John B. Schmuck

John began his journey in large scale model railroading back in 1983 he began work on a 1” scale boxcab.  He wrote a construction series on the locomotive that was published in Modeltec. John also began construction of a 1” scale track in his back year to be called the Glen Ellyn Short Line. John joined the Illinois Live Steamers in 1985 and served on the board beginning as the secretary and then later was elected treasurer. John served in that position until June of 2009 when he suddenly passed away.

John began his professional career in the Air Force after graduating from Tufts University. He was truly a “rocket scientist” as his work included propulsion steering mechanisms on solid fuel booster rockets at Edwards Air Force Base. After leaving the Air Force, John worked for Avco on related booster rocket projects. He later moved to the Midwest and completed his MBA at Northwestern and began a computer career in the banking industry. John retired in 2007 gaining time to work on the restoration of a Firebird with his son Ben and recently to begin training a new lab puppy, Maia.

John and I shared common interests in both large scale railroading and ham radio. As our schedules would permit, we met every week to work on our radio equipment. We both became interested in WWII radios and recently completed the restoration and return to ham radio service of two radio transmitters (ART-13) that were used on B-17 and B-29 aircraft. We developed a process of bringing such equipment back to life which included a variable transformer to gently apply line voltage along with some good cheese and crackers appropriately complemented with a bottle of Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s.

John is deeply missed by his family and friends. I had the privilege of meeting John over 30 years ago and our common interests kept our friendship alive over those years.

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