John Orton W5JBO SK – April 9, 2014

W5JBO_John_Orton_SKJohn was born 9/3/1947 & raised in Beverly Hills California. He had 2 brothers Tom Orton & Jim Orton & a sister Victoria Orton.  A daughter Tina Marie Orton, and nieces and nephews.

He went to Beverly Hills High School, then transferred to Belmont High School in Los Angeles where he met at the time & went steady with who would one day be his wife, Karen in 1965. He graduated from Beverly Hills High in 1967 & moved to the Bay area in Northern California, he attended Cabot College.  His career as an Aero Space Engineer took him everywhere from the West Coast to Korea.

John had various interests during his lifetime, he loved trains, sail boating, surfing, hiking, motorcycling & riding his mountain bike plus gardening…but what he loved most was Ham Radio.  In California he was known on the radio as “WA6BOB”.

See his ham radio website  here…

In March 2010 John retired from Space Vector in Chatsworth, California and moved to Texas where he met up again with his now wife Karen and they were married in January 2011, after 44 years of loosing track of each other.

John got back into radio again in Texas and acquired a new handle of  “W5JBO” he got into contesting, was always asked to help out with testing, he would volunteer to put up other operators antennas & would also volunteer to do radio repairs in our garage. 

John volunteered to help wounded warriors who wanted to get out on the shooting range & enjoy shooting a gun.  He was an avid gun collector and enjoyed shooting his guns and showing them.

Last July of 2013 John was diagnosed with “ALS” Lou Gehrig’s Disease and as the months went by he never let it get him down,  he still tried to stay as active as possible & a lot of his fellow Ham Radio buddies were unaware of him fighting this fight.

On April 9th John passed away in his home with his wife Karen present. He is survived by his brothers & sister, his daughter Tina & his stepdaughter Meghan.

Funeral Services are May 6th at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church at 6:30pm in China Grove, Texas. The family is asking in lieu of flowers, to make a donation to the ALS Chapter of San Antonio in John’s memory.

CLUBS – Current Membership:

American Radio Relay League                  Life Member
South Texas DX & Contest Club                STXDXCC
CW Operators Club                                     1115 Life Member
Northern California Contest Club              Charter Member
Quarter Century Wireless Association     30525

DX Century Club                                          DXCC  CW-RTTY-MIXED
Society of Wireless Pioneers                     5655-TA
10 – X                                                            31603
SWOT                                                           1479
TAPR                                                             5830
RSGB                                                            182136
FISTS                                                            7880
Croatian CW Club                                        352

Past Memberships:

Northern California Contest Club
Southern California Contest Club
Southern California DX Club
South Western Arizona Contest Club
San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club
Chatsworth Radio Club
Rabbit Radio
Cactus Radio
Livermore Amateur Radio Klub
Palisades Amateur Radio Club


4 Responses

  1. W5MRM Says:

    RT @N5NTG: John Orton W5JBO SK – April 9, 2014: John was born 9/3/1947 & raised in Beverly Hills California….

  2. Smokey Beucus Says:

    I bought His Motorcycle last year and had several chats with John. I was an Airborne Radio operator in the Air Force in the 50’s & 60″s. We used to e-mail back & forth using Q signals. I found John to be a great person & it is lesser World without Him. His CQ’s now come from Heaven. God Bless. If His Wife is reading these She could Me. She should still have my number. God Bless

  3. Smokey Beucus Says:

    Bought His Kawasaki Motorcycle in Feb 2014 and when He stopped sending Me e-mails was in April 2014. Just found out He past away, what a terrible loss.
    we sent Q signals to each other via e-mail. I was a Radio Operator in the AF eons ago.

  4. Dave Says:

    Just found this site I knew John years ago when he lived in Castro Valley, and Livermore Ca. John was a good friend he helped me many a times with my radios, helped me put my first tower up in turn I installed his KT34 on his tower. We used to have fun messing with his neighbor the guy who lined his daughters bed room with tin foil so she wouldn’t be sterilized by John’s RF among other crazy antic’s. You will truly be missed John.

    Kick Butt! John


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