Rod Benson, WB6QDN

January 9th, 2014 | by K6USY |

with wife

It was only three months ago that while I was having lunch at the Silver Dollar with fellow hams that Ken Holden (WB6OIB) introduced me to a gentleman that he thought would be a great subject for the ham bio of the month here in SKIP.

I met Rod and discussed getting together to get some information for the article. He gave me his phone number and said that he would be glad to let me write about him.

I waited too long.

Rod became,  unexpectedly, a silent key a month later. I thought that I owed it to him, though, to go  ahead with the article if his  wife, Barbara would agree. Ken did the honors of contacting her and  she graciously agreed as a tribute to Rod’s enduring interest in the hobby.

He was born in Tacoma, Washington and lived til the age of seven in nearby Puyallup. His family moved to the Fresno area in 1949. He graduated from high school from the Fresno Adventist Academy which in those days was near Roeding Park.


He attended and graduated from City College and later from Fresno State in 1979 with a degree in Business Administration which he earned going to night school.

Rod served in the US Army in the late fifties, spending time at Fort Knox and a year and a half in Germany.

Ham radio first interested him in 1965. His mentor at that time was Nick Delgado (W6MEY). The first license he held was a novice with the call letters WN6QDN and within the year that it ran, he traveled up to the FCC building in San Francisco for his general class examination. His wife, Barbara, now WB6QDK, got her novice and general class licenses at the same time and has remained active in the hobby with her husband.

Rod’s favorite aspect of ham radio was  contacting distant countries where his church missions had operation and stations. He provided that essential link for persons serving far from home. In earlier years phone patches were a large part of his interest and more recently satellite communication, establishing earth stations for local church congregations and individuals. He has been a member and officer of the Bible Study Net on 75 meters.


His other passions were mentoring new ham and fellowship with the amateur radio community friends by going to hamfests, especially The Monterey Bay Academy Hamfest which occurred annually over the Fourth of July holiday.

His career was following his father in the home building business. He built many in the Fresno area, including his own in 1974. He also built the transmitter building for KFTV at Meadow Lakes.

He will remain in our thoughts and memories.

By: Joe Capell, W0PJD