Everett Gracey, WA6CBA (SK)
Everett Gracey, WA6CBA, of Grass Valley, California, passed away on August 26. He was 90. In 1979, Gracey -- along with Ken, K6HCP, and Jacqui Holladay -- founded Mirage Communications in Gilroy, California. After selling Mirage, Gracey founded RF Concepts in 1986. Both Mirage and RF Concepts sold and manufactured VHF and UHF amplifiers. After Gracey sold RF Concepts, he continued to lead the company’s marketing team for the next six years. In August 2000, Gracey joined forces with LDG Electronics as its dealer representative and marking consultant. LDG manufactures and sells HF automatic antenna tuners. Gracey was also responsible for bringing Alinco Electronics -- a radio manufacturer in Osaka, Japan -- into the USA marketplace.
According to Gracey’s daughter Sharon Heisey, Gracey helped NASA put Amateur Radio equipment in space. “He was instrumental in getting ICOM to donate an Amateur Radio for the astronauts to use while in flight [on the space shuttle] and talk to schools and hams from space,” she wrote in an e-mail. “My father also donated amplifiers and antennas to NASA in Houston and to the Kennedy Space Center [in Florida].”
During World War II, Gracey fought in Europe with the US Army and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Silver Star for his bravery in Germany; he also received the Purple Heart. In civilian life, he was a big rig truck driver and author of three books: From Freight Trains to Airplanes, Buying and Selling Real Estate by Owner and My 20 Years of RV Adventures (reviewed by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, in the February 1999 issue of QST -- you must be an ARRL member and logged in to the ARRL website to read the review).
Per Gracey’s request, there will be no service or memorial. Instead, his ashes will be placed next to his wife Dorothy, who passed away in January. Everett and Dorothy Gracey had been married 71 years. -- Thanks to Gary Grant, K7VY; Darrell Upson, W6ADZ, and Arnie Sposato, N2IQO, for the information