George Edward CaspersGeorge Edward Caspers Jr., 96, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2012, at Diamond Willow, Cloquet, Minn.
George Edward Caspers Jr., 96, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2012, at Diamond Willow, Cloquet, Minn.
Born Jan. 2, 1916, in Chicago, Ill., George was the son of Norwegian immigrants, Jenny and Audun Bakkemo. He and his three sisters were orphaned when their parents died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Together with his sister, Helen Jayne, he was adopted by the Caspers family of Lake Bluff, Ill., where he grew up.
At a young age, George developed a keen interest in radio communications and went on to earn his First Class Radio License as a teenager. He was an expert Morse code and short wave radio operator (call letters W9WAY), both of which he continued to enjoy into his eighties. As a young man, he was an avid long-distance bike racer and speed skater and competed in both sports.
After serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Northern Wisconsin during the Great Depression, he joined Abbot Laboratory in Chicago and assisted in the development of the proximity fuse vacuum tube.
In 1941, George married Olive Louise Pedersen of Lake Nebagamon. This past January, they celebrated 71 years of marriage.
George graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Institute as Chief Radio Technician and from U.S. Navy Loran and Cryptographic Systems School at M.I.T. He proudly served his country with the U.S. Coast Guard in the North Atlantic during WWII as a Chief Petty Officer and Chief Radio Technician.
After the war, he worked as Chief Engineer for radio stations in Iowa and Wisconsin and as an FM Radiotelephone Engineer for Motorola Communications. In 1953 he assisted in the construction and became the first operator of the FM station WHSA in Brule, WI. He served as supervisor until rejoining Motorola in 1959, where he was instrumental in the design and implementation of underground communications in the mining industry.
In 1972, at the American Mining Congress in San Francisco, he presented a paper he co-authored with David Victor of White Pine Mining Co. on “New Space Radio Communications in Underground Mines.” He developed and implemented this system at the White Pine Mine in Michigan. This was a revolutionary use of wireless communication in underground mining and the first in North America. George left Motorola in 1975 and finished his long career in communications with WHSA, Brule, WI, where he retired in 1981.
He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Radio Relay League, the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Society of Broadcast Engineers Inc., as well as VFW Post 1091, American Legion Post 409 and the North Central Law Enforcement Association.
George had a passion for geology and had an extensive mineral collection. He and Olive lived on their Norway Pine Tree Farm in Lake Nebagamon for 58 years.
George was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Sarah Ann, and sisters Clara and Edna.
He is survived by his wife, Olive “Pete”; daughter Susan (James) Banks of Maple, WI; granddaughters Bridget Rose (Darrell) Landry of St Paul, MN, and Georgia Louise (Matthew) Banks-Burgess of Minneapolis, MN; his sister, Helen Jayne Jorgenson of Park Ridge, IL; and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff of Keystone Bluffs and Diamond Willow and to the St Luke’s Hospice team for the wonderful care and support they gave George.
VISITATION: will be from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service at Downs Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, Sept. 8, with the Rev. Fr. Andrew Ricci officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in George’s name to the Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers, 2024 W. Third St., Duluth, MN 55806.
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