Re: Chuck Yungkurth

Tom Madden

Matt Forsyth wrote about Chuck:

He retired from IBM in 1995, he and Mary sold the house
and moved to a condo in Boulder, CO, to be near his
daughter, who is a graphic artist for Breyer. Mary died
from liver cancer not too long after the move.

He was a close friend when he lived here (in upstate NY),
and we have always stayed in contact via phone/email.
He lived a very full life, was an accomplished rail author,
artist, historian, and made it into his 90's.
Time has a way of confusing us. Chuck was 87. He and Mary moved to Boulder in 1999, and she passed in 2012. They had over ten good years here before Mary went into her final illness.

I first met Chuck in the mid-80's when he visited a mutual friend in Boulder, but, like tens of thousands of model railroaders who became serious about the hobby in the '50s and '60s, I felt I had known him for 30 years through his articles and drawings. We became friends when he moved to Boulder - their condo was just a quarter mile from our house. We found we grew up 30 miles and seven years apart, shared an appreciation for the DL&W, and cut our hobby teeth at the Scranton Hobby Center on Adams Avenue. I envied him his extra seven years of experiencing Lackawanna steam and Scranton's trolleys.

Chuck was a gentleman and a gentle man, always willing to share his resources and his knowledge. Upon moving to Boulder he immediately joined the Boulder Model Railroad Club and became an active volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum library. With his curiosity it didn't take long to become familiar with the collection, and when archivist Kenton Forrest's health deteriorated, Chuck took on the responsibility of answering many of the email inquiries the library received. He was able to do much of this from home during Mary's illness, and later when he couldn't come in to the museum as often.

After Mary passed, Chuck stayed in the condo for a year or so, then moved into a senior living facility in nearby Louisville. The move was easy because Chuck, after moving to Boulder, did the one thing we all talk about but few of us do - he downsized and gradually sold or found homes for all of his models, books and photos. He was very disciplined about it. He quit buying models cold turkey, and if a new book had to be added to his library, two old ones had to go.

In recent years he devoted much of his hobby efforts to designing products for a number of manufacturers. This lessened his hobby visibility, and the mention of his passing on elicited only two responses. I'm pleased to see that STMFC members have a better appreciation of Chuck and his contributions to the hobby over the years.

Shortly after he moved I asked Chuck how he liked the senior facility. "It's great", he said, "It's like a cruise but without the seasickness."

That's the Chuck Yungkurth I'll remember. It was a privilege to know him.

Tom Madden

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