+ Jim Stuart

(REVISED) James R. Stuart, a native of the Worcester / Sterling Mass area and former New York Central employee, passed away on August 27, in Townsend, Delaware, just ten days after his 88th birthday.

During the Second World War, Jim worked at Heald Machine in Worcester and the Springfield Armory, building the famous Browning 50 caliber machine gun, variations of which are still in use today. It was there that he met his wife Marion, to whom he was married for 60 years before her death in 2004.

Jim was hired as a signal draftsman-mechanical for NYC in 1952, and was promoted to the Operating Department’s Manager Training Program in the following year. He served as an assistant trainmaster in Cleveland and later as night trainmaster in Chicago. In 1964 he was assigned to the Signal Engineering Department in New York, and during his employment in Philadelphia with Penn Central and Conrail he served, in his words, “as a one-man department having to do with movable bridges.”

Jim was an avid live steamer and was know to say that his father always remarked that he learned to say ‘choo choo’ before anything else.

A founding member of Pioneer Valley (1952), lifetime member of Waushakum and associate of Pennsylvania Live Steamers, he dedicated much of his available time to steaming at all available ¾ “ tracks, frequently accompanied by long-time friend and co-worker Harold Crouch.

While living in Wilmington DE, he and daughter Cathy travelled all over the east coast, visiting local steam clubs and amazing them what could be done with a 20#, ¾” scale ‘Tich’ steamer that was literally, smaller than a toaster and ran like a rabbit.

After his wife Marion died in 2004 and his home in Massachusetts burned to the ground, he was invited by fellow live steamer Bill Shields to live with him and his wife in Townsend, Delaware.

Despite severe vision problems caused by advanced glaucoma, Jim was able to continue his live steam activities, frequently outdistancing more sophisticated locomotives he racked up countless miles on his ¾” Tom Thumb.

At Bill’s house, Jim had nearly completed work on a 3/4” Boston and Maine Atlantic, which he had started in 1946. This model, his pride and joy, was completely self-designed from original B&M drawings and used cylinders that he designed, patterned and had cast when he was working in Chicago for the NYCRR.

Besides raising and caring for his family, Jim greatest joy was being able to introduce others to the live steam hobby. It is safe to say that ‘guest engineers’ have run as many miles behind his locomotives as he did.

Jim Stuart was a quiet, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and gentle man who will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Jim’s daughter Catherine lives in Newtown Square PA with husband Nicholas and daughter Colleen.

+ Maynard, Bob

obituaries-bob_maynardROBERT “BOB” MAYNARD
World War II Army Air Corp Veteran
July 06, 1919 – February 27, 2010
Cincinnati, Ohio

On February 27, 2010 we lost one of our greatest promoters of the live steam hobby, Robert “Bob” Maynard, in his 91styear.

Bob may best be known to the live steam community as the designer of the Clishay engine.  This marrying of the Shay and Climax engines was designed and built for Bill Fitt as a birthday present from his wife, Doris. Continue reading

+ Lovett, George

obituaries_lovett_george

(Photos courtesy Gerald Weare)

LOVETT, George Peacefully passed away on November 25, (1926-2009). Dedicated husband of Virginia, perfect father, loving grandfather and great-grandfather. George retired from the RAF, built steam engines as a hobby, loved bird watching, gardening, could fix anything and always enjoyed beers with the guys. Continue reading

+ van Wingen, Rudy

obituaries-rudy_van_wigenOn april 06, 2006, Chris Allan of Joshua Tree & Southern posted the following mail on my 7- plus-ngm – mailinglist:

Our beloved Rudy passed away around 9 PM last night. He was surrounded by his family and a few friends.

Rudy was a driving force at JT&S and owner of Como Roundhouse Products. He has provided tremendous leadership for many years and his generous contributions have made many things possible. But most of all, Rudy was a great friend. We all will miss him.

Please keep Rudy’s wife, daughter and family in your thoughts.

Posted by the Joshua Tree and Southern Railroad Museum Directors.

