In Memoriam . . .
by Jerry Blaine, good friend
The meets have changed for many of us because Tom Hess is not there to say hello and to help whenever he could.
Tom passed away in July and will be greatly missed. Tom was friendly to all and never had a bad word about to say about anyone. He loved to talk trains. His loves included trains, airplanes (was a licensed pilot) and cars (American cars).
Tom was a modest man who never had a television ... he simply loved to visit with friends and to read. He also enjoyed going to the Friday night meets and dinner with the group afterwards.
May you rest in peace, good buddy.
Tom Hess with his truck.
American Flyer Trains • Dinkys Corgi • Tootsietoy • Matchbox
Would buy one to whole collection
Robert Langton Cell: 626-241-7686 • 626-799-3723
Photos on Page 1: Top: Theme Display”Streamliners” Exhibit in the Brown Hall. Photo by Hal Rothenborg Bottom: White Hall. Photo by David Nissen. THANK YOU to David Nissen and Hal Rothen- borg for photographing Cal-Stewart 2008.
Calvin Smith, editor
Michael L. Urac III
T.T.O.S. #690 & T. C. A. #01-53692 by Rebecca (Becky) Urac, wife
Michael Urac passed away on November 12, 2008 after a short battle with lung cancer. Michael was a long time member of both TCA and TTOS. Michael was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1942. His family moved out to California when he was 14 years old and left behind a basement full of Marx trains and toys because they were “only toys” and took up too much room. Mike attended Citrus High School in Glendora, California, and upon graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge he met and married Becky and fathered three children, twin girls Becky and Dolores and a son Michael. He worked hard to put himself through school at night and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Safety Administration. Thereafter he became the Director of Safety and Security at Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles from where he retired after 30 years.
He never forgot the trains and toys he had left behind and during his 30 years at Kaiser and the 10 years after he retired he was an avid collector. He spent most of his weekends at estate sales, yard sales, auctions and was always looking for a deal. His first love was trains and he easily replaced the Marx trains he had left behind as a child twelve times over. He had every Marx train and toy he had ever had, like all the Marx Playsets and some he had never heard of, but he had them as an adult. One of his greatest thrills was going to York for the annual train meet. During the course of their marriage he talked Becky into building an addition to the house so he could store all his treasures. They also opened a train shop in West Covina called the Train Crossing and had to close it when the building was sold. He planned to reopen after he retired but he was always so busy finding more treasures and buying out storage units that he never had time. Besides his original Marx, he actually collected more Lionel both pre-war and post-war and developed a real addiction to Standard gauge. He also was a great fan of metal figures and had hundreds and hundreds of those. He also collected stamps, Indian artifacts and clocks. He enjoyed the outdoors and showed his children and grandchildren the joys of camping, fishing, hiking and how to enjoy nature in surroundings like Sequoia, Death Valley and his own backyard.
He was a wonderful loving husband and father and a good friend. Although he was not as active in the clubs as he was in the early years when the family vacations were planned around the train conventions, he was always at Cal-Stewart. Even though he was quite ill and very weak he had planned to attend this year but didn’t quite make it. I’m sure there are still many in the club who remember him. He passed surrounded by his family as the sun rose over the horizon and we figure there was a swap meet about to open somewhere and so he had to be on his way. He will be forever missed and eternally loved.