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Past ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, SK

Former ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, died on December 12. An ARRL member, she was 78.

From the time she arrived at ARRL Headquarters, Mary served enthusiastically as ARRL’s Chief Development Officer, developing relationships that helped to grow the ARRL Endowment. One individual she invited into the ARRL fold of regular supporters was Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, of the Eagles.

Born in Washington, DC, she attended the National Cathedral School, for which she maintained a lifelong fondness. She spent her summers playing tennis before heading off to Northwestern University in Chicago. After school, she moved to Philadelphia to raise her two sons as a single mother while working in non-profit development — notably at the Philadelphia Zoo, WHYY, and NJN.

After her boys graduated from college, Mary moved to New England to work in development at Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and then at ARRL. During her 13 years at ARRL Headquarters, she was behind the creation of The Diamond Club, The Diamond Terrace, The Maxim Society, and the Second Century Campaign, among other initiatives. She served as secretary of the ARRL Foundation, and promoter of the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund.

“During Hurricane Katrina, she virtually single-handedly created the Ham Aid Program that provides new gear to amateurs who have lost their equipment in disasters,” then-ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, said in the August 2014 issue of QST. “Because of her efforts and those of her staff, she has raised millions of dollars for ARRL and, ultimately, for the benefit of Amateur Radio.”

She also was one of the founders of the successful Teachers Institutes for Wireless Technology. Funded by voluntary contributions, the annual summer workshops help to better acquaint classroom teachers and educators with wireless technology and the science behind it.

Outside of work, she was an enthusiastic gardener, an avid rower, and a huge fan and booster for University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball. She retired from ARRL in 2014, moving back to the Philadelphia area to be closer to family.

Mary was an active member of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore, where a funeral mass will be said on January 8 at 10 AM.


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