In Memoriam

In memory of our departed SeaCoast division members and their contributions to the hobby.

Kenneth Warren Faulter

 

 

 

Kenneth Warren “Chip” Faulter, 61, of Fiddlers Reach, Phippsburg, Maine, passed away on Friday, November 1, 2019 after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer and subsequent diagnosis of ALS.

 

He was born on May 8, 1958 in Syracuse, New York.

 

Chip graduated from Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square, NY, Class of 1976 and after his first college year at Clarkson University transferred to Webb Institute of Naval Architecture.  He graduated Class of 1981 with a dual BS Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.  

 

Before graduating, he accepted a job that same month at Bath Iron Works in Bath ME and moved there immediately.  He spent his entire 34-year career at Bath Iron Works.  He was hired as a Senior Mechanical Engineer in July 1981 and held various middle management positions and worked on several ship programs engineering and design efforts , FFG, CG, DDG, LPD, LCS, DDX.  He was chosen to be a part of a management group to help win a new contract for the shipyard teaming with 3 other companies and moving to New Orleans to work on a proposal for the Navy’s new Landing Platform Dock (LPD),  thus becoming the Manager of LPD17 Engineering/Design once the contract winner was announced.

 

He later was promoted to Director of Design being responsible for cost, schedule and technical adequacy for all new construction design work for all programs.  Along the way he had various off-site tours spending time in NY City  on design of the Arleigh Burke Destroyers and at Electric Boat in CT, working LCS in Mobile AL, worked a project in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a short stint in  Adelaide Australia.  His love of ships led him to a rewarding career at BIW. He was a true believer that “Bath Built is Best Built.”

 

Chip had several passions, and at the top of his list was his family and spending time with all of them. He was steadfastly proud of all his sons’ achievements all along the way, whether it was Benjamin attending and graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy  or traveling with Michael to all of his baseball pursuits right through college.  Time spent with them was always quality time, especially here in Maine where the whole family gathers every year for a reunion to enjoy our little spot of paradise in Phippsburg.  He worked lovingly on the gardens and lawn for us all to enjoy.  His other family was the Model Railroading community, whether locally, statewide, or nationally.  This “tribe” was one of his lifelines as we battled cancer for the last year and half.  These people brought him through many a dark day when he was feeling weak and down.  His passing has left a deep void in their hearts as well and in the hobby; one he had been enthralled with since the age of 9.  Model Railroading was so much a part of his life, and Chip and Mona met many wonderful people with many treasured friendships attributed to this community.  We thank you all for the support we have been given throughout this journey.  His railroad, The KWF Line, will continue to operate led by his son, Benjamin and the spirit of model railroading is already instilled in grandson, Nolan who asks at every visit to go see “Poppa’s trains”!

 

On June 27, 1992, Chip married Mona Tibbetts and the adventures began, sailing, traveling to his son’s sports and band events, Model Railroad Conventions and the latest trips to Italy and a railroad convention trip to Utah and visiting his best friend, Tom & wife, Janet in Colorado.

 

Chip’s greatest blessing, was his amazing two-year-old grandson Nolan, whom he loved with all his being.  They loved to watch Thomas the Train videos towards the end of every visit.

 

Chip wore many hats, husband, father, grandfather, loyal friend, mentor, and leader always exhibiting a love for life.  He touched a lot of people with his generosity and lent a helping hand if anyone needed it.  For this, we have all been truly blessed and will continue to work together as a family and carryout what he most believed in life. 

 

He is predeceased by his father, Kenneth A. Faulter.

 

He is survived by his wife Mona; sons Benjamin (Erin) Faulter of Bowdoin, ME and Michael (and fiancé Nicole) Faulter of Huntington Station, NY. And grandson Nolan Faulter of Bowdoin. He is also survived by his mother Panalyn “Penny” Faulter of Central Square, NY and sister Mary Lynn (Chris) House of Baldwinsville, NY; Nieces Hollie (Jon) Leonardi and their children Joey and Allie of Baldwinsville, NY and Nicole Spencer of Winner, SD. Also, many treasured, long standing friendships that meant so much to him.

 

In lieu of flowers, our family has requested that a fund be established at the Seacoast Division of the National Model Railroad Association that will provide assistance to young people who are interested in being involved with Model Railroading. Chip was passionate about this hobby and always wanted younger people to become involved and experience the satisfaction and joy that it is always brought him. The money will help those young people that can’t otherwise afford to attend events and participate, by defraying some of the cost. If you wish you may make a donation in Chip’s name, by forwarding a check made out to Seacoast Division of the NMRA and adding in the Notes/Subject/For area at the bottom of the check “Chip Faulter Fund”.

 

Mail to: David Kotsonis, Treasurer

             c/o Chip Faulter Fund

              1 Anne’s Lane 

             Greenland, NH 03840-2201

 

There will be a private family interment.

 

An informal celebration of his life will be held at the Phippsburg Sportsman’s Association 282 Main Road, Phippsburg, ME 04562 on November 30, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., where you can join the family and have a bite to eat and reminisce about all of our memories of a wonderful man who has left us way too soon.

