Frank Bauer, KA3HDO in the AMSAT B-B commemorates Keith W5IU passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ARISS team member
Keith Pugh, W5IU. Keith spent his life on Earth as a true
gentlemen.serving others, enjoying friendship and relationships, and
supporting his passions.amateur radio, flying and most importantly his love
of God and all the great things on this Earth.
Those that knew Keith considered him a Texan through and through. But truth
be told, he was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas. After college, he
left Kansas and settled permanently in the Forth Worth, Texas area where
picked up that Texas accent and welcomed us into his world. And it is in
Texas where he passed away on May 24, 2019.
Active with AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellites since the 1980’s, Keith
jump-started his passion for amateur radio on human spaceflight missions in
1991, when the Space Station Mir was in orbit and Soviet ham radio operators
were talking to the world-wide amateur radio community. Keith helped
install a Soviet Space Exhibit in Fort Worth in 1991 and he hosted Musa
Manarov U2MIR’s visit to the USA. Ultimately, Keith joined the ARISS team
in 2004, where he has provided support as one of our operations leaders,
technical mentoring numerous schools and ARISS contact organizations and
providing his warm friendship and guidance to all in our team. Keith also
attended several of our ARISS International meetings, including our 2008
ARISS-I meeting in Moscow and Kaluga.
Many of us were aware of Keith’s cancer. But, Keith being Keith, he kept
most of his pain and suffering to himself. He remained joyful and humble
until his death. In fact, just a few days before his death–this past
Tuesday, Keith signed into the ARISS International teleconference,
apologizing that he came in late. None of us knew this would be our last
dialog with such a close friend and outstanding member of our team.
As I stated, one of Keith’s passions was flying as a private pilot. In fact
for one of his vacations he flew a Cessna aircraft around Australia. As a
fellow pilot, I know that Keith must have been an avid fan of the poem “High
Flight” written by John Gillespie Magee Jr. Paraphrasing this poem:
While we mourn the loss of our good friend, Keith Pugh, let us joyfully
reflect on the fact that Keith has
Slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Topped the windswept heights with easy grace
And, while with silent lifting mind, Keith has trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of Space,
Put out his hand and touched the face of God.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Keith Pugh, W3IU SK as he touches the face
73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
ISS Ham Radio Program Manager & PI
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs