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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX013 (2012)

ARLX013 QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK)

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 13  ARLX013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  August 21, 2012
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX013 QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK)

QST Managing Editor Joel P. Kleinman, N1BKE, of Meriden,
Connecticut, died from injuries received during a house fire. He was
64. Kleinman was responsible for the coordination, organization,
control and completion of all aspects of QST's editorial content
each month. Kleinman's wife Jayne survived the fire, but is
currently in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

"Joel was obsessed with making QST the best Amateur Radio magazine
it could be, but he pursued that obsession with uncommon dignity and
kindness," said QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY. "He was the quiet man
behind the scenes, shouldering much of the burden that comes with
creating 164 pages of new content every month. Joel set a high
standard for all who may follow him."

After graduating from the University of Montana with a MA in
Journalism, Kleinman came to ARRL's Club and Training Department in
June 1976 to lead a program aimed at introducing students to space
science using Amateur Radio satellites. It was in this capacity that
he contributed to the five-part series "Getting to Know OSCAR from
the Ground Up" that was published in QST in 1977. Less than year
later, Kleinman moved over to the ARRL's Production Department as an
editorial assistant before becoming the ARRL Features Editor, then
Editorial Supervisor, then Editorial/Production Supervisor. In 1988,
he became Book Team Supervisor, where he was responsible for the
development and editorial integrity of ARRL books and other media.
He was named as QST Managing Editor in April 2001.

Kleinman was not licensed prior to beginning his career at ARRL
Headquarters: "When I came on board, I didn't know much about ham
radio," he remarked in a "Behind the Diamond" feature in the June
1979 issue of QST. "But it was made very clear to me that I soon
would -- and I did!" Before long, Kleinman had written such QST
articles as "The Lure of 2 Meters -- Part 1," the OSCAR articles and
"Network Hams: A Hobby Becomes a Career," which focused on hams who
worked at ABC, CBS and NBC: "It's not often that a person gets to go
on behind-the-scenes tours of the headquarters of all three
broadcast networks in two days."

"With the passing of Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, we have lost not only a
respected professional colleague, but also a friend," said ARRL
President Kay Craigie, N3KN. "The shocking circumstances of his
death sharpen the sadness we feel. The ARRL sends our deepest
sympathy to all of Joel's friends and family. I would like to thank
the many amateurs who have expressed condolences through social
media and by other means. Although you may not have known Joel
personally, you feel his loss as a member of the extended Amateur
Radio family. Your kindness and words of comfort are sincerely

According to the Meriden Record-Journal, David Chester -- who lives
across the street from the Kleinmans -- and about 20 others who were
in his backyard at the time of the fire were the first responders to
the blaze. "It was crazy," Chester told the newspaper. "Somebody
smelled smoke, and most everyone went over there immediately."
Others immediately ran into the house to save Jayne Kleinman. "Steve
[one of Chester's friends] said he saw her legs and pulled on them,"
Chester said. "The other two grabbed her from her back, and together
they brought her out onto the front lawn."

Meriden Assistant Fire Chief Mark Finnegan told the Record-Journal
that the Meriden Fire Department received a call around 5:15 PM on
August 18, reporting a fire on the second floor of the single-family
home. The fire was contained to the second floor of the home, and
was put out by firefighters within 10 minutes.

Firefighters were able to locate Joel Kleinman in a bedroom on the
second floor and paramedics treated him at the scene, but he died
later at a local hospital. "When they got to the top of the stairs,
the guy told me they saw [Jayne's] foot and they grabbed her foot
and dragged her down the stairs," Meriden Fire Chief James Trainor
told the Hartford Courant. "I guess they tried to go back in but it
was untenable. There was so much smoke he just couldn't make it."
Trainor said that the fire was in an upstairs room and may have been
burning for a while before rescuers arrived.

"Joel was a gifted writer and editor," said ARRL Chief Executive
Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Amateur Radio is the richer today
because he chose to devote his talents to the work of the ARRL."

Kleinman was a former president of the Newington Amateur Radio
League (NARL) and a member of the Quarter Century Wireless
Association (QCWA). Funeral arrangements are pending.

The ARRL is collecting condolence messages to forward on to Joel's
family. If you would like send a message, please email it to,


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