An Unexpected Tribute at the AREMA Conference
During the first morning of the AREMA Conference, President Heide began the award of AREMA Honorary Member with a surprise tribute to one of the giants of the Railroad Engineering and Construction Industry, namely Roger K Steele, who passed away unexpectedly in August of 2004. Roger was one of those rare types who was not only an acknowledged expert in his field, but also a friendly and approachable fellow as well. Facets of Roger's life were noted, and remembered as the award of Honorary Member was made posthumously for the first time in AREMA's history.
The ironic thing is that Roger Steele's area of expertise was steel, more specifically, rail! His knowledge concentrated on the metalurgy of steel, the details of what works and what doesn't for rails. He knew it better than anyone.
Roger's family was there, and perhaps they learned of the appreciation that all members of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association had for their Husband, for their Father.
The predictable award of Honorary Member became a wonderful and meaningful tribute to a great man. It was memorable for all who were there.