BLET mourns loss of dedicated member, Division 404's Ted Myhre

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen lost one of its own in December when Brother Theodore "Ted" Myhre Sr., a retired member of BLET Division 404 (Chicago), died while performing his duties as a volunteer fireman for the Bishop Hill, Ill., fire department.

Brother Myhre joined the BLE on July 1, 1967. He worked as a locomotive engineer for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad for 30 years and retired in 1995. During his time with the railroad, he served as an engineer trainer who helped many trainees on the road to becoming locomotive engineers, including BLET Vice-President Rick Radek. He also served for a few years as a Road Foreman at Altoona, Wisconsin.

"Ted always took pride in his craft, and he was always a patient instructor and mentor to the young engineers assigned to him," said Vice-President Radek. "Whether it was the railroad, his church, the civil air patrol or, after his retirement, the volunteer fire department, Ted was most about helping others. He will sincerely be missed."

He had been a volunteer fireman for about five years when he was killed in December. Brother Myhre and his fire company responded to an auto accident, and were then told that they were not needed. However, Brother Myhre got out of the fire truck to help direct traffic and was struck by a passing motorist.

"He loved retirement and keeping busy," wrote his wife, Lynne, in a letter to Vice President Radek. "He absolutely loved being a volunteer firefighter here in Bishop Hill. One reason is that he got to drive the big pumper truck and he certainly knew a lot about being called out at all hours!"

About 40 of his fellow firefighters from various departments turned out to honor Brother Myhre at his funeral in Galva, Ill. The funeral was held the day before Christmas, but the firefighters braved the five degree weather to honor Brother Myhre.

"He was a good member, very active in the community, a very nice fellow and was always on the go," said Bishop Hill Fire Chief Jack Hawkins.

Brother Myhre served in the Iowa National Guard during the Korean War. He was a member of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, serving on its board and as its treasurer, and he was also active with the Galva Arts Council.

Brother Myhre is survived by his wife, Lynne; three sons, David, Michael and Theodore Jr.; two step-children, Deborah Boyle and John Van Arsdall; six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.


© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen