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Last update: 15-Ju7-2018

COMARA Board of Directors Meets July 17.

The COMARA Board of Directors has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 17. One item for discussion is the upcoming annual election for directors for the class of 2018. There are nine Directors on the Board. Three Directors are elected for a three year term in the fall. The term for Directors elected in 2015 ends with the annual meeting in September. The directors are Peter Jacxsens, David Lee, and Maury Mechanick. Peter has decided that he will retire from the Board. David and Maury have agreed to stand for election for another term. Richard Rankin, who worked in the finance area at COMSAT for many years has agreed to stand for election this year. We will have more details of the election process to share after the meeting on Tuesday.

Another item on the agenda will be discussion for the location of the annual meeting and social in September. One suggestion for the location is That's Amore on Shady Grove Road.

William Lee Callaway - June 23, 2018

William Lee Callaway, 90, of Tall Timbers, MD passed away on June 23, 2018 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

William attended the University of Maryland and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma. He later completed his degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting from Strayer University in Washington, D.C. He served in the United States Army from June 1943 to his honorable discharge in June 1945. He served in Germany during World War II. He married his beloved wife, Lorraine Louise Callaway. Together they celebrated 57 wonderful years of marriage, until her passing in July 2012.

He began his career as an accountant with the National Broadcasting Company and by 1963 was promoted to Management. He was one of the first 15 people to be hired to work when COMSAT was established by President John F. Kennedy. He was employed for over 30 dedicated years as the Vice President Accounting Administration until his retirement on May 30, 1983.

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Donald Fifield Services June 30, 2018

RUMFORD, ME - Donald Fifield, 87, of Rumford, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Rumford Hospital.

FIFIELD - Donald Fifield, 87, of Rumford, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Rumford, Maine. A Memorial service will be held 1 PM Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the MEADER & SON FUNERAL HOME, CREMATION AND MONUMENT SERVICES, 3 Franklin Street, P. O. Box 537, Rumford, Maine 04276. Interment will be in Stonington at a later date.

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2018 Picnic Recap

After a dreary week of rain and coolish temperatures thru Saturday, causing much anxiety about the expected weather for yesterday's event, the clouds gave away to bright sunshine and warmer temperatures for the picnic where 69 persons were in attendance out of 79 who RSVPd coming: 57 IRAA, 3 Intelsat, 7 COMARA, and 2 former Intelsat. Once again, everyone had a fun time enjoying the warm camaraderie between friends and former colleagues from COMARA, IRAA, current/former Intelsat staff who reconnected and reminisced with each other.

Ed Stoner, who was a professional photographer for INTELSAT, took a number of photos and has uploaded these to the internet. You can view his photos from Ed Stoner's Picnic Photos

As has been customary, the menu fare consisted of the popular and delicious Crisp n Juicy chicken, along with lots of roasted vegetables and our own grilled Bubba burgers (some with Todd's Dirt, a gourmet seasoning made up with 14 spices/herbs), chipotle black bean burgers and hot dogs. An unexpected delight were the many delicious, homemade cupcakes brought by Linda Marlow.

As usual, big thanks to Alan Olson and his team for organizing the picnic. You can read additional details from the IRAA Website Social Events
(You may need to click the "Social Events" tab at the top of the page to view the article.)

The Sun is Rising in Africa & the Middle East

On the Road to a Solar Energy Future

Peter Varadi Book Peter F. Varadi, Frank Wouters & Allan R. Hoffman
Another book by our prolific alum, Peter Varadi. Peter F. Varadi is a true solar energy pioneer co-founded Solarex Corporation, USA, in 1973 that pioneered this field. His book: Sun above the Horizon (2014), and its sequel, Sun towards High Noon (2017).

Today utilization of solar energy is of interest to everybody but especially important for government and private sector officials in Africa, the Middle East, and other regions of the developing world; bankers, investors, and other members of the financial community interested in solar/renewable energy; students interested in entering the solar/renewable energy field; development specialists and students: solar energy students and specialists; vendors of solar energy equipment

COMSAT Slide Collection

One of the COMSAT Legacy collections is a box containing nearly 1100 slides. Dan DiFonzo recently took on the job of scanning the slides so our members, and the world can share them. This is a gargantuan job. Dan has created a OneDrive album and uploaded the slides to this album. This is a massive collection with a size of about 2GB.

