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--- SILENT KEY ---

In Memory of
Ray Leslie, WA7EKH

Ray was a life member of the Mike & Key Club and "Pop" Brown Award recipent in 1980.

We have lost another long time Club member.  Ray Leslie, WA7EKH, went silent key on October 15th.  Ray Leslie was a major part of this Club for a long time through the 1980's and first half part of the 1990's.  Seemingly guff, (OK, he WAS REALLY gruff) to those who didn't get to know him; Ray really cared about the Club.  Once you did get to know him, the gruffness was just a facade (he reminded me a lot of my Grandfather that way)

My first major dealings with Ray had to do with the Relay.  He was always looking for articles (things haven’t changed much) and I bit.  This was all during the cusp of the PC computer era (the mid 80's) and Ray experimented a lot in computer publishing (a big step up from the paste-up days) and the putting the Club member data into a database.  When Ray gave up the Relay, it became my turn and I got a lot of help and advice (as well as that clunky database program)

Ray was highly involved in the Fleamarket as the Registration Chair after our move to the Pavilion. Again, he introduced computers into the process. Diane, my wife, spent her first days as a fleamarket worker Ray's guidance.  When he stepped down from that, Diane was able to step in.

I remember when the ARRL decided to publish the design of the "Mike & Keyer" but wanted a printed circuit board to be available.  Ray stepped up, and using computer layout software, he produced one and even paid to have some made up which he then tried to sell in kits.  I doubt he ever made his money back but he had fun and learned a lot.

Ray used to stop by our house (with his wife Eleanor) when we lived in downtown Kent for social visits.  The conversation frequently drifted to making the fleamarket the "Dayton of the West" and getting the Club a permanent Home/Clubhouse.  Alas, over the past decade Ray drifted away and we haven't talked in years though Diane and I have wondered frequently how he was doing (especially around Fleamarket time).  I still have visions of him upstairs at his house surrounding by computers and stacks of magazines/papers.

Which reminds me, Ray used to perform paper drives back when paper was worth something.  He would try to get club members to bring newspaper in on Club meeting day and then took it down for recycling.  For a while, there was money in it but even Ray’s big truck couldn’t haul enough to make it worthwhile in the end.

Ray was chairman of the Education Committee and made sure there were classes available to help new hams get their licenses.

One last thing.  Check the signature in your booklet of bylaws.  You’ll find Ray’s signature there in the last revision.  Ray always made sure the bylaws got a regular scrubbing every couple years and usually ran the committee.  Some of us wondered if it was worth all that but you could never doubt Ray’s willingness to jump in and volunteer.

Ray, WA7EKH, became a silent key October 15, 2007.




For more information or comments, corrections, or additions to this site,
Please email us at: info@mikeandkey.org or
Jim Etzwiler - KD7BAT.
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