A Tribute to Ken Hall: EMC Society Member and Long Time Contributor to the CISPR and ANSI ASC C63™ EMC Standards Organizations
1943 – 2007
Ken Hall is shown at the National Liberty Ship Memorial, the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brian, docked at Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Ken spent the day in San Francisco before his trip to Russia where he attended his last EMC conference, the 7th International Symposium and Exhibition on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology in Saint Petersburg, Russia, held June 26-29, 2007.

I’ve worked for Hewlett-Packard for 25 years, the last 20 years with Ken. I became his manager nine years ago in the EMC test lab we have in Roseville, California. I tell you this because there’s a few of us at HP that have been around him for this time, and longer, and because we all consider ourselves extremely fortunate and proud to have known such a great soul. I could go on and on about Ken’s incredible work accomplishments, the hundreds of people that he worked with inside and outside of HP, and the great number of research projects that he conducted. I could tell you about the hundreds of emails I’ve received since Ken passed away from people all over the world sending their condolences and best wishes. I could even tell you how all of us wondered, on a daily basis, how a man his age could outwork and get more done than any of us in the department. I’d prefer to let you know what Ken meant to all of us that worked with him day after day and the incredible impact he had on all of us. He was our best friend, our mentor, our teacher, our advocate - our heart and soul. Ken was dedicated, honest, and stubborn, had incredible integrity, was extremely loyal and was enormously passionate about his work and how he lived his life. I also have to say that I loved the fact that Ken would interrupt a work teleconference just to say hi to his wife Denise on the phone. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. For those of us that worked with him, it’s our own stories - and believe me, we all have a lot of great stories to tell - that are the most special. These stories, that we each have, will stay with us forever. These stories are how we will remember our friend and keep his memory alive. I also have to say that the stories Ken told were amazing as well. Obviously, this man lived a full and incredible life. And I think that is the simple lesson to be learned from Ken – do your best and enjoy what you do – no matter what it is that is important to you. So, let me end with my own little story. When I met Ken 20 years ago, he was, well, a little rough around the edges. He was a man that worked hard and expected everyone else to do the same, or get out of his way. As time passed, I got to know him better, and I realized that this was just his style. And I have to say, as he got older, he did mellow out a little bit. Anyway, quite a few years back, my family was on a camping trip with some friends one weekend when Ken and Denise dropped by to visit. Instead of hanging out with the adults, Ken immediately went over to the campfire and insisted on teaching all the kids that were there, and there were quite a few small kids, how to make s’mores. He and the kids had a wonderful time! The joy I saw in that man that night and the glisten in his eyes will live with me forever. Ken, we already miss you. And we will never, ever forget you.
Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Mark Harmon for sharing this tribute which was presented at the memorial service for Ken Hall on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Ken Hall died on September 9 from pancreatic cancer. The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to The American Cancer Society. Friends of Ken Hall are invited to share memories of Ken by sending an e-mail to KenHall_Stories@hotmail.com

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