Thomas F. Grose, Southern California rail history advocate and Orange Empire Railway Museum benefactor, has passed away on May 26, 2013
. It is with sadness and our deepest condolences that we announce the recent passing of Thomas Frederick Grose, a rail preservation advocate and longtime member and major contributor to the Orange Empire Railway Museum. He was 82
Tom's passion to preserve rail transit history at our 100-acre museum has led to the consolidation of a vast collection of records and artifacts from the railway era in Southern California into a new facility that will be named in his honor.
Set to open in 2014, the Thomas F. Grose Library and Research Center recognizes his generous gift of $250,000 for design and construction. The Center will also have a multi-purpose meeting room and include displays of the famed Harvey Girl waitresses.
George Huckaby, president of the Orange Empire Railway Museum, expressed gratitude for Tom's impressive commitment to the mission of the 57-year-old museum. "The legacy he leaves enables us all to appreciate the history of rail transportation for generations to come."
Tom, a San Marino CPA, remembered as he would a favorite childhood toy riding the big red Pacific Electric cars along the median of Huntington Drive. "We traveled everywhere in town by train," he once said, recalling a 1940s Pasadena bounded by hills, orange groves and train tracks.
Tom was a railroad and model railroad enthusiast, traveling throughout the West to ride historic lines. He was active in every rail and transit groups throughout Southern California: The Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California, The Orange Empire Railway Museum, the Southern California Transit Advocates, The Pacific Rail Society and the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society.