In Memoriam

Mark Sheppard, N7LYE


Seattle ACS Community,

It is with great sadness, along with deep gratitude for his contributions, that we report the passing of Mark Sheppard, N7LYE, on May 30, 2021. His family was able to be at his side at the time of his passing, and he even enjoyed his beloved longtime evening ritual of a whiskey and a cigar on his last day.

We wouldn’t all be together in this community if it weren’t for Mark, of course, and for that we will be forever grateful, but Mark did so much more than start a ham radio communications group. By combining his talents, relationships, skills, and grit, Mark founded and then led a world-class emergency preparedness resource, staffed with experts who took cues from Mark’s own operational excellence, attention to detail, and passion for the mission.

Mark founded Seattle ACS in 1993, drawing upon learnings from various other emergency communications organizations and structures, as well as his own extensive experience supporting wildfire lookout and suppression efforts. His vision for the ACS program from the start was to go beyond some of the constraints faced by amateur radio-rooted organizations such as ARES and RACES, which is why Seattle ACS works not only with amateur spectrum but also with public safety circuits, and why we go beyond the mic to assist with functions such as audio/visual, meal prep, and other logistical help at the EOC. Mark’s vision for how a dedicated volunteer group, with expert technical and non-technical skills could support the Office of Emergency Management had everything to do with the warm welcome you have received if you have ever been at the EOC as an ACS member during an activation. While our group may be composed of volunteers, we have always been treated by the OEM as professionals and peers, and a great deal of the credit for that goes to the way Mark shaped ACS.

Mark is survived by his wife Sherry, sons Alex and Nikolai, and grandson Kristopher. Please keep them in your thoughts, and if you feel moved to share a note or card, those may be sent to:

Sherry Taylor & the Sheppard Family

2584 11th Ave W.

Seattle, WA 98119