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Silent Keys - Our Friends and Family... From The National Silent Key Archive™ of 40,580 Hams
I first met Bill in the early 1990s. He helped organize radio station W7SKY, originally a club radio station at Gold Bar, Washington Elementary School. His encouragement and support guided to a full station which today is carried on by amateur radio operators within a large area of Snohomish County, Washington state. There is so much good to be said about Bill. Nearly 12 years have passed and I still see his card and think of Bill often.

I wish you had known Bill. Darryl WZ7O

Bill grew up in Crescent Bar in Eastern Washington while living on his parent's apple orchard. When amateur radio was still in it's infancy, he became intrigued with the concept, and would study every bit of literature he could lay his hands on pertaining to the subject. Over the years, he became very proficient with the art of radio communication, serving at times as an emergency communicator in times of disaster. His knowledge let him to far flung arenas, including radio operator on several Alaskan vessels, and in the early days of World War II, he was quickly called up from the Naval Ready Reserve. He rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer as a cryptographer in the Pacific Theater, helping to break the secret codes used by the Japanese, surviving an attack from the Japanese Navy while stationed on Midway Island during their "all-out attack" on the United States on December 7TH. He was later called up for a short stint in the same capacity during the Korean War.

Leaving the U.S. Navy, he served as a communications technician for the FAA and General Telephone Co. At home, he continued his avid pursuit of ham radio, and numerous other hobbies. While he lived in Sultan, he and his son George raised and raced teams of Siberian husky sled dogs throughout much of the US and even to Alaska. He was a railroad history buff, and built model railroad layouts at home. An avid mountaineer, he has "topped" nearly every significant mountain in the Northwest. He was one of the original founders of Everett Mountain Rescue Unit and Paine Air Force Base Search Rescue Team, long before Snohomish County Search And Rescue came into being.

He will be sorely missed by his wife Willa; daughter Mary O'Conner and husband Tim; son George; brother Kelly and wife Salome; sister Patricia Lindsey; step-sons William Ramsden, Richard Hawkins and wife Susan, and James Hawkins and wife Becky; as well as a multitude of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends with whom he has kept in contact over the years by way of email and ham radio.

At his request, no services will be held. Arrangements by Bauer Funeral Chapel, Snohomish.

Obituary/biography: Published in the Herald (Everett) on Oct. 26, 2004
Photo #1: Taken 2003 at WZ7O
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