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Updated November 11, 2016

Lee Cheever W5IG/SK
October 13, 2016

Hugh Leon Cheever—known to all as “Lee”—was born in Cedar City, Utah. Lee’s degrees were in physics, electronic communications and sound, and he worked as a sound engineer in the motion picture field, as a disc jockey, and played several instruments in many bands. Lee served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot, and flew as a commercial pilot and instructor. He just recently celebrated 50 years of marriage to his wife Ann, WB5NAX.

His love of cars, music, jeeps, boats, cameras, guns, radio controlled boats, motorcycles, kids, cats and dogs led some of his friends to call him “W5 Inspector Gadget.” His many projects showcased his skill and craftsmanship. (Visit the MARS Archive here for links to some of his YouTube videos.) He retired from Lee’s Four Wheel Shop in January, 2004.

Lee earned his first ham license in 1953 and became an Extra class in 1973. He was proficient in CW and worked most all other modes on all bands. In addition to ham radio, Lee enjoyed target shooting and cowboy action shooting. Axle Smith was his Single Action Shooting Society alias.

Darrell Crimmins, KG5E, recalls, “He could always be counted on to come up with a meeting program on short notice, usually on antennas and feed lines. No matter how educated the audience, he always had something to throw in that seemed to teach us all. Lee was the ‘go to’ guy when information was needed on short notice. He was very dedicated to MARS and at one time the club had its monthly meeting at Lee’s Four Wheel Shop in Carrollton as well as Field Day at his home. He served in all capacities as club officers, most recently as a Director.”

Darrell said, “I once called Lee from Arizona for an opinion on a radio-related question. I said. ‘You are the smartest guy I know.’ This pleased Lee and as expected, he had the answer. This was typical of our friend and he will be dearly missed.”

Russell Fish, W5SGV, remembers this about Lee. “When I was a newly licensed Technician, Lee was the first ham I met at my very first Hams & Eggs. Soon he tested me for General, and he got Beth, KF5LBE, licensed. He helped my son Tommy, KF5FKQ, into ham radio and eventually tested him for both Tech and General. Along the way, he freely shared his experience and provided guidance for dealing with challenging offspring. He was a good ham, a good husband, a good father, and a good friend. I will miss him greatly.”

Daryl DeVault, KE5SAB, said, “My wife Vicki and I have known Lee well over thirty years. We all shot together at the Dallas Pistol Club in Carrollton and at several Single Action Shooting Society matches. He got me started in ham radio about eight years ago. Lee will be missed—he was a very close friend.”

MARS offers our condolences to Ann and the rest of Lee’s family. Many thanks go to Daryl DeVault, Russell Fish and Darrell Crimmins for helping with this article.