Chester Alderman Obituary (1938 – 2022) – Valdosta, GA
Chester Thomas Alderman, an electrical engineer, amateur radio expert and decorated Navy veteran, died Tuesday at his home in Valdosta, Georgia, with his daughter and sons by his side. He was 83 years old. The cause was lung cancer.
“Tommy,” as his friends called him, was born August 18, 1938, in Valdosta and graduated from Valdosta State College with a degree in electrical engineering, for which he had a natural talent that paved the way for a career as an engineer. engineer for several decades. career in Washington, D.C.
His passion was electronics, which began at the age of 10, when he became addicted to amateur radio. He operated under the call sign W4BQF for the next 70 years, typing Morse code at 110 words per minute and connecting with “hams” in nearly every country on the planet. He won numerous awards for his speed and accuracy in international amateur radio contests, aided by a 40-foot radio tower he erected in his backyard.
A lover of fast cars, Tommy also loved speeding up Porsches and Jaguars on local racetracks at a young age and at one time owned a rare model of a Lotus sports car.
As a teenager, he enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, following in the military footsteps of his father, Creighton, who was also postmaster general of Valdosta. Tommy went on to receive one of the Navy’s highest honors, the Navy Achievement Medal, for his work in single-handedly redesigning a special surface-to-air missile detection system in fighter jets that saved the lives of countless American fighter pilots in Vietnam.
Abroad, Tommy met his future wife, Hong Kong native Lisa (now deceased) with whom he had three children. They settled in Virginia, where Tommy worked in the private sector in Washington DC, designing surveillance and tracking systems for the US military, federal agencies and electronics companies.
His designs ranged from devices employed by federal agents in the arrest case of John DeLorean, the former auto magnate, to miniature cameras used for the first time by professional skiers in international sports competitions. Later, he worked for the US government as a network engineer.
In 2003 he moved back to Valdosta to care for his aging parents, Alice and Creighton, and to be near his siblings, Mary, his sister and brother Buck, who have since passed away. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth and twin sons, Tim and Terry.
Tommy settled into a beautiful 15 acre property with a fishing pond in Cecil, Georgia and made many friends. He enjoyed catching fish with Tim and Terry – also Navy veterans – and rolling his mowing tractor through the fields with his beloved and faithful dog Cleo sitting behind the wheel. He was also proud to visit his daughter Elizabeth at her home in Paris, France.
His children are grateful to have had the privilege of being by his side and will always cherish his memory.
A memorial service in Tommy’s honor will be held Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 11 a.m. at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens, 3945 North Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602. Condolences to the family can be sent online at www.mclanecares .com. Carson McLane Funeral Home
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Posted by Carson McLane Funeral Home on January 26, 2022.