TO GEORGE SHAVER, K4HXD
(As written for
RACK PANELS, JUNE 1995)
By Tim Berry, WB4GBI
Wednesday Evening, May 31, 1995, my friend and mentor, George Shaver, K4HXD
became a silent key after suffering a massive heart attack. He was
52 years old and he is survived by his wife, Kathy, and two sons, George
III and Mike.
Many newer Hams cannot understand George's impact on our hobby without
a little history lesson. In 1967, George placed the FIRST two-meter repeater
on the air on 146.34/94. At that time, there were no synthesized solid-state
radios, and no "ready-out-of-the box" repeaters. George shared his mastery
of commercial two-way radio and pioneered the way for the very small number
of hams at that time to enjoy a new, reliable, and high-quality means of
local and regional communication from the dynamotor-driven, tube-type radios
in their vehicles..or even a more novel idea-from their hand-carried units!
These "portables" resembled more of a suitcase than a version of today's
cigarette-pack sized radios and had large batteries to power the tubes.
In the early seventies, George also led the way with the FIRST 440 mhz
repeater in East Tennessee on 444.300 mhz. He also placed the FIRST six
meter repeater on the air on 2.76/52.525 Mhz. In addition, George placed
the FIRST privately-owned open autopatch repeater on the air on 147.075
In recent years, George served as the "Shaver Store" for those of us who
needed parts, advice, or just a place to go spend some time to watch someone
who was a master of the radio art. From 160 meters to Amateur Television,
George mastered it all. Packet, computers, low band DXing, video... all
of these were subject to George's mastery...and innovation. There was no
piece of radio equipment which George could not improve. His well-stocked
basement was the standard of reference for many who came to drool...and
to learn. K4HXD's DX accomplishments were honored by the ARRL
with three active awards: 10 meters (114 countries), and Phone and Mixed
From that handful of hams that George served in the early seventies to
the hundreds of hams who are on the air in the area today, one thing remains
constant: if you use two meters or 440 Mhz today, you owe a small "thank
you" to K4HXD. He is the one who started it all, and he helped several
others get their repeaters started, as well. One of these included
a fifteen year old new ham who wanted to see what a repeater was all about.
Later, that same new ham would take George's guidance, encouragement, correction,
and criticism to form his own career. A single repeater that George
helped this one ham build in 1981 would grow into five repeaters on two
meters and one on 440 in 1995. However, none of these repeaters were complete
until they had the "Shaver Touch". In 1973, that new ham was WB4GBI.
Today, K4HXD's original repeaters live on as a testament to his knowledge
and service, and I operate them in his memory.
In Heaven, any radio equipment that the Lord needs tuned up will now benefit
from George Shaver's arrival.
73, George. Thank
You. I miss you.
Tim Berry, WB4GBI