Happy 100th birthday, Brother Hilger!!

Brother E.N. Hilger, a member of BLET Division 404 in Chicago, celebrated his 100th birthday on May 16, 2008.

Active and retired members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen were on hand to help Brother Hilger celebrate the occasion.

Brother Hilger joined the BLE on December 14, 1956. As part of his birthday festivities, he was presented with a 50-year membership pin and certificate by BLET National Vice President Rick Radek.

Like Brother Hilger, Vice President Radek is a life long member of Division 404, having joined in 1974, so the BLET Vice President had a vested interest in honoring Brother Hilger on his birthday.

Several other members of BLET Division 404 joined Vice President Radek in recognizing Brother Hilger on his birthday, including: Paul Henk, a Division 404 retiree who helps coordinate retiree activities; Paul Fessenbecker, recently retired Local Chairman of Division 404 who helped to locate Brother Hilger and coordinate the celebration; Dick Crowe, current Local Chairman of Division 404; and Doug Davidson, Local Chairman of Division 96 in Chicago and Assistant Director of the BLET's Arbitration Department.

Brother Hilger, still sharp of mind and lively at 100, regaled the BLET delegation with railroad stories from his career. He hired out on the former Galena Division of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. The Galena Division was formerly the C&NW predecessor, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad. Hilger worked out of Freeport, Ill., and often ran trains between Freeport, Rockford, and Chicago, Ill. He worked in passenger and freight service throughout his career and worked both steam and diesel locomotives

Brother Hilger has outlived his children, but has several grandchildren who visit him regularly.

From left: Vice President Rick Radek presents a cake to Brother E.N. Hilger on the occassion of his 100th birthday.

A group of BLET members from Chicago helped Brother Hilger celebrate his 100th birthday. Seated, from left: VP Radek and E.N. Hilger. Standing, from left: Paul Fessenbecker, retired Division 404 Local Chairman; Paul Heck, retired Division 404 member; and Dick Crowe, current Local Chairman of Division 404.


© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen