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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Ed Graham's passing

Date: 05/20/19 20:05
Ed Graham's passing
Author: stevef

We are sad to note that Edward (Ed) Graham passed away yesterday, May 19 from complications relating to the heart with family close by. He was 90 years young. Ed most recently attended the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Gold Spike at Promontory Utah and attended both the NRHS convention in Salt Lake City, Utah and The SP Historical and Technical Society convention in Ogden, Utah. He was one of the few people who stood up at the banquet on May 18 as having attended both the 100th as well as the 150th anniversary of the driving of the gold spike. Ed started out working as a teenager as a messenger for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Headquarters on Market Street and 3rd and Townsend in San Francisco. He rode the commutes from Redwood City or Menlo Park with his Dad who also worked for the S.P. They would sit with Claude E. Peterson who was the head of passenger operations for the S.P. and played cards during the trips.  Ed later worked as both passenger and freight agent at many of the S.P. Coast division depots from Palo Alto, CA to Colma, CA while in college. Ed was one of the few people left alive who had worked for the S.P. in the 1940’s. Ed also used the commutes to attend San Jose State College and later graduated from Stanford University with a Civil Engineering Degree. The S.P wasn’t hiring, so he took a job with Caltrans as and later became a manager in the Highway Engineering division. Once Ed retired, he was able to indulge his hobby of mileage collecting. Maybe he didn’t have the most in miles, but he had to be in the elite top group. He was a participant on many of Clark Johnson’s rare mileage trips aboard the Caritas in the U.S, Canada. and Mexico. He had ridden on railroads in 99 countries.  He was hoping to reach 100 different railroads with a trip to Ethiopia this fall, but alas, did not make it. Ed devoted his time and efforts to many groups. He was past President and most recently Vice President and National representative/Chapter Director for the Central Coast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. He was the Convention Chairman for the 1992 NRHS convention where we brought the S.P. 4449, U.P. 3985, and S.P. 2472 locomotives to the convention for many days of mainline steam excursions. Ed was involved with the California Nevada Railroad Historical Society where he wrote the organization’s history. He was also a member of the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Bay Area Electric Railway Association, the Lexington Group, and the Colma Historical Association which was involved with restoring the S.P Colma Railroad depot and shed.

Date: 05/20/19 20:34
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

I'm very sad to hear of this.  I knew Ed quite well from many trips on the Caritas and he joined me and three other fans on an extensive independent trip to Mexico in 1996.  He was very knowledgable and was always the polite gentleman.  He will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace, Ed.  

Date: 05/20/19 20:54
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: Mudrock

I am very sad to hear this as I saw Ed at Promentory Summit just last week alive and well.


Date: 05/20/19 23:49
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: asheldrake

Rest in Peace Ed.....a real gentleman     Arlen

Date: 05/21/19 02:51
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: mundo

Yes a gentleman he was.

Folks like him are getting harder and harder to find.

Always enjoyed having him as a passenger on our tours.


Date: 05/21/19 13:43
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: goldcoast

Ed was a good friend of over 50 years and will be missed.

Date: 05/21/19 17:36
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: PCCRNSEngr

Very sad to hear and glad I was able to get to see him during the NRHS Convention. He will be missed by all.

Date: 05/21/19 20:09
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: OliveHeights

Sad news.  Best wishes for Ed’s family and friends.

Date: 05/23/19 20:07
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: stevef

Attached is information on Ed's funeral and a link to his obituary. His funeral service is scheduled for 10:00 AM next Tuesday, May 28 at Saint Simon Church, 1860 Grant Road in Los Altos, California.  Feel free to pass this information on to any of Ed’s friends who might be interested in attending. Here is the link to Ed’s obituary.  https://www.cusimanocolonial.com/obituaries/Edward-Frank-Graham?obId=4427693#/obituaryInfo

Date: 07/17/19 19:39
Re: Ed Graham's passing
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

I figure my friendship with Ed goes back at least thirty years when we rode a train across Montana that covered some rare, normally freight-only miles. Ed and I did quite a bit of traveling on various rail trips as we both shared a deep passion for trains and travel to places we'd never been. One funny memory I have involving Ed was when we were in Mexico in February of 1996. We knew that most of the passenger trains in that country would be disappearing soon due to political and other reasons and we wanted to ride a bunch of them before they made their last trips. We were riding a train from Merida to Campeche in very Third World conditions. No air conditioning, uncomfortable coach seating, and a crowded train. Some of the journey was at night and in pitch blackness as it was probably deemed too expensive for the railroad to buy light bulbs. At Campeche we were met by some Federales. Since Ed and I were probably the only foreigners on the train, that alone probably set off some whistles and bells that we were "suspicious looking characters." The Federales wanted to interview us on the station platform. As we all know, Ed had a conservative, grandfatherly look to him. Always being slim and trim and with his signature mustache, I always thought he looked a little like Walt Disney. Now, as for myself, I was a few years younger than Ed and at the time was sporting a big bushy beard. We were near the Mexican state of Chiapas and there had been some anti-government civil unrest in the region recently. With my beard and disheveled look, the Federales probably thought I was Fidel Castro's nephew or something . On the station platform, Ed and I obediently dug into our luggage to produce our passports and visitors papers. As it turned out, the Federales only wanted to inspect MINE. Not Ed's. He must have looked too honest and wholesome. After the officers determined that all was in order and that I was not a subversive revolutionary, we were allowed to proceed to our hotel. Later on, Ed thought it was really funny that they only wanted to inspect MY papers and not his. He got a lot of mileage teasing me about that incident over the years, and it was, of course, all in good fun. Ed was always a perfect gentleman and very diplomatic. I feel honored and privileged to have known him as long as I did and being able to travel with him. Living until 90 years of age and being able to ride trains in 99 countries is quite an accomplishment. I'm glad Ed had such a long, active and adventurous life. Being such a fine person on so many levels, I feel it was only right that he should be rewarded with something like that. Rest in peace, my friend. Until we meet again . . .

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