Tribute to David Collingham – K3LP

Posted: January 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

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David operates from South Sandwich Island as VP8STI in 2016.

I first met David at the Dayton Hamvention in 2006. He was talking about the virtues of ICOM radios in the ICOM booth. I introduced myself to him and I knew that he was a famous DXpeditioner. We started a long conversation and a friendship at that moment. That conversation and friendship endured until his death on January 5th.

I asked David how one becomes a DXpeditioner. I told David about my desire to activate Iraq. David said “Let’s do it!” He became my Dxpedition teacher and mentor. He is the reason that I have become successful in planning, organizing and leading DXpeditions. I always had David at my back. David always did what he could to ensure success and great results. Our partnership was strong and our skills complemented each other.

In the following years, David became my closest friend. He was like a brother to me. We shared all of our hopes, dreams and thoughts. We rarely disagreed but when we did those disagreements were filled with passion. David was not a wimp, far from it. He was bold, courageous and generous of his time, friendship and anything else. He was the kind of man that would give you the shirt off his back or his last dime.

Things or objects didn’t matter to David. People and their feelings mattered. He made everyone feel important. He kept in touch and reached out to everyone. David’s other passions included his family, his successful business, and his mentoring and Youth Development work. He loved volunteering at the Dorothy Grant Elementary School in Fontana, CA.

David loved the kids at Dorothy Grant Elementary

As I said, things didn’t matter to David. I was with him when he won an ICOM radio as a raffle prize. He immediately handed it to a friend who needed a radio and gave it away to him.

David was a take charge kind of guy. He readily got involved in projects that were important to him. If he had been in the military, he would have been a General. If he had been in the Police or Fire service he would have been a Chief.

In 2009, David and I planned to conduct an amateur radio Dxpedition together. I told him about my plans for Iraq in 2010 and he agreed to join me in planning this adventure. David loved adventures and this was the start of many adventures together which would later include, South Sudan, Rotuma, Fiji, Ethiopia, Yemen, Serbia, Kosovo, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Montenegro and Antarctica. We had big plans for the future!

David mentoring the kids in Rotuma and Ethiopia.

David loved planning the Dxpedition antennas and their layout along with all of the other various Dxpedition components. He loved getting on 40 meters SSB and saying hello to all of his friends back home. He was a “good CW man” and made thousands of amateurs happy with the various contacts that he made. It was an honor for me to nominate him into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 2014. David was very touched by this honor. It meant a lot to him. It was also an honor to share the 2016 Dxpedition of the Year Award with him for our VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpeditions.

David loved to joke around and play pranks. He was always joking and light hearted. On our voyage aboard the Braveheart, David enjoyed the singing and merriment.

David was the “life of the party” during our Braveheart voyage in the Southern Ocean.

David shared my vision for the Intrepid-DX Group and he most recently served as our President. He felt strongly that we should recognize the contributions of others and he enjoyed this activity very much. He was always “giving back” in one way or another.


David holds the 2016 “DXpedition of the Year” Award for our VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpeditions. He was very proud of that accomplishment.

David spoke often of Mr. Louis Malory who had been very influential in David’s life as a teacher. He also shared the story of how a complete stranger gave him the money to continue with his college tuition when he couldn’t make his payment. This gesture forever moved David to give back to others.

David was always helping his blind friend Hughie-WB6CBU. David accompanied him whether at the DX Convention in Visalia or at the Dayton Hamvention. David always made sure that Hughie was included in the activities.


David is inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in May 2014. 

David loved his wife Rebecca. And he was so proud of his children. He spoke of them often and he enjoyed watching their own successes. He enjoyed seeing Ryan’s success on the football field and the basketball court. He adored his daughter Amanda and proudly shared her piano recital videos for all to enjoy. He loved visiting their beloved Deep Creek Lake or their vacation home in Orlando.


David and his beloved dog. David died trying to rescue Cooper from a frozen pond.

Today as I write this, we are all sad and in shock. David’s passing leaves a tremendous void in our hearts and minds.

I loved this man like my brother. We shared so many special times together. He was so much fun! So full of life! Always pranks being played.

I am really going to miss him. He was always calling me and checking to see how I was doing. He really cared about others. He always ended our frequent phone conversations with “I love you brother”.

David Collingham lived his life bold, courageous and heroically and he died trying to save his beloved dog Cooper. He will always be a hero in our hearts.

He was really special. I don’t know anyone else like him.

This YouTube video really captures David’s essence of who he was:

Rest in Peace dear friend,

Paul N6PSE


  1. Odd-Egil says:

    Great write up Paul.

    I remember Visalia 2015 like it was yesterday. All the young kids on the podium around midnight, K3LP – David handing out the prizes, also to the youngest ham attending – the teacher talking – and the key speaker – who kept us all bored with the sailing and all the albatrosses. K3LP – David loosing his life in a pond, try to save his dog – who would have guessed…. I hope Intrepid-DX Group will set up some kind of memorial fund for K3LP – David, that we can contribute to….

    73 de LA8AW – Odd-Egil

  2. K2HAT Lee Hatfield says:

    My Sincere Condolences.

    I met Dave at the 2016 Boxboro Mass. Convention and Hamfest,
    on Friday evening he gave the presentation about the South Sandwich and South Georgia Islands
    DXpedition. He did an awesome job.

    Saturday I was out in the Flea Market trying to sell some stuff, and he came walking by.
    I invited him to sit a few minutes, and relax, and handed him a cool bottle of water.

