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John Marker, KG6POM

John Marker Jr.  1956-2023

John Marker became my friend one afternoon in 1962.  It was a tense meeting as I caught him in the act of stealing my Tonka truck and Tonka Jeep from our front yard.  I was six years old and he was seven.  

We lived about a half mile apart, and one day we were carrying a chalk board from his house to mine when we came across a seagull on the side of the road.  We thought it was dead but a closer look showed it was alive.  We used the chalk board as a stretcher and headed for my house.  Along the way, Mrs. Binning saw us and asked to see the bird.  She looked at it closely and noticed it was choking on a hot dog bun.  She was able to remove the bun, and the gull slowly recovered.
I liked electronics from a young age and was a short wave radio buff.  At about age 16, John wanted to show me his new radio.  In his bedroom on a small table was this odd-looking tube rig.  People were talking through it, and there was a microphone attached.  A girl was calling for "Viking"; John picked up the mic and answered!   It was an EF Johnson Viking Messenger I CB transceiver, and there were girls out there on the air!  I was instantly hooked and soon had a radio.  The CB craze of the 1970's followed, and CB lost it's luster.

I had gotten my Novice Ham license in 1985 but never used it due to family commitments--it lapsed in 1995.  In 2003, John called and said he obtained his FCC Technician ham license and had made friends on a local repeater!!  I was hooked again and soon had my Technician license as well.  

John was my longest friend.  Like all friends, we had our ups and downs including long periods of time between talking.  Later in life, John became disabled and was confined to a wheelchair.  He had no radio capabilities at his home, so in December 2020, I constructed and installed a multi-band HF dipole at his home for the worldwide bands and refurbished and installed his old Ringo Ranger VHF vertical.  He started working other countries and was thrilled to have that capability again.  He also connected with his old friends on the local repeater.   It opened a new world for him.  

Sadly, John passed in October, 2023.  He had more to give this world; however, the long-running disease had taken its toll.  

Godspeed my old friend.

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