November 2012 President’s Report

            Bill Britt passed away Friday, October 26, 2012. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bill had three sisters and two brothers. He was graduated from Bishop Loughlin High School and received his Bachelors of Marine Engineering from the New York State Maritime College in 1955. He was Vice-President of Engineering at Chase Packaging in Greenwich, Connecticut. For ten years Bill volunteered at the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen in Danbury, served for eight years on the Bethel Board of Finance, was a member of the Charter Revision Commission, and a former member of the Bethel Building Committee.

            The Danbury Railway Museum was the fortunate recipient of Bill’s propensity for volunteerism and technical expertise. Joining the Museum in early 2000, Bill worked on the model layouts, devoting most of his time and talents to the “S” gauge layout, which required much effort.

             In August 2005 Bill took on the Project Manager position on our then newly acquired Pennsylvania RPO 6563 which was built in 1910. While Project Manager, Bill worked diligently in the yard and at home to assure work progressed regardless of weather conditions or work requirements. Repairing, renovating or constructing new, no task was not achievable. Windows, doors, repainting, electrical, cabinetry – the rusty RPO was returned to its original 1910 luster. Bill accepted the Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations on behalf of the Danbury Railway Museum on June 7, 2010.

            In January 2010 Bill had stepped up to be Project Leader on the newly-donated Tonawanda Valley, a Pullman observation, lounge and sleeping car, built in 1928 and utilized as the last car on the 20th Century Limited. Work started shortly thereafter, focusing first on the exterior of the car, including exterior steps, platforms, and paint.  “Rivets” were worked on at a feverish pace. Bill, along with assistant Art Slothower, spent many hours and work progressed at an amazing rate. Restoration  work quickly moved inside the car, and the beauty and historical significance of this valued piece of equipment is coming to fruition. In 2012 Bill sadly asked to put Art in charge of the project, feeling badly that he was not able to do enough.

            I was personally fortunate to work with Bill and share his talents during many Tuesday night model work sessions. In addition, we worked together on the Board of Directors. Bill was Vice-President from November 2003 until 2006, and cared for the building and its operation, among his many other contributions. Bill set a high standard for future V.P.s to follow.

            Bill was recognized as one of our “Gandy Dancers” in early 2012. Bill is another of our exceptional volunteers whose talents, expertise, caring and sharing will be sorely missed.

                                                Sadly, on behalf of the Danbury Railway Museum,

                                                                        Wade Roese