From Dan DiFonzo: As promised, here is the link to view and/or download the 1100 Comsat slides that I scanned and digitized. These images have been uploaded to a OneDrive album.

Comsat Slides

Click the array to view the OneDrive Album

The notation on each slide refers to the drawer that contained the slides in the 3 across x 6 down set of plastic drawers. Otherwise, the slides are numbered in the order I scanned them. Only 14 of the drawers had slides.
Daniel F. DiFonzo

Satellite Gallery Opens at National Electronics Museum--July 10, 2017

The "Satellites: Transforming our Lives" exhibit--after 5 years of fund raising, collecting artifacts, and careful design opened at the National Electronics Museum as of July 10, 2017. It was a long hard slog to raise over $600,000 from some 50 different contributors, to put together the exhibit artifacts including satellites and launchers, create the Arthur C. Clarke mini-theater, display the entire SSPI Hall of Fame--among many other wonderful features. The committee that made this happen are to be congratulated. They include Denis Curtin, Maury Mechanick, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Ramesh Gupta, Scott Chase, and Joe Pelton, who has chaired the effort over the past 5 years. The opening will be as of July 10, 2017 and there will be a special gala opening in the Fall for members of the Maryland state government, industry officials, the SSPI, the Hall of Fame and major contributors.

Pictured are in the introductory foyer of the satellite gallery are:
Ellen Hoff (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame),
Michael Simons (National Electronics Museum Director),
Ruth-Pritchard Kelly (Satellite Gallery Committee and representative on behalf of Wilbur Pritchard),
Denis Curtin (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame),
Joseph Pelton (Chair, Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame),
Maury Mechanick ((Satellite Gallery Committee and President of COMARA)


Have you paid dues for 2017?

So many New Year's Resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten, but one resolution you should work on is to keep up with your annual COMARA membership dues. The COMARA Board of Directors wholeheartedly thanks each of you who are already paid up for 2017.

Your dues are needed to support COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and paying for this year's operational expenses such as the COMARA web site. COMARA.ORG has lots of wonderful links to legacy materials, membership contact data, and retiree benefits information.

If you cannot remember whether or not you are already paid up, you can check your dues status by signing in to COMARA.ORG and seeing if the text at the top left side next to your name says "Dues paid in current year" or "Future dues paid".
For the 600 of you are not already paid up, please mail your dues check of $15 for 1 year or better yet $30 for 2 years to:

PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827

Don't forget you can also pay your dues via the PayPal link at the bottom of the COMARA home page.

[The following text Updated Dec 8, 2017]
Your membership dues status is shown at the top of our Home Page after you sign in. We perform an update of the database near the end of the year. The update for 2018 did not happen until mid-February. Any dues paid in December 2017 will be applied to 2018 dues.
If you have already paid your 2018 membership dues, thank you for your support. If you have not yet paid your 2018 membership dues of $15 per year, please send a check to COMARA using our PO Box or use PayPal. Better yet, please send in $30 for both your 2018 and 2019 membership dues.
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
Pay with PayPal
What's New
Author's Corner
Benefits Information
Email and address Problems
John McLucas Book
In Memoriam
Board of Directors
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2015
  • David Lee - 2015
  • Maury Mechanick - 2015
  • Fred Kelly - 2016
  • Geza Serenyi - 2016
  • Ron Johnson - 2016
  • Denis Curtin - 2017
  • Dan DiFonzo - 2017
  • Bob Kinzie - 2017
  • Maury Mechanick - President
  • Fred Kelly - Secretary
  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
  • Denis Curtin - Social
  • Peter Jacxsens - Membership
  • Ron Johnson - 1st Wednesday
  • Paul Schrantz - Legacy
  • Rich Lustig - Benefits
  • Jack Hannon - Benefits
  • Ron Garlow - Webmaster


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