Long Time Member Joe Hess Has Taken His Final Ride

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AlanB

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It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must report the passing of my long time friend and long time AU member Joe Hess.
Joe had been a member here for many years, made many friends, helped many people with Amtrak, and had served for many years helping to plan the annual AU Gatherings. It wasn't at all unusual for Joe to travel into Chicago simply to say "hi" to an AU member who happened to be passing through Chicago. And of course he attended many of the AU Gatherings, as well as several OTOL Fests.

And there was the infamous trip that Joe took along with another long time Au member, Joe Gore, where they rode Amtrak trains on and off for like a year chasing down places to eat good food and to hoist a beer (or two) as they celebrated their love of trains. They even commissioned special shirts for the event!! :lol

I don't have too many details yet, and the info that I do have comes to me from Joe Gore. So thanks Joe Gore!
I do know that Joe Hess just celebrated his 64th birthday last week while visiting with the other Joe. He then returned to his home in Michigan. Apparently he was having breathing difficulties and called a friend to drive him to the hospital yesterday, were sadly he passed away and headed off for his final & eternal train ride.

I'm going to request that the current leadership please consider adding Joe to the Honored Members group as I think his long history with AU, as well as his service as a Committee Member for many years, warrants his inclusion in that group.

Joe was a good friend to so many of us here at AU and he will truly be missed!!!!!!
:(

May every train run on time now for you Joe and I hope that heaven is full of train whistles for you!!
RIP my friend!!!
 

oregon pioneer

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I always enjoyed reading about the Two Joes' adventures. Will miss him and his adventuresome spirit.
 

AmtrakBlue

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So sorry to hear this. RIP Joe. We will miss you.
 

SarahZ

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May 8, 2011
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Oh no. This is so sad.
He was one of my favorite people.
 

pennyk

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Thank you Alan for the lovely tribute. I will certainly miss Joe. Those of us who attended the Chicago Gathering a few years ago may recall that Joe planned the fantastic group dinner at Grandpa's in Glenview.

RIP my friend.
 

Ryan

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A fitting tribute for a truly wonderful human being. The world is a little darker without him riding the rails.
 

Bob Dylan

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SAD news indeed!Thanks for the tribute Alan.

RIP Joe, may the Signals all be Green on the Heaven Express my friend!!
 
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Acela150

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I remember meeting him at the Gathering in Philly back in 2012 and NTD in DC the following year. Where he and his fellow Joe were enjoying the day's events and traveling towards NYC on Acela 2220 in FC along with almost every member of the group except Penny and Myself. Just to get the 750 FC points and even went back to DC the next day to grab the Cap back home to Chicago.

I will second Alan's Motion of Inducting Joe into the Honored Members.

The one thing I'll always remember about Joe was his love for the Beer Pitchers at the Metro Deli in Chicago.
 

PRR 60

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Very sorry to hear this news. I also remember Joe traveling in to Chicago just to say hi. There was always a smile on his face, and kind words for all. The world has lost a truly nice person, and we need all of those we can get.
 

Amtrak Cajun

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This is very sad news indeed. I was part of the two Joe's adventure and I will cherish those memories forever. Joe Hess was hilarious, and a good friend. My condolences to his family and his friends, he will definitely be missed, especially here at AU.
 

tp49

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Met Joe at the Bay Area gathering. Nice guy, really enjoyed talking with him. Gone too soon. Condolences to his family and friends
 

Everydaymatters

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I don't know what to say. One if my favorite memories is taking the ferry to Bremerton and talking with Joe. That was before he joined us on the Gathering Committee. RIP, Joe. You will be missed.
 
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I'm so sorry--I only met Joe once, but remember him as a very nice person, and am sad so many of you have lost a good friend.
 

jebr

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I'm saddened to hear the news.
He was a very nice guy and he will be missed.

The admin team has moved his user (hessjm) to the Honored Members group as a token of gratitude for his contributions to the Amtrak Unlimited community.
 
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oldtimer

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Sep 23, 2006
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I am sad to get this news, sorry for being so late but I'm working off a small tablet in Arkansas for the winter. Joe meant a lot to me and was the second A U,er I met. The first was Erik (GG1) 64is way too early. The honored member's list is too long. Condolences to Joe s family and friends.

Al and Robin B
 

Shanghai

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I'm sad to learn of Joe's passing. I always walked around the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago

looking for Joe, and many times he was there!! A wonderful person. Thanks Alan for letting

us know.
 

gswager

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Aug 22, 2002
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Sorry for taking to long to respond. I had a privilege to meet him during an AU Gathering. He was a really nice fella. Thanks Alan to spread the news.
 
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