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William J. Hope, Border Patrol retiree May 14, 1911 -- Dec. 25, 2006

William James Hope of Kenmore, a Border Patrol retiree and lifelong ham radio operator, died Monday in Schofield Residence, Town of Tonawanda. He was 95.

Born in Detroit, Mr. Hope lived in Lockport before moving to Buffalo, then Kenmore.

Mr. Hope went to high school in Lockport and studied at the University of Buffalo for one year.

He worked as an electronics technician for the Border Patrol in Buffalo for 35 years, retiring in 1976.

In his 95th year, Mr. Hope was active in his lifelong hobby, amateur ham radio, and was known by his call letters, W2EWT. In 2006 he received the Anniversary Award from the Quarter Century Wireless Association, acknowledging 75 years as a licensed amateur radio operator.

Using his ham radio, Mr. Hope contacted and recorded messages from astronauts orbiting the earth aboard the Space Shuttle.

During the 1930s, Mr. Hope worked as a wireless radio operator aboard Great Lakes merchant ships, including those with paddle wheels. His experiences are chronicled in the Inland Marine Radio History Archive.

His wife of 63 years, Regina Irene, died in 1998.

Survivors include two daughters, Jacqueline R. Hannah and Judith H. Surowiec; and two sons, William C. and Robert B.

A celebration of his life will be held at noon Jan. 6 in Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home, 3290 Delaware Ave., Kenmore.

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