Monday, August 7, 2023

Zoom Hangout Friday at 7pm

 There will be a Hangout on Friday at 7pm. Check your emails for links and login information.  

McGilvary Obituary and Memorial Information

On August 228, 2023 (Monday) at 11:00 am, there will be a secular remembrance meeting for former JRD Paymaster and long-time member, Bill McGilvary, (and three other relatives) at Blandford Church and Cemetery, 111 Rochelle Lane, Petersburg, Virginia. Interment will follow immediately after the meeting.

Parking is available in the adjacent Reception Center.

Blandford Church is a historic church structure dating back to 1735. Deconsecrated as a church, It is now a Confederate memorial building, with reproduction church furnishings and all of the 15 windows created in "stain glass" by Louis Comfort Tiffany. More at:

The main entrance has a short staircase from the street, and the brick sidewalk to the church is uneven in spots.  There is a separate handicap entrance - please contact Blandford Church Reception Center (tel. 804-691-7947 or email: Thursday through Sunday ) for more information if you plan to use the handicap access.

Please let Ken Montero ( know if you may be attending so that the set-up in the building will be appropriate for the number of attendees.

Here is a short obituary for Bill McGilvary:

Bill “Mack” McGilvary was born and raised in Colonial Heights, VA in 1942 and passed away on August 15, 2017.

From an early age he was mesmerized by trains.  His first Lionel O gauge train set was his prized possession as a child and he kept it until he had to move from his home in 2013.  He collected everything from maps and schedules to matchbooks from every railroad line.

After serving four years in the Air Force, he returned to the Petersburg area, where he resided until 2013. Ever the Southern gentleman with a traditional Virginia accent that bespoke his upbringing, Bill was kind and caring for his entire life.

Bill was a lifetime employee in the telephone industry, starting with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia, from which (after being renamed Bell Atlantic) he retired, only to go to work for other independent companies in the telephone industry. One only had to peek at the immaculate wiring (using telephone industry standard practices) on Bill’s layout to see the lifelong influence that the telephone industry had on Bill.

His personal layout modeled the Norfolk & Western Railroad and his own Blue Ridge & Western line (as Bill stated, “It was the subsidiary that the Norfolk and Western did not know that it owned”).  It consumed his entire garage and utility room and, like most layouts, was a lifetime “work in progress”.  It was a sad day indeed when he had to liquidate his collection of over 1,000 engines and cars of every variety to move to an assisted living facility in Georgia.

Trains were his first love and although confined to a wheelchair he lived for the occasional chance to “ride the rails” once more.

Bill was a member of the James River Division of the National Model Railroad Association since 1976 until his passing. Bill participated regularly in the Division’s meets until 2013, and regularly attended the region and national conventions (traveling by train whenever possible).

In 2015, Bill was awarded the Division’s Bill McMillan Award (the second recipient), awarded for distinguished public service to the model railroad hobby, for his consistent participation in the Division’s activities, including making numerous presentations as a clinician and serving as the Division’s Paymaster (Treasurer) for many years, and for having so generously benefitted the Division with his extraordinary donation of books and other printed material. Although he had moved to Marietta by the time of the award, a Division member presented the award to him in Marietta, and he kept in touch with the Division and his friends as best he could.

After Bill moved to Marietta, Georgia, Bill’s niece, Kathy Miller, her husband Dan Miller, and his nephew and namesake, Bill McGilvary, tended to his needs in his final journey, first in assisted living, then in skilled nursing care.

He is survived by his nieces Kathy Miller and Susan Abernathy and nephews Art Carter and Bill McGilvary.

Meeting This Saturday in Powhatan, VA

Meeting in Powhatan, VA Meeting starts at 930 AM Meeting  Location:  C hadwicks Orchards  1240 Dorset Rd, Powhatan, VA Workshop 1 - Creating...