Friday, November 20, 2015


We learned this afternoon our wonderful mentor and inspiration Rich Strand KL7RA passed away in Anchorage after a brief illness.  This is a huge sorrow for the contest community and for Alaska hams in particular.  His countless friends and a few enemies alike will always remember Rich for the funny, generous, determined, pig-headed genius he was.  He built friendships and spread knowledge around the world.
BCC at KL7RA for WPX CW in 2012.  Rich is center right with suspenders.
KL7RA in his Fairbanks shack before moving to Kenai in 2004.


  1. Rest in Peace, Rich!
    Our deepest condolences to the family and friends!
    Helen UR5WA and Vic US5WE

  2. RIP Rich. You'll be missed.

    Jeff - K3OQ

  3. Sorry to hear about Rick.
    We had many QSOs since 1983.
    May he rest in peace and the memory of good times bring solace and comfort to family and friends.

  4. Rich had build an amazing multi op station in Kenai area of South Central Alaska. Last month I was invited to op during CQWW-SSB for what was the last multi-op hosted by KL7RA. Maybe past solar peak for this cycle but still almost 9000 QSO's in one week end makes for amazing radio for the 6 hams on the team. Other times of note was CQWW-SSB 2013 record number of QSO 12,760 (Alaska) and CQWPX-SSB 2014 North American both record score and WPX! You are going to be missed OM but not soon forgotten. SK 73 WL7BDO

  5. RIP Rich. You will be greatly missed. I'll always remember you letting me bring my disabled cats Zepp and Scooter with me to your starion last October 2014 so that I could operate W1AW/KL7 for a week. Thank you for your friendship, advice and help. KL7RA 5nn 01 de AL1G

  6. Rich’s presence was larger than Life. He was the main sail for the good ship KL7/Alpha Kilo. Rich was always the go-to-guy if you had technical questions or needed simple advice. Humorous but factual answer usually followed. Sometimes, as he thought of other things relevant to your question, he’d email you off the list. Always polite, always respectful, always humorous and always trying to be helpful. Rich always had time for you, even when he was the busy one.

    I always enjoyed his sage advice and off-beat humor about the ham radio community and especially about operating in Alaska. Rich’s time and energy were apparent to me. He was the main driving force in organizing the KL5O and W1AW/KL7 special events here in Alaska. He simply made the events possible. One of Rich’s saying was “I know people” and indeed he did.

    I will miss his twice a year “YO Dan” emails telling me about some lower 48 ham radio guy who wants to visit Alaska to see aurora or visit Denali and would I mind getting in touch since I hike a lot. Rich really did know people…

    As Carl (WL7BDO) previous said... Alaska just became more rare.
    God Speed Rich.

    Dan (KL1JP)

  7. I met Rich not long after moving to Fairbanks. He's first in my log in March 1999, and his station was less that 15 miles away. I went for a visit. I eventually got an invitation to operate. His "overnight, 20-meter bitch". He worked a lot of low bands overnight, too, and we swapped a lot of stories. Professionally, we had very similar paths. In ham radio, we knew many of the same people. A deep friendship built from there. I helped him disassemble his towers for the move to Kenai. In 2004, I purchased his house and shack. Personal demands meant I saw Rich less and less over the past several years, but he was a near-continuous presence by email and on countless forums. He brought a certain "Rich-ness" to any conversation, which always included a good dose of humor and a non-nonsense sense of competition, if contesting was the subject. Rich loved people, and he knew how to lead them, no matter scientists, engineers, social misfits, Teamsters, or a loving family. I will be forever grateful for the decade and I half I had him as my friend. de N1TX

  8. K3LR dedicated ARRL DX CW 2016 to KL7RA. Check the pix here: