Remembering Don Schimmel

Photos courtesy of Skip Arey

This weekend, I learned of the passing of my friend, Don Schimmel.

Don was a prominent figure in the world of shortwave radio, author of Radio intrigue, and my go-to man on numbers stations and any other mysterious signals. Over the past ten years, I’ve gotten to spend quality time with Don at the Winter SWL Fest.

My buddy, Gary Donnelly, a regular here at the SWLing Post, was the one who informed me of Don’s passing. Gary wrote the following about his dear friend:

It is with much sadness I announce the death of my SWL Elmer, neighbor and good friend, Don Schimmel, 91. Don passed away at his Hedgesville, WV house.

Don served his country first in the US Navy as a communications guy, then a career at the Central Intelligence Agency where he again was a communications expert. Don served at several locations in Central and South America. Don spent his retirement years in the communications/radio area. He was a “Scanner Scum” with others from the NASWA group. He wrote for Popular Communications and also wrote a small monthly article called Radio Intrique for Dxing.com, a publication of Universal Radio.

Don got me interested in SWL and introduced me to the NASWA group where we later attended several meetings of the group, me more than me. Don gravitated to focusing on the Cuban numbers stations and until a few months before his death, he would tune them in.

Don remained in good health and spirits until past his 90th birthday. He will be missed by the community and he will be missed by me.

Indeed, he will be missed by us all. Thank you, Gary, for sharing this information and for all of the support you gave Don over the years.

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