And on april 17, 2006, he put the Spring JT&S Newsletter online, which contained a bio of Rudy, written by a member of his family, under http://www.jtsrr.org/browsers/spring06a.pdf
The photo and the text from this newsletter:

R udy van Wingen was born on November 10, 1938. Even as a young child he was well traveled, spending his time in Oklahoma, Oregon and California. In Oregon he came to know and love his father Rudy’s new wife, Marylou and his new sisters, Susie and Sally.
Rudy graduated from San Marino High School and entered the navy. After his discharge he attended USC where he met his fraternity brothers and life-long friends as well as the love of his life, Esther.
Rudy and Esther married in 1963 and settled in Pasadena.
Rudy worked for Connor Spring Manufacturing. In 1965 the arrival of their daughter Lissa marked a new direction in the couple’s life.
Rudy’s interest in model railroading began in his teens. His Uncle Gill was an HO scale enthusiast and Rudy’s love of science and engineering seemed a perfect match for his new- found hobby. Rudy’s soon discovered the beauty of narrow gauge. He along with Loren Brown, Ron Baisley, Tom Pollock and Bill Plunkett were the original founders to make the Slim Gauge Guild a reality. Later Rudy became an active member of Los Angeles Live Steamers and Riverside Live Steamers, but in later life his heart was always in Joshua Tree. Nothing could lift his spirits like an upcoming weekend with “the boys.”
Through a long chain of events Rudy ended up in the small niche of live steam modelers and built several 1 ½ inch scale, 4 ¾ gauge locomotives.
Rudy’s love of railroading was such that it was no surprise when he left Connor to start his own business utilizing his expertise in spring manufacturing and locomotive design.
Through his long time association with Francis Moseley, Rudy learned a great deal about the various steam appliances that are used on model locomotives and in time came to form Como Roundhouse Products. Como Roundhouse specialized in furnishing 2 ½ scale car and locomotive hardware to modelersin the growing fi eld of the live steam hobby. The success of the business allowed Rudy and Esther to travel quite a bit and believe it or not, every trip did not revolve around trains.
Rudy will be remembered as a wonderful husband, loving father and a source of wisdom and strength to all who knew him. He will be dearly missed but we are fortunate to have known him in our own way.
Thank you to the Van Wingen family for this wonderful biography.
Our heartfelt condolences and thoughts go out to Esther, Lissa and all of Rudy’s family and friends. -ed.
Photo by Peter Moseley
We Say Goodbye to Rudy.

Como Roundhouse Products, his business for the livesteam-hobby, was taken over by Paul Lavacot before Rudy passed away.
(above information was submitted by Hubert “The Goose” Wetekamp, Moderator of the 7-plus-ngm – mailing list)

+ Crouch, Harold C.

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Harold, working on his locomotive at Waushakum

On Friday, March 27, 2009, I received the sad news that Harold Crouch passed away.  Harold was a well known and beloved Live Steamer.  I had the blessing of getting to know Harold through his visits to the Waushakum Live Steamers.  On Sunday evening, following the meet, he along with Steve, Jan, Matthew, Paul and Maureen Pontarelli would join my parents and I for an evening of food and sharing.  Harold would always be excited to see the progress of my railroad and locomotives.

I was able to visit with Harold  at the nursing home on October 13, 2009 with the Pontarelli’s.  We had a wonderful  visit and Harold had many of his great railroad stories to share.  As Harold talked, I managed to record some with my digital video camera.  I will do a little editing and add a tribute to him later this week.

If you know of the obituary, please pass it on, so I can post it here!

Harold going around the inner loop at WLS.

Harold going around the inner loop at WLS.

The Funeral Mass for Harold C. Crouch is Saturday, April 4. 2009 at 10 a.m. – Holy Cross Church/4492 Lake Ave./Rochester, NY 14612 (585) 663-2244. Immediately followed by reception at the church for family & friends of Harold. All live steamers who knew Harold are invited.

Update: Donation’s to Harold’s memory may be made to St. Michaels Church, 401 S. Main St., Newark, NY 14543 or The Visiting Nurse Hospice, 2180 Empire Blvd., Webster, NY  14580.

Burial will be in Newark Cemetery, Newark, NY at the convenience of the family.