Former BLET General Chairman Danny Knorek, 1947-2019
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 9 — Daniel M. (Danny) Knorek, former General Chairman of the CSX Northern Railroad Lines General Committee of Adjustment, passed away on April 1, 2019 with Cheryl, his wife of 49 years, by his side. He was 71 years old.
Brother Knorek hired out in June of 1966 as a fireman on the Toledo Division of the former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Toledo, Ohio. He got involved in the union movement in 1967 as an officer in the old fireman’s union, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen (BLF&E). He joined BLE Division 876 on May 1, 1969, when the BLF&E merged with several other rail Brotherhoods to form the United Transportation Union (UTU). In May of 2018, he celebrated 49 consecutive years of Brotherhood membership. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 1970 and worked in road service between Toledo and Cincinnati and Willard, and also in yard service in the former B&O Rossford Yard. He worked much of his operating years in the former C&O Walbridge Yard after the 1968 consolidation of the Toledo Terminal and the creation of the Chessie System and then CSX.
Over his long rail career, Brother Knorek was instrumental in helping negotiate some of the many consolidation agreements in the Toledo area and in the states of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. He served the Brotherhood as Local Chairman for more than 30 years and, over the years, held many other elected offices on the Division level. He became General Chairman of the B&O Toledo Division General Committee in 1989 and helped merge that small committee with the B&O Proper, and was elected a Vice General Chairman. He helped merge Division 876 into Division 937 shortly before he became the full time Second Vice General Chairman in 2002, working at the GCA offices in Jacksonville, Fla. He was reelected Second Vice General Chairman in 2005 and First Vice General Chairman in 2009. He became General Chairman in July of 2012 following the retirement of then-General Chairman Rick Finamore. After a long career spanning six decades, he retired on May 5, 2013. He celebrated his retirement with many of the Brothers he worked with and served at the BLET 150th Anniversary Celebration in Detroit.
Outside of the railroad, Brother Knorek served his hometown of Rossford, Ohio, as councilman from 1975-1991. He coached many Rossford/CYO sports teams including All-Star teams for area baseball and girls softball teams. He also established the program and coached the first girl''''s fast-pitch softball team at Notre Dame Academy. Brother Knorek was active in the Wood County Democratic Party having been elected Wood County Democratic Man of the Year also winning a Democratic Primary for County Commissioner. During his years in Rossford, he and his family — including his parents, Dan and Mary — were active in business and civic affairs, operating Danny''''s Cafe for many years.
Brother Knorek is survived by his wife Cheryl, children Amy (Shane Spooner) and Dan (Rebecca) Knorek, grandchildren Danny, Drew and Bryce, and his brother John (Kim) Knorek.
A celebration of Brother Knorek’s life is being planned for a future date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Sujkowski – Walker Funeral Home (830 Lime City Rd., Rossford, OH 43460, 419-666-1566. Online expressions of sympathy may be left at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com .
“Brother Knorek served the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen with distinction for many years, and he will be missed by all who knew him and worked with him,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “On behalf of our Organization, I extend our deepest condolences to Cheryl and all members of the Knorek family.”
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
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