X)
  • Sorry to hear that! I just drove through his area about that time. (N9JF)
  • I remember Rev Art as always there and wanting to help, sometimes getting mixed up a bit then laughing about it. I worked him from and to many counties. A fine man, indeed. (KA3DRO)
  • We will miss working Art - may he rest in peace. (NKV/NDXE)
  • I am very sorry to hear this. I got to spend some time with him at the convention in Newport News, in fact I sat with him at the dinner on the boat trip we took. I thought that Art reminded me of my Father. I will miss him and it was an honor to know and meet him. (N1API)
  • Rest in Peace Rev. Art. Great to know you. May the light of God shine upon you forever. Ed and Katie (NT9V)
Again, just a sampling. The photo below of Rev. Art was taken at the 2001 National Convention in Hampton, Virginia ... and is courtesy of NX4W.

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In Conjunction with MARAC Incorporated