RIP - Bill White

Discussion in 'Frisco Folks' started by Oldguy, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    I read in the KC Star that Bill White passed last week. He was both a Frisco employee ( started in 1969) and a model railroader as well. He finished his career with the UP as an engineer in 2000
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  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Please post the the obit url
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  3. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    The website has been hacked and poses a Malware threat. So here's the obituary:

    William L. White, II 29 December,1950 9 September , 2019 William Le Roy White ("Billy"), II, 68, of Prairie Village, KS passed away Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 at Shawnee Mission Medical Center after a long battle with kidney disease. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M, Saturday, September 21, at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, 701 North 94th street, Kansas City, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, Billy's wish was for gifts to be given to The National World War I Museum, 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64108 or the charity of one's choice[​IMG]. Bill was born December 29, 1950 in Kansas City, MO to William L. and Mary Ann (Cunningham) White. He grew up in Northeast Johnson County and was a 1968 graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School. Billy had a life-long love affair with railroads which he pursued through his model rail collection and a railroading career that began in 1969 at the Frisco Railroad. It ended at the Union Pacific Railroad with Bill working as a locomotive engineer in 2000. He was a history buff and an avid reader. Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents, Albert and Elizabeth Cunningham and Edward and Ella White, parents, William L. and Mary Ann White and his brother, Michael E. White. He leaves many loving cousins and friends. Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel Hill-Butler Funeral Home, 701 North 94th Street in Kansas City, KS, (913) 334-3366. Fond memories and condolences may be shared at

    Published in Kansas City Star on Sept. 18, 2019
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  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Thanks for the posting of the Obituary, Bob.

    Sad that another leaves our ranks.

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  5. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Cynthia and I will say prayers for his family and friends.

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  6. rcmck

    rcmck Member Supporter

    Thank you for taking the time to post this Bob:

    I've known Bill since the early 80's. He was - very much - the Frisco enthusiast, gaining much knowledge about the Frisco from his time as a railroader and seeking information through people, books, and memorabilia. His passion was Frisco steam. Bill commented often on their clean-polished boiler jackets, and the great care the Frisco took of their steam locomotives.

    I have fond memories of meeting interesting and legendary people through Bill. During a trip to Springfield, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lee Buffington. As Bill used to say: "Lee's forgotten more about the Frisco than you and I will ever know". I made several trips with Bill to visit Charlie Winters, notable rail photographer of all railroads in this area and of other roads in other parts of the country - an extensive negative collection. Bill was also a friend of Loyd Stagner, author of Frisco and Santa Fe steam books (and more). Bill arranged an evening with Loyd and some other friends that I enjoyed, slides and talk of railroading.

    Bill was old enough to have enjoyed trips on the Clinton sub, seeing Frisco passenger trains in person, and many other railroad-related events and excursions aside from the Frisco. I believe he was a member of the N.R.H.S., as well as a member of the Smoky Hill Railway and Historical Society here in Kansas City.

    He was always a wealth of information for me, with vast amounts of stored railroad knowledge. I could ask him general questions about railroading, and he'd usually provide quick answers. Somewhere in my office at home, I have a handwritten sheet of Frisco passenger-diesel assignments that Bill had given me. I don't recall ever seeing that posted here, so I need to fined it and share it.

    In addendum to the obituary above, Bill attended Oklahoma State University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in History. I recall him telling me one time: "you know the (railroad-related) pictures we look at are interesting, but what's of more value that we don't know is what took place at that very moment in time the picture was taken - the people, history, and elements that are associated with that image."

    After leaving the Frisco, Bill hired out with the C.&N.W., where he spent most of his career as Engineer. When he retired, they had been swallowed up by the U.P. His dad was a World War II veteran in the Pacific and worked for the Rock Island here in town at their diesel shop.

    I'm so thankful for the time I shared with Bill and the knowledge and enthusiasm for the Frisco (and other railroads) that he imparted to me.

    Rest in peace my friend.

    Bob McKeighan
    Lenexa, KS
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thats a really good story Bob, thanks for sharing it with us.
  8. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Ditto that Bob. Met him at Spolight during the late 60's, and he introduced me to the various KC railroad personalities as well. Even after I left KC, I'd run into Bill. While riding a 8444 excursion between Denver and Cheyenne, I ran into Bill. While on this excursion, we caught-up over a couple of beers while riding in the lounge car. Bill was a loyal member of the BLE, and at the time Coors was on strike, so Bill eschewed the Coors brand and chose another flavor. During the return trip, the lounge car's supply of alternative beverage choices was depleted. Reluctantly, Bill bent the rules a bit and ordered a can of Coors. The story always makes me smile. Here's look'n' at ya, Bill.
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  9. rcmck

    rcmck Member Supporter

    Thanks for sharing that Karl - it makes me smile!

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