KH6HMW - July 16, 2012 |
Paul D. Leib
QCWA # 12515
Paul Dominic Lieb, 84, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 16, 2012. Born in Anaheim on November 23, 1927, he was the grandson of original German immigrant settlers to Anaheim, and his father was Anaheim's first electrician. Paul was always inquisitive and mechanically brilliant, and at the tender age of 5 was already helping his father with electrical work. When he was 9, he built a model of an oil derrick that actually pumped oil, which was displayed at the Anaheim Children's Museum. Paul graduated from Anaheim Union High School and attended college for several years before being drafted into the Air Force during the Korean War. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant, and was honorably discharged from the military in 1952.
Following in his father's footsteps, Paul became an electrical contractor himself, and he is Anaheim's oldest continuously licensed electrical contractor and owner of World Electric Corporation. Paul became a highly sought-after electrician, known to be able to wire two houses a day, and he single-handedly wired thousands of homes throughout California, Alaska and Hawaii. When the new St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim was built, it was Paul who did all the wiring to complete the project on his childhood parish, and he derived great pleasure from teaching his nephews all about being an electrician.
Travel was a favorite pastime, and his work as well as his interests took him to all 50 states and many foreign countries. However, the true passion of Paul's life was his ham radio hobby. Paul began his love affair with radios when he was just five, and often fell asleep wearing headphones. Later in life, he became a licensed electrical contractor on the Big Island of Hawaii, and he established a radio beacon at an elevation of 8500 feet on the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano. To reach the beacon is a treacherous 3 hour trek, but Paul welcomed many radio fans to his outpost, a tin shack the size of a closet. With the aid of Paul and his beacon, thousands of West Coast ham operators were able to set numerous ham radio distance records, and Paul has set many of his own. In 1999 at the Dayton, Ohio Hamvention, Paul was the keynote speaker and also honored with the Special Achievement Award, which cited "his pioneering and record-setting work in tropospheric ducting and VHF, UHF and microwave communications." He was an active member of many ham radio organizations, and was a lifetime member of the American Radio Relay League. Paul also channeled his talents to establish and operate the Miller-Lieb Water Company, a certified public utility, in Pahoa, Hawaii, for over 30 years.
Paul is survived by his sisters, Mary M. Prescott and Celestine Guho (Mark), and was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph. He is also survived by 11 nieces and nephews, 30 great-nieces and nephews, and 11 great-great nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Friday, July 20th from 12 noon until 8 pm at Saddleback Chapel Mortuary in Tustin. On Saturday, June 21st, there will be a viewing at 10:30 am at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Garden Grove, followed by the Rosary at 11:00, Requiem Mass at 11:30, with graveside committal at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange at 1:30 pm.
Paul will be remembered as a gentle, gracious, devout and kind brother and uncle, with a dry sense of humor, and a generous friend and mentor to legions of radio operators. In his address book, Paul made notations when a friend passed, writing the date of death and the letters 'SK' (Silent Key, or 'deceased' in radio jargon). While Paul's own key may now be silent, he will never be forgotten, and his beacon will continue to delight and amaze us all. 73, Paul ('Best Regards', a radio sign-off).