    We talked for about 10 minutes and found out we were born 3 days apart, in 1958.

    I was glad to have met him on the air, and to have made a few QSO’s on the air
    with some of the DXpeditions he had been on.

    Sad to see him gone, much too soon. 😦

  3. Jared (N7SMI) says:

    Paul –

    A fine tribute to a great man. My condolences to you on the loss of a great friend.

    I first met David when he visited our local DX club the evening before I was to fly out on my first DXpedition. His presentation was on DXpedition Outreach. His words inspired me to make the trip more than about making radio contacts, but an opportunity to impact the lives of the people of the remote island I was visiting. I’ve since made outreach a significant part of other DXpeditions. He was always kind and a great example. He will truly be missed.

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Jared, David inspired many of us. He made us all get out of our comfort level and do something more for our fellow man. He certainly did that for me! I was so fortunate to have him as a friend and mentor. Thank you for sharing your memories of him.

      Best wishes,

      Paul N6PSE

  4. ea1cs, Luis says:

    Always in our memory ( Luis EA1CS )

  5. David Assaf III says:

    David and Paul gave me my first real DXpedition break. I am eternally grateful for the trust and chance they took with me and for the support they have given me since. I look forward to see what we all can do for his family.

    David W5XU, VP8RXU

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      David, our friend Dave and I really enjoyed you on the VP8 trip. I was delighted to recommend you to Rob for his VK9MA team and I hear you are joining Hrane for 9M0W. That is great! Have fun, be safe and enjoy yourself!

      Best wishes!

      Paul N6PSE

  6. Pasquale says:

    Hi Paul
    Thanks for this tribute; my condolences to his family and to you on the loss of you big friend. There are not so many word Paul, just so much sadness for this loss.
    73s Pasquale IW0HEX

  7. Paul, thank you for sharing this tribute. David truly was larger than life and beyond generous in his kindness and spirit. I’m thankful to have known him. My heart is with you and his giant family that he loved so much. .

  8. bob du7et says:

    So selfless
    trying to rescue his dog !
    Great Radio Op

    bob du7et

  9. Ria - N2RJ says:

    What a truly amazing tribute to a truly amazing man. His life is an example for all of us inspiring to be a bit more human! We corresponded online about DX and DXpeditions and also about the school project with Bev and the kids. I had been away from ham conventions so I never got a chance to meet him, but the little I knew of him, always left me with greater faith in humanity. I never imagined his life would end so abruptly but I am not surprised that he did it selflessly trying to save someone else, even if it was “just” the family dog. I can’t imagine what you guys are going through right now. I’ll keep you all and especially Rebecca and David’s children in my thoughts and prayers.

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Hello Ria, Thank you for your nice message. Yes, David made this hobby much more interesting and enjoyable. Its too bad that you never got to meet him. He was one of a kind. Best wishes, 73, Paul N6PSE

  10. Barry Thaysen K3UG says:

    Date: Monday – January 15, 2018
    Time: 10:00 – 4:30
    The Stables at Greenmeadow Farm
    10102 Fingerboard Road Ijamsville, MD 21754

    Event Information:
    CASUAL – Do not come ‘over dressed’ or David will be insulted

    People can bring food or drinks (alcohol is allowed)
    Come at time during the time listed
    There will be a DJ with a microphone so People are encouraged to share their
    special memories of David (not required, only if want)
    Food and drinks will be available at any time, please enjoy while you are there
    Mingle with people and share your memories of David.

    Contributions can be made as follows:
    Amanda and Ryan Collingham College Fund
    Care of Rebecca Collingham
    12410 Glissans Mill Road
    Mount Airy, MD 21771
    (cards and well wishes can be sent to the address above)

    Out of Town Reservations:
    Suggest that hotels on Rt 85 in Frederick near the IQR office is used.
    Hotels like Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn; Fairfield; Courtyard by Marriott; Hilton Garden Inn
    and many more.
    This will be approximately 10 miles from the location off of I270.

  11. Sante says:

    My condolences to his family and to you … R.I.P. Paul 73′

    Sante IZ6CST

  12. sv2gwy says:

    In this video around 5:55, David says:

    “95 countries so far … so still have quite a few more to go to”

    and smiled with emotion and satisfaction !

    … unfortunately he went to the biggest DX pedition

    Rest in peace dear friend, we will all remember you !

  13. James KB2FCV says:

    A beautiful tribute to a great man. My condolences on your loss and to the loss to the amateur radio community
    73, James kb2fcv

  14. […] In 2014 he was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame.  Read N6PSE’s  touching Tribute on   Hans-Rudolf “Rudi” Lauber, HB9RG  passed away on  26 December  at 92 years of […]

  15. Tony Selmes G4KLF AA3SN (Ex A45ZN ZS1D etc). says:

    From Tony Selmes
    It was unbelievable to me that David should become a SK. We met in Muscat Oman when he was on a visit to A6 land and included Oman. I put him in my accommodation and gave him full use of my station during his visit. We became good friends, when my job in Oman ended he offered me a job with him in Maryland. I worked for him for 6 months until my Visa ended.I lived at his home QTH and shared the household. I remember his generosity vividly and we had some good fun together, plus we both got into trouble with Rebecca his wife.
    His generosity was shown in so may ways and I went to Dayton with him and met Hughey his blind friend. I was made so very welcome by David and joined several of his clubs and was involved with his business which took me to so many cities and challenges .
    My heart goes out to Rebecca , Ryan and Amanda plus his two other sons and family.
    RIP my old soulmate

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