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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Lynn Aldrich

Date: 01/27/24 13:01
Lynn Aldrich
Author: santafe199

TO member Mr Lynn Aldrich passed away yesterday morning after a short time in hospice care. He was one of a rather large group of railfans from the Hutchinson, KS area. He was into his 80s, but I don't know exactly how old he was. Lynn retired from school teaching in Hutch, but earlier in his working days he was a car clerk with the Rock Island and the Santa Fe both. Mutual friend Keel Middleton tells me he spent several summers at Way Yard in Hutch working the wheat rush seasons. I knew of Lynn from my early KS Gang bros Dave Franz & John Arbuckle. But I never actually met him until after I retired from MRL and came back home in 2010. Digital notwithstanding he would get out to shoot now & then, and he was in the habit of sending his friends a few of his results. In November of 2014 he sent me a shot of a BNSF O-train rolling away into a Kansas sunset in SW Hutch. I was blown out of my chair! So I gave the image a Photoshop touch-up and posted it. Sure enough, Todd & Co promptly gave it IOTD status Toto Tuesday: O train at sundown! (trainorders.com) ). Now Lynn had made an IOTD on his very first "submission", so to speak. I called him to let him know his photography was now being admired by dozens of fellow fans. It took a while to explain how it worked. I also told him I was buying him a gift subscription into the TO family. He ended up enjoying it so much he remained a TO member right up to his passing. So far as I know, Lynn is the only one to have an IOTD on his resume before he was ever a member... ;^)

So long, Lynn! Godspeed & clear signals forward...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/24 13:09 by santafe199.

Date: 01/27/24 22:19
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: ATSFSuperChief

Excellent moves, IOTD and membership Lance.


Date: 01/28/24 04:52
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: atsfer

I am so sorry to hear of Lynn's passing, I knew him primarily through his association with operation lifesaver which he was a presenter of.   I reviewed the image in your thread that got him IOTD and it was stunning.  Lynn was a nice guy and it was kind of you to help him get into TO.  

Date: 01/28/24 09:32
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: switchlock

Our ranks get thinner.  *sniff* :(

On the first excursion I worked, Lynn and I shared car hosting duties behind UP's E9s between Wichita and Yates Center, KS.  I remember him as a quiet guy with a wickedly dry sense of humor.  He was one the "west side" guys who would get together at the Village Inn on Central in Wichita after an NRHS meeting to solve the world's problems and otherwise shoot the...breeze.  There is a slight curve on the AT&SF in Hutchinson where Lynn captured some great shots of passenger trains in the 60s.  He loved the Rock Island cut north of town as well.  I have a couple of thosed saved somewhere.

This shot is from a grainy, 30 year old video of that UP trip we worked.  Long time Santa Fe guy Mike Hurley is on the left, Lynn on the right.

Highball, Lynn!

Date: 01/29/24 08:54
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: monaddave

Sorry to hear of Lynn's passing. As mentioned above, I too knew Lynn from John Arbuckle. The few times we met was when he would venture east to Emporia to watch trains in front of the depot along with the other local fans, like Dick Humphries. He will be missed.
Dave in MT

Date: 01/29/24 11:58
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: Cumbres

Lynn was a quiet but knowledgable guy. He would talk to you and teach you in a very gentle way. I enjoyed working with him on that trip also Switchlock. He will be missed just like Mike was missed too. 

Date: 01/29/24 15:48
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: Chjct15

Hi, this is Lynn's daughter Kristie (I'm on his new account). He enjoyed getting on here, and read it every day as long as he was able. My family and I are touched by all the comments, and are so glad he was a part of this community.  We'd love to hear any stories and see any pictures of him you might have. I don't know if we can do him any justice, but we'll be on here as much as we can. Thank you all for your friendship and kind words; we thought he was pretty special too.  

Date: 01/29/24 16:38
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: wcamp1472

Hi, Kristie,

Thank you for your post.  Were impressed that you're reaching out!

Again, it's good to welome you to our little community, of caring folks.
Its obvious that your father was well liked by all he associated with.
Please continue the contacts.  

We all have family members, too... and in many cases RRs carried
us and brought things to us.  

Mostly, a friendly wave was 'returned' with smiles & recognition.

