He was born in Hoyleton Township, in Southern Illinois, in 1913. His parents were farmers, and he was one of seven children--and the only one to go on to a higher education. He received his Baccalaureate Degree from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), his Master's Degree from the University of Illinois, and his Ed.D. from Oregon State University.
Dr. Peithman is also an Amateur Radio operator (call sign W6BME) and was the faculty adviser to the Humboldt State Amateur Radio Club which was established in 1948. The Club was issued the call sign W6HIQ on September 30, 1949. The station was located in a Quonset Hut that used to be on campus. Beginning in 1960 the station was moved to the Physics Department of the Physical Science portion of the Science Building. The W6HIQ license expired on March 8, 1973.
Peithman is also one of the 35 charter members of the Humboldt Amateur Radio Club (HARC) which was created in 1947. He also serve as club president.
Peithman and his students built the first transmitter for Humboldt State’s broadcast radio station KHSC (now KHSU) in 1955.
The R. E. Peithman Physical Electronics Laboratory (Building Science A, Room 370) at Humboldt State is named after Dr. Peithman.
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