The Elkhart Model Railroad Club started in 1950. A long journey for any organization and several people have made that journey with the club and made it the success it is today. EMRRC wants to memorialize fellow members that have departed this earthly station for the very last time. Though they will never run with us again at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club, we fondly remember them here. We celebrate the brief time we had and acknowledge the legacy they leave in our care.
Charles Russell Yoakam, 79, Charlie passed away on December 10, 2020, in Elkhart with his family by his side.
Charlie was born in 1949 in Lima, Ohio a hotbed of railroad activity that molded Charlie’s lifelong interest in railroads. Charlie joined the Elkhart Model Railroad Club in 1983 and devoted his love of railroading to the club especially after he retired from Miles Laboratories. There are very few sections of the club that Charlie did not have a hand in building or rebuilding. He and his late brother, Raymond, shared the love of Model Railroading and shooting sports. The love of these hobbies will continue through his grandson, Nicholas.
"Charlie" made friends wherever he went. He was loved and respected by many. He was just a "great guy" and will be missed by all who knew him. He was adored by his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. They will carry him in their hearts forever.
Rest in Peace, Charlie... such a good, kind friend and gentleman.
Raymond Yoakam, 64, of Commerce Texas passed away on February 10, 2019, in Dallas Texas. Raymond was Charlie Yoakam's brother and that Lima, Ohio influence also turned him into an avid model railroader. It ran in the family folks. Raymond joined EMRRC in 1982 and was instrumental in getting Charlie to join the club. in 1989 Ray had to leave the club as he took a new job in Texas and ended up joining a Model Railroad Club in the Dallas area. Ray came back to EMRRC several times over the years to visit his brother and the club. Ray was an extremely friendly and active person, involved with all manner of interests. He loved fishing, hunting, archery, and shooting sports. He was a member of the Elkhart Conservation Club, as well as the Edwardsburg Conservation Club.
Rest in Peace Ray, it was our honor to have you as a member of EMRRC
Stanley “Butch” Stephen Shatto, 67, of Elkhart and formerly of LaGrange, passed away on December 31, 2018, in Kendallville, Indiana. Stan was born on September 18, 1951, in LaGrange County He had a lifetime love of anything Mopar, Race Cars, and especially Model Trains. He joined EMRRC in 1979 and was a lifetime member and master model designer at the Elkhart Model Railroad Club. Stan's contributions to the Elkhart Model Railroad Club are immeasurable. His modeling and craftsmanship were beyond compare. He was a meticulous modeler that brought to life many scenes on the club's layout. Stan had a wicked sense of humor. His many engines and trains on the layout including Sani Flush, Clown Rail, Royal Flush Urinals, Utterly Pathetic, and Norforking Way were just a few of the word plays Stan loved. A favorite pass time at the club is "How Far Will They Roll?" Freight cars were tuned and ran down the 3% grade and whose car went the furthest? Stan's but it just kept going downgrades, upgrades, and on level track. The car was examined and Stan had stashed a motor in the freight car. Stan was a 70s classic that we won't see again. Rest in Peace Stan and thank you for the unbelievable Chateau Paper Products industrial complex (A parting wordplay from Stan).
Gary G. Berkey, 62, passed away May 10, 2017, in Elkhart, Indiana. Gary was a quality control inspector and die cutter at Flex-Steel for 23 years, retiring in 2009. He was a model railroad enthusiast and member of the N-Gauge Model Railroading Club, Warsaw, and the Elkhart Model Railroad Club. Gary joined EMRRC in 1998 and was instrumental in promoting N-Scale at the club. Being an avid N-Scaler Gary was involved in the building and maintaining of the first N-Scale layout at EMRRC. Many times when members were running or working on the HO-Scale layout Gary was recruiting for N-Scale. Gary was EMRRC's walking encyclopedia of railroad facts. If you needed to know information about a particular locomotive, we didn't need the internet or a diesel spotters guide, we had Gary. Gary's knowledge of locomotives especially diesel was unbelievable.
Rest in Peace Gary, we're sure you're up there running an N-Scale layout and recruiting HO-Scalers.
Charles A Hammes 80, passed away on April 8, 2006, in Mishawaka, Indiana. Charlie was a Crew Supervisor for NIPSCO for 35 years before he retired in 1983. He was a Veteran of the United States Army, serving his country proudly during WW II. George was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mishawaka, the K of C, Mishawaka, American Legion, and the Elkhart Model Railroad Club since 1959. This man would become the reason the Elkhart Model Railroad Club is where it's at today. Charlie was with the club for over four decades. In the 1970s club membership grew and the club prospered. But all good things come to an end, and in the 1980s there was a drastic decline in membership. At one point there were 2 members, Charlie and Jim Stafford. Several times these two men took money out of their own pockets to keep the club solvent. At the beginning of 1990 membership started to grow. The club grew and membership realized it had to move the club into more modern electronics. The block system originally installed in the 1950s had outlived its usefulness and the move was made to DCC. Because of Chalie's electrical background, he was a great help when the entire block wiring system was torn out and a new DigiTrax system was installed. Charlie's family knew he was a good man, loving, caring, and always enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren whenever he could. Rest in Peace Charlie. Without you, the Elkhart Model Railroad Club would not be where it is today.
Fred W. Rapp 68 passed away on August 3, 2006, in Elkhart Indiana. Fred was a driving force in the Elkhart Model Railroad Club. There was no task too large for Fred to take on with passion and fervor until the goal was accomplished. Fred's major contribution to the club was the concept and implementation of the Elkhart Model Railroad Club's Annual Train Show. Up to that point, the club relied on member dues for the majority of funds for the club. After a couple of years of EMRRC's Annual Train Show, the club had a much better financial footing. Fred Rapp's financial foresight was one of the hallmarks of making the Elkhart Model Railroad successful. Our memories of Fred are highlighted by his term as Vice President of the club, and his being sharp-witted enough to bring the annual train show to fruition during his tenure. Our lives are richer for having known Fred and we were honored to call him a friend. Rest in Peace Fred.