Wes Camp


Date: 01/29/24 18:21
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: sfbrkmn

Good picture of Lynn standing next to my late father-in-law Mike Hurley who retired from SF in 1986. He was good friends with Mike and knew my wife Kim. 
I met Lynn probably around 30 years ago when he began attending the NRHS meetings in Wichita. It would be me, Mike, Lynn and Lloyd Stagner ride together from Newton to Wichita. I would also see Lynn at the Santa Fe society conventions I attended and we would engage in additional conversation.
At the 2016 Wichita convention, I was of the clinic program presenters. Arriving at the Marriot hotel to pick up my convention papers and instructions, Lynn and his wife were working the sign in walk up table. Lynn saw me approaching, stood up, reached his arm out to give me a warm hello and handshake. That was the kidness of how Lynn treated people. He was a very good man with a deep belief of the Holy Spirit. He will be missed.
Sam Andrews,

Date: 01/29/24 19:03
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: bstjohn

Chjct15 Wrote:
> Hi, this is Lynn's daughter Kristie (I'm on his
> new account). He enjoyed getting on here, and read
> it every day as long as he was able. My family and
> I are touched by all the comments, and are so glad 
> he was a part of this community.

Hi, Kristie.  Lynn was a member of the Topeka Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society for many years and I think that he enjoyed receiving our NRHS chapter newsletter.  I met Lynn a couple of times when I presented programs to the Wichita Chapter of the NRHS and enjoyed my conversations with him.  Pleas accept our sincere condolences on your loss of your father.

Bob St. John
President, Topeka Chapter NRHS

Date: 01/29/24 19:51
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: upkpfan

I met Lynn on the Operation Lifesaver trains and also at the Topeka Chapte meeting. I enjoyed visiting with him very much. You have my symphaty. upkpfan

Date: 01/30/24 08:34
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: switchlock

I mentioned above that Lynn was a quiet guy.  At one point during the day on that above-pictured trip, I approached Lynn and another gentlemen having a discussion
Lynn says "Hey! You need to meet this famous author."
I say "Okay...so introduce me!".
Lynn's reply introduced me to Jim Ehernberger, a former UP guy with a couple of books to his name.

Good times, indeed.

Date: 01/30/24 09:39
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: santafe199

Chjct15 Wrote: > ... Hi, this is Lynn's daughter Kristie ...

Hi Kristie, it's really nice to see you following up for your father. I do have a couple of anecdotes with Lynn that I think you'll enjoy:

I've been out shooting "with" Lynn only maybe 2-3 times, always in the Hutchinson area. One afternoon a few years back Lynn & I independently (separate vehicles) wound up at the same location. It was at Whiteside on the old Rock Island SW of Hutch. While waiting for our train we got into a discussion about who influenced us as photographers. I knew Lynn was mostly a "3/4 roster" shooter, with occasional stabs at 3/4 train/action scenes. On the other hand I had learned long ago to throw all such caution to the wind and shoot in whatever style fit the moment. In other words, when it came right down to it I could shoot "artsy-fartsy" with the best of 'em. I didn't really learn this from my KS Gang railfan bros Dave Franz & the late John Arbuckle. But they both gave me a lot of encouragement in this area. Keep in mind I still didn't know Lynn very well. Even so, I wasn't trying to show off as much as I was trying to explain to him why I shoot the way I do. And when Lynn told me his main influence was the late Lloyd Stagner I knew I could go no further with my explanation. Lloyd was like a Godfather to me and all of my compatriots, so I couldn't say any more. I know this will be hard for a few TO members to believe but I just "put a big cork in it" and let the conversation morph into other subjects... :^)

Another time I bumped into Lynn at a Train Show/Swap Meet down in Wichita. This time he had a grandson(?) along and it seemed to be all he could handle. We were talking while looking over a live N scale(?) layout with 2 parallel "main lines". His grandson got a bit rambunctious and knocked a few cars off the one of the tracks. Of course there was a train coming on the other one! Which we both saw. Lynn went into a panicky high gear and started moving the derailed cars off one by one. I had been ready to just put a gentle squeeze on the lead engine of the approaching train. But Lynn very deftly finished removing all the "wrecked" cars with a few seconds to spare. The Hulcher men (who clean up real-life derailments) themselves couldn't have done a better job... ;^)

Lance Garrels
Manhattan, KS

Date: 01/31/24 11:08
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: spider1319

Really a nice tribute.sorry about the loss.RIP.Bill Webb

Date: 02/10/24 11:18
Re: Lynn Aldrich
Author: RailThunder

Lynn was a class act true and true.  I enjoyed working with him on some Operation Lifesaver projects in that era.  Rest in Peace up there.  

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