SILENT KEY                                 It is with Sadness:                                SILENT KEY

Harold ‘Holly’ Paul Hollenbach – W3QN

June 9th, 1923 – May 24, 2018

Harold Paul Hollenbach, born June 9th, 1923 in Slatedale, PA, was the son of the late Charles R. Hollenbach and Florence (Schleicher) Hollenbach of Allentown, PA.


He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Margaret Louise Hollenbach; one brother Thomas Hollenbach and wife Claudia of Allentown, PA; one sister Louise Wieder of Perkasie, PA and a brother Charles (Bud) Hollenbach also of Perkasie, PA, both deceased. He is also survived by three children: a son Craig and wife Aledra Hollenbach of Hamilton, VA; a daughter Lynn and husband Dan of Buford, GA; and a son John and wife Brenda of Hummelstown, PA; plus 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.


Harold was a graduate of Allentown High School, class of 1941. After high school he worked two years for Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem, PA before being inducted into the army in August 1943.


Harold was a World War II Army veteran and a Purple Heart Recipient, having served in the European theatre.


After the war, he was employed by Bell Telephone of PA for 33 years.


He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers, the National Rifle Association, the Harrisburg Amateur Radio Club (W3QN), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and a 40-year member of the Hershey Evangelical Free Church.


A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, May 31st at 11:00am in the Auditorium of his church at 330 Hilltop Road, Hummelstown. Luncheon and visitation will follow the service at the church.


Private interment with military honors will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to


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Published on and in The Patriot-News on May 26, 2018

     "Ham radio became an interest  of mine through the influence of my
 good friend and Elmer Sherd Doughman W3KNK, now deceased.

     First licensed as a tech with the call K3EQN in 1958 and eventually as an extra in 1993. 
Never a big DX chaser I did manage to work over 200 countries through the years.
My shack is modest ,housed on the second floor of our condo in a closet three and a half 
by eight feet. We have lived here for the past ten years.

     Equipment is a Alinco switching power supply, a Ten Tec Juipter,
An Icom IC2100 2 meter transceiver, an Astron 7 amp power supply for my Ten Tec QRP Arganaut V7.
My antennas are three dipoles for 40 20 and 17 meters located in the attic plus a J Pole for 2 meters.  

      After graduating from high school I worked in the Bethlehem Steel Plant, in Bethlehem PA learning
 the machinist trade, I then was drafted and served three years in the Army in World War 2 in the European Theater
 12th Armored Div. 
 After the service I worked 33 years for Bell of PA. in Outside Plant Engineering and Central Office Engineering.  

       I no longer pursue my hobbies of competive pistol shooting, skeet shooting, fly fishing and bird carving.   

       "Age takes its toll." - W3QN - 2015-07-16 00:20:29


Harold, known as Holly to his many friends, worked for more than thirty years with the “Telephone Company”. He worked in the field for several years, maintaining mechanical switching equipment, then was transferred to Harrisburg to the engineering department, making good use of his field experience. Modernization to electronic and digital equipment resulted in consolidation of engineering functions out of Harrisburg, closing the shop, and making retirement the best alternative for many employees, including Holly, Bob WA3IJC, Sherwood W3KNK (SK) and many others. Holly’s shack was housed in a small closet on the second floor in their condo off of Rt. 39, and the hidden antenna placement always gave him a challenge. A challenge but not a defeat!

Holly’s Pride
Holly also lived with HOA restrictions. He had radio antennas in his attic. So, the group deployed and hid the famous 68ft. 20 gauge thin black random wire from the edge of the house out to the neighbor’s Pine tree up and out to a height of 30 feet.

Using a homemade 9:1 unun in a gray plasic box placed just under the rain spout. Out of it came a green wire tucked behind the plastic corner bead J channel of the siding to the ground. Attached were six 18 gauge bare copper 20-25ft. long counterpoise wires buried just under the turf at the root line that covered up with grass naturally.

Down the J channel was a RG-58 cable that came in the house just above the baseboard and ran 15 feet to a desk that had a Ten-Tech Jupiter and tuner on it.

He worked a great deal of the world very well.

Even the lawn care folks never saw it. They never looked up.

– From Craig Hollenbach’s son.


As Harold’s eldest son, I grew up seeing Dad build and use his ham equipment, including his Heathkit equipment and various antenna configurations, at his house in Chambers Hill and his townhouse by Rt 39.  He was an active ham up to the end; He even fixed one of his components the day before he died.

Even though Dad really wanted one of his kids to be a ham, I was not very motivated.  That changed when I interacted with local hams who helped Mom sell Dad’s equipment and with some other hams that knew Dad.  They were so polite and helpful.  One encouraged me to take the license exams and acquire Dad’s call sign, which appealed to me.  I wanted to honor Dad and please him, even after his death.  So, I passed my technician’s license in Sep 2018 and then my general and extra licenses in May 2019.  Once I received my extra license, I acquired Dad’s call sign, W3QN, in June 2019.  I felt pleased to fulfill one of Dad’s longstanding desires, and begin to enjoy a hobby that he loved so much.