The photo of George's shop on Irving Park Road was taken after he became a silent key. It is a southeast view toward downtown Chicago.
- Ron WB9IMR reports the passing of George Sopocko, former owner of "Radio-TV Labs" located on the 5700 Block of Irving Park Blvd, Chicago: 22 July, 2009: I found out this afternoon that George Sopocko, WA9JEZ passed away about a week ago. I found this out from his son in law.
- George had a procedure performed on him about 4-5 weeks ago to clear a blocked artery. Apparently it triggered blockage in other areas of his body that damaged other organs in his body including his bowels and kidney's.
- Definitely sad news. I have known George since 1967 when he came to my High School to help with setting up a radio club. Over the years I must have visited his shop on Irving Park in Chicago over a 200 times. He was a unique individual and one who could fix anything with tubes in it!! I will miss him.
Following is part of a reading done at the graveside service for George by his daughter, Sandy:
- George Sopocko was born on March 16, 1925 in Poland and died on Friday, July 17, 2009. He was 84 years old. He had continued until then working with all his old electronic equipment - restoring and repairing and just enjoying.
- He always had a great interest in electronics even as a child in Poland. He had a dream to come to the United States and have a life here with his own business and that he did.
- He was a veteran, a hero from World War II, a member of the Polish underground where he did his part in the fight against Hitler. That part of his life affected the rest of his life forever.
- Physically, he had lost much of his hearing ability because of difficult experiences during the war. He was in very close contact to the explosion of a grenade and he had been beaten by Nazi soldiers causing injury to his ears. The Nazis had captured him and put in a German prisoner of war camp. Most of you have heard from him many of his war stories.
- After the war, he spent two years living in Germany before boldly and bravely coming to the United States. He did become self employed and opened his store.
- He married and had two daughters. He made many friends and helped many to learn about electronics and Ham Radio. He was a member and officer of The Electronic Service Dealers Association and a member and president of the Chicago Amateur Radio Club for many years. He traveled, loved to cook, to read, and work on crossword puzzles.
July 28, 2009 from George K9GDT:
- I first became aware of George when I returned from a two-year corporate stint on the east coast in the early 70s. I moved to North Evanston and one of my new neighbors, who knew I was into home brewing, told me about Radio-TV Lab, recommending George as a source of reasonably priced hard-to-find radio parts. Not only was he reasonably priced, but I could negotiate little freebie extras and sometimes no tax on the sale! It was kind of a sport between us. ...a sport we both enjoyed.
- Later, when the CB craze hit, he was making good bucks selling parts to CBers. He knew I was saving up for a house, so he would often sell me radio parts extra-cheap or just give them to me outright for my homebrew projects.
- He was interested in what I was doing with the parts I'd get from him. I was interested in hearing about his experience in Europe in the 40s.
- So our negotiations would often take more than an hour, interrupted by sidetracked topics, phone calls and other customers. Frankly, I enjoyed every minute I ever spent there with him.
- I remember his store on Irving Park when one could actually walk anywhere in the front section and examine parts on all of the shelves and in the glass cases. Ya know, the best stuff was in those glass cases! I'm talking double ball-bearing variable caps, zero-backlash gear assemblies and Collins mechanical filters with bandwidths, impedance's and center frequencies that were actually useful. A homebrewer's paradise!
- Lastly, George was a truly likable and decent person. I was lucky to have known him. ➙ 73, George K9GDT
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