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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

George Janke (WD9GVC)

May13, 2004

I just heard of George leaving us for that big DXpedition in the sky. I met George last year at his home and had a wonderful visit with him and his XYL. He was a great artist and had many pictures, of his own, proudly hung on his walls at home. He was a longtime member of The Metro Amateur Radio Club and drew many cartoons for our newsletters over the years. I also had the pleasure of meeting his Grandson and his Son-In-Law at field day last year too. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the radio community itself. 73 to my friend George this is "smiling Norm" going clear and QRT.

Contributed by: Norman P. Meyer (KC9ARR)

Almost every evening, you could tune into anyone of the many Chicago area 2-meter repeaters and catch a well-known friendly voice. The topics varied as much as the frequencies. WD9GVC or as George liked to say; WD9 “George Very Crazy” was always ready to return your call. George got his Novice ticket in the early 80’s while participating with a group of local CB enthusiasts. George’s interest in Radio was sparked years earlier while attending Coin Electric trade school at night in Chicago while working at Groan manufacturing as a maintenance worker during the day to support his family. Radio was just one of his many interests. The 11-meter Citizens Band radio was just the thing that George needed to satisfy his voracious appetite to meet and greet people. The Morse code key was not substitute for the microphone and the Novice restrictions kept him satisfied on the CB channels for years following. I had met George in the late 80’s when I was dating and eventually married his little girl, Joey. George and his wife Dolores followed us to central Georgia to be with his granddaughter Jill. A year later, he would witness his grandson come into the world. The two kids kept George and Dolores busy as he ventured around the area. Everyone in town knew them as they talked and showed off their grandchildren. There was no such thing as a stranger, because George would always find something to talk about. Once he got to know someone, you would most likely depart with a cartoon sketch or drawing. The drawings became George’s trademark being recognized by recipients from years past. Drawing, like radio was his first passion that seemed to blend together well with his other interests. Old rag chewers from the CB days recognized the characters on QSL cards as much as his voice. These drawings later would find their way into club newsletters and above our shack. Back in the Chicago area, George transitioned to the ham bands three years ago when his grandson, BJ received his technician ticket at the age of eight. George wanting to encourage his grandson to get on the radio worked hard to upgrade to the next level. At the age of 80 he was one the air with BJ. Soon, everyone got to know about BJ through George, as he loved to talk about him. Listening to George, he reminded us that even though all of us have quirks, friendships are easily made. Health problems started interfering with his ability to get on the air. But in typical fashion, that was not going to get him down. His cancer and medications often kept him awake at nights. Installing the 2-meter radio at this bedside, he was actively a part of the “Zombies”. This late night group would rag chew between the hours of midnight and three in the morning. He enjoyed the crazy stories and antics of those regulars. He had nicknames for each one and loved to share the stories with me. Although you may not be able to contact George during the day, as he would take short catnaps in his easy chair, watching game shows and sports on TV, he would have one ear open to his scanner at the side of his chair listening to his friends on the air. As the days went by, age and the disease slowly make it more difficult to share stories and meet new people even through his heart desired to do so. On May 13th at 0727 hours WD9GVC went silent. No longer will we be able to hear those great stories from the past, or hear that friendly greeting anytime of the day or night. However, we can take heart in knowing that those cartoon sketches of how he saw ham radio moments would live on, and he his listening for his old friends on the ham bands. George taught us that sharing stories or just knowing someone is always out there to talk to is a precious gift that should be passed to others. 73’s George.

Contributed by: Dr. George B. Lampere (AB9CQ)

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