 

We thank the staff at MidCoast Center for Infusion, for their love and care given to him during all his treatments, and Dr. Timothy Fitzgerald and his staff at Maine Health for their commitment to a very successful surgery. We are very grateful to have such wonderful angels on earth here in our community.

 

Arrangements are entrusted to Direct Cremation of Maine in Belfast.

 

Chip's career at Bath Iron Works

Chip was a graduate of Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square NY in 1976.  He went on to Clarkson University to pursue an Engineering Degree and after a year,  transferred to Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove NY graduating with a dual major Bachelor Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in June 1981.  Before graduating, he accepted a job that same month at Bath Iron Works in Bath ME and moved immediately there.

He spent his entire 34-year career at Bath Iron Works.  He was hired as a Senior Mechanical Engineer in July 1981 until March of 1987.  Soon he was promoted to the DDG 51 Machinery Control System Project Manager until June 1988.  In July of 1988 he became manager of Electrical Engineering through May 1991 and in June 1991 moved on to Manager of Electrical Design.    June 1992 to October 1995 he was Manager, Outfit CAD Development.  At this point, he was chosen to be a part of a management group to help win a new contract for the shipyard teaming with 3 other companies and moving to New Orleans to work on a proposal for the Navy’s new Landing Platform Dock (LPD),  thus becoming the Manager of LPD17 Engineering/Design once the contract winner was announced.  In September 2002 until June 2005 he moved to a new program proposal for BIW and became the Manager, DD(X) Engineering/Design.

In July 2005 to December 2010 he was promoted to Director of Design being responsible for cost, schedule and technical adequacy for all new construction design work for all programs.  Along the way he had various off-site tours spending time in NY City  on design of the Arleigh Burke Destroyers and at Electric Boat in CT, working LCS in Mobile AL, worked a project in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a stint in  Adelaide Australia.  He retired in 2014 as Manager, Engineering Services after a very rewarding career and was a true believer that “Bath Built is Best Built.”

 

Tage's recollections of Chip

Following my retirement in 2012, my wife Lois and I moved to Maine in the late Spring of 2014.  I attended my first Seacoast Division Event in January of 2015 in South Portland, ME.  Although I remember seeing Chip Faulter at that meeting, the first time I introduced myself to Chip was when I participated in the first Maine Model Railroad Tour in September of 2015.  I remember what a thrill it was for me to see Chip’s layout and his extensive collection of Pennsylvania Railroad rolling stock. What an awesome stable of locomotives, to include the handsome storage drawers and cabinet! 

It was during the Fall of that year that I received an invitation from Larry Cannon to come and share the fun at one of his operating sessions.  I had never operated on a model train layout before this, and I was excited and very anxious to be a part of this.  When I first arrived in Larry’s basement, I recognized someone that I had met before, and as usual, I could not remember his name.  Once I reintroduced myself, this person turned out to be Chip Faulter.  As I quickly learned, Chip was the dispatcher for Larry’s layout. 

Typical to most dispatchers, Chip handed me off to his close friend, Karl Steiner.  For our first assignment, Karl was kind enough to let me muddle through most of the op session with minimal supervision.  However, Chip was always there with encouraging words or instructions as to how best to navigate the layout and perform the various tasks.  I was very impressed with Chip’s knowledge of Larry’s layout, because the whole operation was really quite confusing to me at that point.  Time passed very quickly that afternoon and before I knew it, the op session was over.  I would be forever “hooked” on model railroad operations. 

Chip, Karl, and Larry made the op session very pleasant and challenging for me that day.  I also learned that Chip was a big fan of the Pennsylvania Railroad and that he was originally from Syracuse.  Being a “New Yorker” myself, we hit it off really well.  Our friendship began to grow from that point.  At Larry’s next operating session, I wore a sweatshirt with the Pennsylvania Railroad logo on it, much to Chip’s surprise.  Although I have to say, I could never understand how someone that grew up in Syracuse, New York would be a fan of the “Pennsy” and not the New York Central Railroad.  As the op sessions continued, our friendship grew. 

I believe it was in the Winter of the next year, 2016, that Seacoast Division Board member, Tom Coulombe, passed away.  After a few months of searching for a replacement, Chip asked me if I would be interested in becoming a Board member of the Seacoast Division.  I was very flattered that he asked.  After approval by the Board of Directors, our Division President, Erich Whitney, appointed me to the vacant BOD position in July of 2016. 

From that point, with Chip’s help, I started to run the Seacoast Division’s Events each quarter.  Getting clinicians to support each event was challenging, but Chip always stepped up to make phone calls to modelers that he knew or to do clinics by himself.  I could not have done what I did without his help.  We also began to attend all the local train shows, together.  This included supporting our Division’s activities at the 2016 National Narrow Gauge Convention which was held in Augusta, Maine.  Chip was a master at talking to strangers about our great hobby.  We became very good friends during this time. 

It was also during this time that I joined with Chip and Larry to operate on Lou Champagne’s layout.  The three of us spent many hours driving together, back and forth to Lou’s monthly op sessions.  All of this was special time well spent, with very good friends. 

