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William Gray, midwestern preservation figure, dies at 49

By Jim Wrinn | October 15, 2021

Career railroader was key individual for Whitewater Valley Railroad

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FOUNTAINTOWN, Ind. — One of the Midwestern leaders of U.S. railway preservation has passed away. William Walter Gray, 49, died Oct. 12 from brain cancer.

Known as one of the driving forces behind Indiana’s Whitewater Valley Railroad tourist line, he was a professional railroader, having worked as a Cincinnati-based CSX locomotive engineer for 26 years. He was deeply involved for more than 30 years at the Lima diesel stronghold known as the Whitewater Valley. At Whitewater he was superintendent, publicity officer, head of the Polar Express committee, curator, and a member of the board of directors. As a member of the C.P. Huntington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, he was involved in the operation of the annual New River Train excursions in West Virginia. He was active with the Railway Passenger Car Alliance.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; parents Billy and Janie Gray, and other relatives.

Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 17, at Shirley Brothers Washington Memorial Chapel in Indianapolis, and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Webb Noonan Kidd Funeral Home in Hamilton, Ohio, where a funeral service will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Whitewater Valley Railroad, 455 Market Street, Connersville, Indiana 47331 and/or the Glioblastoma Foundation, P.O. Box 62066, Durham, North Carolina 27715. Condolences may be left for the family at www.Webb-Noonan.com

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