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Mary G. Dosland, 94, Moorhead, died Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, in MeritCare Hospital, Fargo.

Mary Gertrude Key was born Nov. 3, 1909, in Memphis, Tenn. Her family moved to Port Arthur, Texas. She married Ralph Palmer, W5BUZ. They lived in Port Arthur. She taught International Morse Code at Port Arthur College during World War II. In 1959, she married Goodwin Dosland, W0TSN, in Moorhead. He died in 1983.

She is survived by a son, Pat, Port Arthur; a daughter, Katherine (Herman) Rohde, Houston; a stepson, John Dosland; 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation: Sunday from 4 to 6 in Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead.

Funeral: Monday at 2 in the funeral home.

Mary Gertrude Dosland was born November 3, 1909, in Memphis, TN. She died February 8th, 2005, in MeritCare Hospital, Fargo. She was the daughter of Martha Kyle Key and Job Lynn Key. They moved to Port Arthur, TX, when she was eight years old. She married Ralph H. Palmer and they lived in Port Arthur, they had two children. They were later divorced.

Mary had an avid interest in her hobby of Amateur Radio and received her Class A Amateur license from the FCC in 1934 and was assigned the call letters W5DEW. This resulted in her nickname “Dew Drop”, the “handle” she was known by among the amateur radio operators (Hams) that she was in contact with world wide.

In the early 1940’s, during World War II, she taught the International Morse Code to Military personnel assigned to Port Arthur College. These men were the communications section of the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was an intelligence and espionage agency commanded by General William Donovan that was active in the war. It was the predecessor to the CIA. Mary stayed in contact with these men by mail and amateur radio, and received the organization’s newsletter, until her death. She had a great deal of pride in her contribution to the war effort.

In 1959 she met Moorhead attorney Goodwin Dosland who was then the president of the American Radio Relay League, the national organization of Ham operators, and of the International Amateur Radio Union. They were married in Moorhead in 1959. He preceded her in death in 1983.

Mary was an active member of the Order of Eastern Star and rose through the chairs to become Worthy Matron. She remained a member until her death. She was an avid bridge player and played in many duplicate sessions with her friend and bridge partner Irene Kinsella.

She was a member of the Moorhead Country Club and dined there frequently with family and friends. She was loved by both staff and members.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her sisters, Wilmuth McCann, her brother-in-law and friend, John (Manny) McCann, a stepson, William Dosland and two grandchildren, Craig and Mark Rohde, also, earlier in life she was preceded by a brother, Job Marshall Key and a sister, Martha Mosby.

She is survived by her son Pat James Palmer, Port Arthur; her daughter, Katherine “Kit” (Herman) Rohde, Houston, TX; stepson, John Peter (Arlis McCauley) Dosland, daughter-in-law, Donna Dosland; special friends, Becky and David Cusey; twelve grandchildren; twenty-five great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Mary was always cheerful and upbeat, she was a sparkling lady with a charming southern accent. She called everyone she knew “Dahling” even if they had just met. She always had a kind word and a compliment for everyone. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and everyone who knew her.

The Funeral is at 2:00 PM Monday February 14th, 2005, in Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead. Visitation will be Sunday, February 13th from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. in Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead.

Memorials may be made to the Moorhead chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, or to Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead.

Online guestbook at


Photo #1:; QST May 1940
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