John Spahn, pictured here, passed away on Aug. 5th 2012 at the age of 34.
This from Rick Webb at Watco:
Thirty-four years ago a boy was born in Southeast Kansas and from the moment he was old enough to know what he liked, he liked trains. And as he grew from a small boy to a young man, that like grew to love for trains and everything that went along with them. That young man’s name was John David Spahn, and he was laid to rest last week at the young age of 34.
John, or “Spahnny” as we affectionately called him, could not get enough of trains and railroading. Around the age of 12, he began hanging around the SKOL crew and asking to help in any way he could. He didn’t care how dirty or difficult the job was; he was thrilled to scrub the floor or paint a post. Watco had just bought the depot in Cherryvale, Kansas at the time and Spahnny helped lay the bricks in front of the building and helped the electrician run new wiring in the attic. No matter the job, he was eager to help. He loved railroading so much at this young age, he joined Heart of the Heartlands Railroad Club and a couple years later bought his first motorcar and rebuilt it with his dad Larry, who soon joined the club as well.
Spahnny officially became part of the Watco Team during high school, working part-time. However, as soon as he could he became a full-time member. In his early years he worked on the section crew, but he worked hard and made his way up the ranks as a customer service representative, conductor, engineer and assistant train master. At the time of his death he was an engineer for the SKOL. Regardless of the job he was doing and where he was doing it, everyone loved to be around him and his enthusiasm for railroading was contagious.
Spahnny’s family, the Watco Team, and the world lost a wonderful young man last week, but we are all so very blessed to have known him and had him in our lives. The many stories and memories we have will serve as reminders of the impact Spahnny had on us and provide some comfort as we adjust to life without him. Please keep his parents, Larry and Kathy, his wife Deidre and young children Bryson, Kyler and Karlena in your thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for all you do and keep making great things happen SAFELY,
Separate names with a comma.