Kenneth D. Hopper, KD7KH, 1925-2007

Kenneth D. Hopper, KD7KH.

Kenneth D. Hopper, KD7KH, of New River, Ariz., formerly of Holmdel, died Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007, of prostate cancer. He was 81. Ken joined RCA in 1970. He became a Fellow in 1983 and a Life Member in 2001. Ken previously had the call signs K2VAM and W3ZML

Ken passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family at his home. He was born at Newark in 1925 and was raised in the Lower Merion Township, Pa., area. He was with the Bell Telephone System for 44 years, employed by the Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania, Western Electric Co., Bell Telephone Laboratories, and Bell Communications Research. He retired from the latter company in 1991. He was named a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff of Bell Labs in 1982 and held numerous U.S. and foreign patents. He was a specialist in radio communications technology and electronic crime countermeasures. He often testified for the U.S. government as an expert in communications-related crimes and national defense matters.

Ken was an active radio amateur, call letters KD7KH, formerly K2VAM and W3ZML. He was a rifle and pistol target shooter and served in the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division during World War II. He received the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, European Theater Ribbon with three battle stars, Presidential Unit Citation, Belgian Fourragere and other decorations.

He was a life member of the American Radio Relay League, National Rifle Association, United States Revolver Association, Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association, Citizen’s Rifle and Revolver Club, West Windsor, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Telephone Pioneers of America, and was a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association and the West Valley Amateur Radio Club, Sun City, Ariz.

Ken Hopper KD7KH on his 80th birthday with wife Barbara and family members. Son-in-law Harold Davis took this copyrighted photo. He is shown in the back row with his wife Phyllis and their children Julian, Nicky and Matthew. Also pictured are Phyllis' brother Chris' family: Chris, Dejonghe, David and Steven.
Ken Hopper KD7KH with wife Barbara and family members: 80th birthday photo. Copyright by Harold Davis.

“Ken was in the second wave on the beach at Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was a prisoner of war in Germany. He had worked in Alaska in the 1950s, and fulfilled a long-time dream by visiting Pitcairn Island. He was married for over fifty years to Barbara,” said Harold Davis, Ken’s son-in-law.

“Ken had a sometimes gruff exterior. Paradoxically, at his core Ken was a gentle and sweet man. He loved his family. He had true serenity and great faith in his God. He will be missed,” Davis said.

Ken resided in New River, Ariz., since 1994. Prior to that, he was a longtime resident of Holmdel. He was the communications officer for Holmdel, a Holmdel police special officer and an exempt member of Holmdel Fire Company 1. He received the Public Safety Award given by Holmdel police, fire, and first aid in 1975. He was an honorary trustee of the Bayshore Task Force (N.J.) and was a Kentucky Colonel. In 1988, he received the Robert L. Cosgriff award from the IEEE International Conference on Crime Countermeasures. He was a distinguished pistol and rifle shooter. During the 1960s-1970s, he was a master-class competitive pistol shooter. He was also involved in firearms training activities and was an NRA- and Arizona DPS-certified firearms instructor. Ken was both a deacon and an elder of the Dutch Reformed Church of Holmdel. Since relocating to Arizona, he was a member of the Desert Hills Presbyterian Church of Carefree, Ariz.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Owens Hopper; son Christopher of Pleasanton, Calif.; daughter Phyllis A. Davis of Berkeley, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

In accordance with Ken’s wishes, interment will be performed at sea by the U.S. Navy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix, Ariz., www.hov.org, or the Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Carefree, Ariz., www.deserthills.org. Arrangements are under the direction of Messinger Mortuary, Scottsdale, Ariz.

—adapted from Home News Tribune online and from Harold Davis’ blog.

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