Val Calder, AKA Brother Spook, was a member of the Puget Sound chapter.
Val was a retired Vietnam veteran. His job in the military was "secret" thus the road name Spook. He was always involved in some type of covert, info gathering mission. After retiring he developed a passion for collecting exotic animals. In fact at one time he owned an exotic pet shop. He has raised black panthers, cougars, tarantulas, birds, horses, and God only knows what else. If you could name it, he could tell you all about it. He was also an avid horseback rider as well. Val and his wife Patty were (are) very active members in the Mormon Church, which is very family oriented. So Patty will be receiving much needed support from them. They have two grown daughters, an old dog, two tarantulas, and some kind of weird ass ferret, which was Val's pride and joy.
Val (Brother Spook) probated into the club in Jan of 2007 and patched over in Mar of 2007.
At that time he became the Chapter Web master. When the official National body was formed, Brother Spook was elected to be the National Webmaster. During his term, he worked endlessly trying to salvage a dead system. To help save the "Club" money, he would drive to his Seattle office and use his phone system to make the teleconference calls for our PTC's. When we decided to file for Non-Profit, the lawyer fees are around $3,000. But Spook convinced his brother-in-law (a tax lawyer) to take our case free of charge.
Val's civilian job was doing computer work for the government. He had planned for months to ride to Nebraska to attend our first National meeting. However, while TDY out east his internal defibrillator went off several times. This was a first time in many, many months. So when he finally got home, his Dr would not allow him to ride his bike that far and in that heat. So with much disappointment, Brother Spook missed the national meet. This health issue was just the beginning of his decline. Later he would suffer some type of infection in his hand that required hospitalization, then more cardiac problems. Then he was having extreme spikes in his blood pressure and his medications were at a very high dose. He had to have a procedure done to his heart called an ablation. This is where they actually kill certain areas of the cardiac nerve system in an attempt to prevent ectopic beats from causing his heart to get out of sync. It worked, but only for a short while. Several weeks ago he developed kidney failure, probably caused by his high blood pressure. That was followed by more firing of his defibrillator. He was admitted to the Seattle VA last week and this past Monday he was transferred to the Portland VA cardiac ICU. On Wednesday, they took him into the cardiac catheter room to do another ablation, but during the procedure, his heart went into ventricular fibrillation, and the doctors could not save him.
Both Val and Patty are strong in their faith in our lord. Patty told me on the phone after Val's death, "When our father calls us home, that's where were suppose to be".
He was a good rider, a good brother and most of all, a good friend. He will be truly missed.