The Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society (CVARS) has been around since at least 1973, probably longer but there are no records to be found prior to that year. The CVARS callsign, WA7UHD, has been with the group for 48 years, but it is time to make a little history and change that callsign. On August 7th, the club conducted a special event station on our BawFaw Repeater. At 11am, club President Bill Knepper, N7GWK, formally accepted our new callsign, K7PG, from Corene Litteer, N7FAO, wife of that callsign’s former owner, and now silent key, Gary Litteer.
So who was Gary Litteer? Well, let me tell you a little about him. A long time CVARS member, Gary held most of not all officer positions in the club. As a teacher with a love for all things electronic, he taught new ham classes, conducted Volunteer Examiner sessions and, most importantly, became an “Elmer” to nearly everyone associated with our group. He served his country with both the U.S. Navy and the Coast Guard. He held both Canadian and US ham radio callsigns (as did Corene), and had a love of sailing and flying. Mostly however, he loved nothing better than sitting in his ham shack talking with other hams. His main wish was simply to leave his callsign to the Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society. As a past CVARS president, I only recently found out that Gary approached every single president with his request. When the time finally came, current president Bill Knepper and his officers made Gary’s wish come true.
Gary’s favorite saying was “such a deal I’ve got for you…”. I don’t think any of us thought that “deal” would be worth so much to past, present and future CVARS members. While the FCC acknowledged the callsign change back in April, CVARS members spent several wonderful hours on August 7th remembering Gary as one by one, so many folks checked into the special event with great memories. Those checking in received a Certificate of Participation and a special Gary Litteer QSL card, but those things are just paper. Those memories of Gary Litteer, K7PG, will last forever.
Sitting with Corene in their home ham shack just off the kitchen as we conducted the special event, nobody could blame her when she choked up just a little when she told everyone over the airwaves what Gary’s favorite saying was: “such a deal I’ve got for you…”. Rest in peace, Gary. We will miss you but your callsign will serve the Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society for many years to come. Thank you.