Remembering Aaron NØWAR

[ Written by Bud WØRMT, Dave WD0HDR, Bucky WØSUN ]

Aaron Steven Cathcart, 51 | N0WAR/SK
June 26, 1972 to June 5, 2024

Amateur Radio lost a very active ambassador recently.

Aaron Cathcart N0WAR was a self titled Ham Radio Super Freak. He was also the originator of the Ham Radio Group called “Super Freq”. He was one of the first Digital DMR Pioneers in Northern Colorado and DMR Talkgroup 310869 became the home of the Super freq Group. The Super freqs later were integrated into Colorado Digital Multiprotocol reflector XLX303 which introduced many more Ham Radio Operators onto the system. Gradually they found their way onto SuperFreq, Module F (For Freq)! Aaron was also responsible for establishing DMR Talkgroup 31084 which he named NOCO Mountain Skynet. This Talkgroup was integrated and bridged into Reflector XLX303 Module B.

If there was a key up or a call out on 310869 Super Freq, most likely it was Aaron returning the call. How could one describe Aaron? He was very unique with his low voice, his inflections, and the way he spaced out his words. “Ohhhh Myyy G—d! It’s greaat to taalk to youu! You Made My Daay!” You always felt good after talking to Aaron on the radio. He would talk about anything and everything and would not shy away about voicing his opinions and thoughts. He stood out. He was slightly edgy and sometimes misunderstood. But he was also charming, humble, and had a heart of gold.

Aaron’s early life was spent in Nebraska with his mother Beverly Powers. When Aaron was older He later joined his Father Steve Cathcart with the family photography business in Colorado.

Aaron made his living mostly in photography. The family owned Cathcart Studios in Estes Park, Colorado gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Heidi worked at a local bank in town and it was Aaron’s father who first met Heidi and had a feeling that Aaron and Heidi should meet. Eventually they did meet and the rest is history.

Not only was Aaron an expert third generation professional photographer, he created many interesting and entertaining videos as well. He was a “YouTuber” and called his YouTube channel, “Shutter Mafia Studios”, home of Cathcart Photography. He had eight thousand subscribers.
Link to Shutter Mafia

Aaron and Heidi later moved to Loveland, Colorado. Aaron continued making a living with his photography skills while Heidi found work at a Loveland bank. Heidi was very supportive of Aaron’s love for Ham Radio and even obtained a Ham Radio license herself with the call KC0VQF.

He made many friends with Ham Radio particularly on the Super Freq and NOCO (Northern Colo) talk group 3171. Aaron met a core group of friends such as Jimi N7VDR, Ivan W1VAN, Dave WD0HDR, Bud W0RMT, and many more. He had conversations sometimes telling stories about his father or the times he spent taking wedding photos.

Dave shared that Aaron had many stories. One story was the time he spent at the police academy in Greeley. He had stories about times spent on the driving track at Golden. Many conversations led to references to movie scenes he had watched, or TV programs he liked such as “The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy” with Heidi.

Jimi shared a story when Aaron found out that most NASA Astronauts were Ham Radio Operators and they also had a Ham Radio Setup on the Space Station, he made it his personal goal to operate and talk to an Astronaut. He talked not only once but many times with the Space Station.
Link to NØWAR talking to the International Space Station

Dave shared that a couple of decades earlier Aaron was a Net Controller for the Army MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System), with another fondly remembered colorful character named O.J., KØOJ/SK. It must’ve been an entertaining and fun NET at times while providing a valuable service.

Later after Covid Aaron was a little reclusive. He sometimes declined invitations to join in at Hamfests, Radio Swap-Meets or even lunch. Although he didn’t meet others in person, he sure made up for it on the air waves. He was eager and happy to talk with anyone. He was a familiar voice for many years not only on digital radio, but HF radio as well. He operated from “The War Shack” as he used to call it.

Recently in 2023, Aaron and Heidi settled in Princeton, Illinois to be near Heidi’s Family.

Aaron had just established a new Photography Studio in Princeton and was looking forward to many more years near the “Cornfields” with his loving partner Heidi. His mother was in the process of moving from Nebraska to be near Aaron and Heidi.

Aaron is survived by his loving partner, Heidi Johnson and his mother Beverly Powers of McCook, Nebraska.

Aaron’s Brother Dave lives in Fort Collins, and he has a Twin Sister Lora Hamil in Pierce Colorado. He has 4 nieces and 1 nephew. He was preceded in death by his father, Steve Cathcart and his stepfather, Ed Powers.

He will be missed by his furry rescue dog, Dundee, who often hung out in the War Shack with Aaron.

Aaron NØWAR had a huge impact on the team of Colorado Digital, XLX303, and the Ham Operators that called this reflector home. He will be sorely missed by Ham Operators in NOCO (Northern Colorado) as well as the Amateur Radio Operators around the world that called Aaron a friend. Aaron was extraordinary. He added color and spice to our hobby. He was unique. He was an original. He was the Original Super Freak. SUPERFREQ XLX303-F will not be the same without him.

Aaron’s Obituary | N0WAR QRZ Page
Shutter Mafia YouTube
Aaron’s Photo Gallery on Flicker | Tribute on QRZ (KW5USA)

73 to our friend
from Jimi N7VDR, Dave WDØHDR, Ivan W1VAN
Colorado Digital Multiprotocol

And all the many friends on the Radio out there.