Eugene Richard Chenette — N5YJ-SK, QCWA Member #28171, QCWA Chapter 41 Member
July 14, 1928 – December 7, 2014
Eugene Richard Chenette of Allen, TX died peacefully early Sunday, December 7th, 2014. He died at the Medical Center of McKinney surrounded by loving family; his wife Helen, his daughter Karen and his “little sister” Mary Dohlman.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 63 years, 9 months, and 4 days, Helen Chenette, by their daughter Karen Chenette, and four grandchildren; Gavin Wright of Gainesville FL, Roy Schmidt of Colorado Springs CO, Luke and Alexandra Chenette of Plano TX. His brother Louis Chenette of Indianapolis IN. His ‘sisters’ Mary Dohlman, Nancy Smith and their Mom and his aunt Gertrude Ontjes, and a huge list of very loved nephews, nieces, cousins, 2nd cousins, first cousins once removed, etc. He is preceded in death by his daughter Maria Chenette, his sister Louise Bogart, his mother Freda Chestnut and father Eugene D. Chenette.
Born in Waverly, Iowa, July 14, 1928 to Eugene Dow Chenette and Freda Ontjes Chenette. He enjoyed his childhood in Charles City, Iowa. Graduated from Nashua, Iowa High School in 1946 and then attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He taught school in Stillwater Minnesota where he after being properly vetted by her uncle Walter and mother Femicha he married Helen Marie Anderson. Entered the US Air Force and was on active duty for four years during the Korean conflict. On leaving the Air Force, he entered the University of Minnesota where he completed Bachelor, Master and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering.
He taught electrical engineering for a time at the University of Minnesota, and was consultant to firms like Bell Labs, (etc,) then joined the Engineering faculty at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he became Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He also spent a couple years at National Science Foundation. In ? he moved to Niceville FL / Eglin Air Force Base to teach in the UF graduate engineering programs and where his research led to innovations in super high-speed photography and holography.
His Ph.D. dissertation was on noise in junction transistors, an important contribution to understanding the physics of semiconductors. He was a pioneer, leader, and innovator in the emerging field of transistors, integrated circuits, and digital devices.
He earned his first “ham” radio license in 1948 and avidly pursued this hobby for more than 65 years, most recently forming the Aspen Ham Shack with his ham friends. In 1969 he and Dick Ehrhorn became friends and designed, manufactured and marketed the SIGNAL-ONE, a new “state of the art” multi-band transceiver and is considered by many to be the finest American made communications transceiver ever built. In the past few months he has excitedly mastered his new FlexRadio and related software.
He was active in Kiwanis in Gainesville Florida, Niceville and the Dallas area. He loved the fellowship and the service and outreach and its mission of improving the world one child and one community at a time. He loved reaching out to young people and helping them learn often stopping them on the street or while out with his family to dinner and teaching them about proper shoe knots.
Always very active in his church communities improving them one or sometimes two at a time. In Gainesville he ran the radio broadcast and sound system for the Sunday services, and in Niceville and Plano he and Helen were lay eucharistic ministers. Sensing a need they founded Prime Timers at Christ Church Plano.
The viewing will be at Allen Family Funeral Home in Plano on Wednesday Dec 10th from 6-8p. The service will be at Christ Church Plano on Thursday Dec 11th at 11:30am. Committal will be at Dallas – Ft. Worth National Cemetery on December 17th at 1p.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Retina Foundation of the Southwest http://retinafoundation.org/