I didn’t know W4ACM, but he sounds like a guy that I would have liked to have known.  He was 100 years old and an amateur radio operator for 84 years!  I found a link to the obituary below in an e-mail I receive every day from Google alerting me to new “amateur radio” content that it’s found on the Net. Perhaps if you live in or near Fredericksburg, VA you could attend the service…..Dan


Carleton H. Gray

W4ACM, SKCarleton H. Gray, 100, entered into eternal rest at Greenfield of Fredericksburg on Friday, March 4, 2011. He will be truly missed by his family and all the lives that he touched.

He was born on Aug. 11, 1910, in Artas, S.D. His loving wife of 57 years, Zianna A. Gray, who passed on March 11, 1996, and five brothers preceded him in death.

Carl built his first radio receiver in 1923 from instructions in the Boy Scout Handbook and the Radio News Magazine. He obtained his amateur radio license in 1926 and his commercial license in 1930. During World War II, he served for nearly four years on active duty with the Army Signal Corps. He worked as an engineer at several Midwest broadcasting stations, one of which was where he met his wife, Zianna. After their marriage, he accepted a civil service appointment as a radio engineer in 1941 and was assigned to the Army Signal office in Omaha, Neb. In 1962 he transferred from Omaha to the Office, Chief of Engineers in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1973 as chief of engineers. In 1988, he received the Veteran Wireless Operators Association’s Deforest Audion Gold Medal Award that recognizes the achievements of men who have distinguished themselves within the electronic field. Silent Key W4ACM.

Carl was an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a member of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. He was also a member of QCWA, VWOA and the ARRL. He was an avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They have lost a true fan.

He leaves to cherish his memory, a son, Alan S. Gray and his partner, Natalie Balderson, of Richmond; a son, Richard M. Gray and his wife, Vickie, of Fredericksburg; a daughter, Linda L. Rayner of Charlottesville; grandchildren, Alan Stephen Gray Jr. and his partner, Dani Barker of Inwood, W.Va.; Kristin L. Rayner of Charlottesville; Kelly D. Gardner and her husband, David, of Italy; and Jennifer Brown of Fredericksburg; and two great-grandchildren, Alex Gray of Inwood and Thomas Gardner of Italy, as well as many other loving family and friends.

A service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 11, at Covenant Funeral Service, 4801 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, Va., 22408. Burial will follow at noon in Quantico National Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to a charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Greenfield and Mary Washington Hospice for their special care over the last several months. We would also like to thank Chancellors Village, where he lived for 12 years.

Online guest book is at covenantfuneralservice.com.


  1. Elwood Downey, WB0OEW says:

    I didn’t know him either but wow, it’s hard to even imagine all the changes he experienced first hand. 73 Mr. Gray.

    When I read of a ham passing away, I’ve been making it a point to find a clear frequency and send their call one last time.

  2. Linda Gray Rayner says:

    I am Carl Gray’s daughter and wanted to thank you for your kind words. I remember growing up and having the tall towers set up outside our house. The neighbors complained because it interfered with their television sets. This, of course, was before cable. More recently, when he moved into an assisted living facility, he put a tower up outside his porch, but was disappointed when he couldn’t get a clear signal. He decided to drive next door to the bowling alley parking lot and back his car up to a light pole. He said he got better reception there and was able to use his ham radio in his car. Always thinking.
    He was quite a guy and loved his radio.
    Thank you for being part of his “ham” family.
    W4ACM will live on forever in my heart.

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