Milford C. Gossard, 90

MAY 15, 1921-APRIL 23, 2012

May 03, 2012

Milford C. Gossard, 90, of Cudjoe Key, Fla., passed away on Monday, April 23, 2012.

Born May 15, 1921, in Hagerstown, Md., he was the son of the late Charles M. Gossard and Grace V. Gossard.

Becoming interested in high school in radio and electronics, he was licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a radio amateur and was assigned the amateur call letters W3IJF in 1939.

He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942 and was assigned military duties as a high-speed Morse Code operator, serving at radio stations in the United States and overseas locations. Later in his military career, he was assigned duties in electronics, installing and maintaining high-powered radio transmitters in the Air Force's (Globe-Com) worldwide communications system.

In 1944, he married Carmelita T. Baloria of San German, Cuba. After he retired from the Air Force in 1962, he and his family moved to Frederick, Md., where he started Mel-Comm Electronics, a Lafayette retail store. He also had locations in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Hagerstown, Md. In 1977, he and Carmelita moved to the Florida Keys, where he started a Lafayette retail store at the Searstown Shopping Center in Key West.

For many years, he was involved as a volunteer in the Air Force's MARS program, handling radio messages to our military service members overseas from his amateur radio station on Cudjoe Key. He and his wife served as volunteer radio examiners and operators while handling many of the radio messages in and out of the Keys during many hurricanes, such as Hurricane Andrew, and during the Mariel boatlift operation.

He was preceded in death by his wife in 2004 and a sister, Wilma Heatwole of Hedgesville, W.Va. He is survived by two sons, Larry M. Gossard of Frederick, Md., and Craig C. Gossard of Cudjoe Key, Fla.; sister, Jeanette Ruby of Reno, Nev.; two grandchildren, Kim Moussiaux of Marietta, Pa., and Ron Gossard of Ocean City, Md.; a great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews.

He was buried at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

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