Mark Lium (callsign N7WSU) has been a Tukwila resident for almost 40 years and active in Amateur Radio for over 20. A graduate of Tukwila Elementary, Showalter Middle and Foster High Schools, he met his wife of 16 years while attending Showalter. He and his lovely bride Sandra (Witherbee) went off to Washington State University together, lived in Kent for a few years to be closer to their work in Auburn, then settled back in Tukwila in 1998 in Sandra’s childhood home. They intend to remain Tukwila residents for the rest of their lives and their daughter will be attending Tukwila Elementary, Showalter Middle and Foster High Schools. She will be in the FHS class of 2027.
Mark’s involvement in Ham Radio started with a bet thrown down by his father Dave Lium (N7JLO, SK *) in 1990. He and Mark’s grandfather Dick Thomas (KA7SPF, SK *) wanted Mark to achieve his ham radio license so they could talk with him across the state from WSU. Mark really didn’t believe he had the time to study for and pass an exam, seeing as he was working 3 jobs during the summer to save for the next school year. The bet came about because if Mark were to commit time to studying for the exam, he needed to know he would have a radio to use once licensed. The senior Lium agreed that if Mark passed the first TWO levels of licensing exams AND a 13 word per minute morse code test in the 3 weeks he had before going back to school, dad would provide a new hand held radio as the prize. The morse code test provision was Dad’s sure fire way to ensure he wouldn’t be buying his son a radio. Well, Mark went back to school licensed as a General Class ham radio operator and still has the hand held radio sitting on his desk to this day.
After college, Mark went on to work for the General Services Administration for a few years in Information Technology, then was hired on at Microsoft. While at Microsoft he saw an ad in the company newsletter for a group wanting to start a ham radio club (the “MicroHAMS”). Attending the first meeting and almost all of them since the club was formed in 1999 has given Mark a tremendous exposure to some truly terrific ham radio community members. Serving as a board member of the club during most of that time has given him a great deal of experience with club management. When the City of Tukwila Emergency Management Office approached Mark with the idea of forming a club to work closely with the city to train and prepare for major emergencies within our borders, Mark jumped at the opportunity to give back to his community.
Mark sincerely hopes that anyone interested in joining the ham radio community and volunteering their time to assist their community and neighbors in the event of an emergency will join us for our first club meeting November 9 at 7pm at Tukwila Fire Station 51.
(* “SK” stands for “Silent Key” and indicates that the radio operator is deceased)