Late in 2017 our Division President, Erich Whitney, decided to step down from his office.  Chip had been serving as our Division Vice President up to this point.  In my opinion, Chip was the logical choice to be our next President.  At first, Chip seemed to be a little reluctant to embrace the idea of being the Division President.  I think he had never previously given this idea very much thought.  He appeared to be concerned that this could possibly interfere with his duties as the NER Secretary.  He explained that if he accepted the position, he wanted to do it right and give it 100% effort.  After some thought and discussion with his wife, Mona, he made the decision to be considered for our next Division President and submitted his name to the Board of Directors for consideration.  At the January 2018 Winter Event, the Board of Directors voted for Chip to be our next President.  Chip “jumped in with both feet!”  He was enthusiastic, excited and focussed on being a great President.  And he was a great President during the short time he was there.  

It was towards the middle of that year that Chip became quite sick from a clogged bile duct.  During the surgery that followed, Chip was further diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He then was put on chemo-therapy which was followed in the Spring of 2019 by a successful operation to remove the tumor from his pancreas.  

By July of 2019, Chip was well enough to travel to Colorado and Utah for the 2019 NMRA National Convention in Salt Lake City.  Without going into much detail, I can say that we had an absolutely wonderful time while we were out there.  It was definitely one of the best trips I have ever had in my entire life.  My wife Lois and I will always cherish the time we had together with Chip and Mona, their close friends Tom and Janet Jones, and the rest of our Division members that joined us there. 

As Chip was battling this dreaded disease, his many friends gave him all the support that they could.  He and I would chat about things frequently and correspond by email and text messages.  As his health continued to deteriorate, Chip lost his voice and had to have a feeding tube inserted in order to get his nourishment.  We still continued to have constant daily text message conversations.  I came to appreciate these more and more each day.  Unfortunately, these are gone now, and I miss them. 

In spite of all his medical issues, Chip and Mona had hope and each other.  It is extremely unfortunate that the results were not better.  Chip and Mona fought this battle with courage, commitment, dignity and with great love for each other.  I dearly miss my good friend.  When I think of him, I cry a bit, but then I smile.  It will take a while for me to move on, but I will.  Chip wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Tage Erickson

 

Larry Cannon's memories of Chip Faulter

I had the pleasure of knowing Chip Faulter for over ten years and was introduced to him before that by his very close friend, Tom Jones (TJ).  I got to know him better at operating sessions held Sunday afternoons at TJ's Brunswick, ME home and discovered a mutual interest in kit bashing and scratch building models. Tom and I both worked on Chip to get him interested in participating in the Seacoast Division, because of his great modeling skills. With a nominal amount of harassment, Chip signed up.

After seeing some of his models, I along with others, helped convince him to get involved in the Achievement Program and the Seacoast Division. He became the Seacoast's Secretary and later the NER Secretary. For six years I was on the NMRA National Convention Committee and shortly into that term, "acquired" the responsibility for the Module Judging at the National Train Show.  I needed good help, and I needed it fast.  Chip was one of the people who stepped up to help us as a judge and to help make the competition more inclusive and to simplify a special task that had to be done in one morning.

Being the Division's AP Coordinator, finding people to help evaluate member’s modeling efforts, is not always easy.  Chip, an excellent modeler, was there to help when I needed help.

At the Laconia New Hampshire NER Convention in 2013, Chip bailed us out of a jam by taking on the responsibility for the Raffle.  He simplified my life as the Inside Activities person, and the raffle was very successful for the Division.  Chip generously helped with the attendance prizes at the Division's meetings, helping with donations and conducting it.  I traveled frequently with Chip to Division meetings, which was much better than driving alone, and was educational, and entertaining.  He, Tom Jones, myself, and sometimes our spouses, enjoyed participating in National Convention activities and dining adventures.  Chip and I used to jokingly try to estimate how far up the list of "high rollers" at the Silent Auction TJ would place.

Chip was often found helping other modelers.  When I started attending Tom's operating sessions, I quickly noticed, with sometimes twenty or more people, that Chip was Tom's right hand man, dispatching, keeping the process organized, educating people, or answering questions.  I am grateful that he has done same for me since I started having operating sessions five years ago.

My layout before 2013 was not the size it is now, nor could more than 3-4 people operate at the same time.  Chip helped me design two 22' long, stacked reserve loops that more than doubled operating capabilities.  He and his friend Karl Steiner helped me place the prefabricated sections  for 2/3's of the bench work for this expansion in less two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Chip's influence on the design was certainly a factor.  Chip and Karl help me with the design and wiring of the DCC conversion of the layout a year later.  They and TJ, who moved recently to Colorado, kept me from making a lot of mistakes.

Chip's interest in the AP Dispatcher's certificate made another great improvement in my layout's operation.  He offered to use it as a basis for many of the requirements.  I built my layout without any drawings or printed plans beyond a few sketches.  Chip created a CAD drawing that was submitted electronically, in order to save trees!  It also uncovered the fact the layout has 260+ car spotting locations not including yards.  I had not bothered to count.  He created a laminated two-sided map of the layout, so new (and sometimes more experienced operators) wouldn’t get lost.   When he finished, the layout was better documented and more easily understood than my efforts would ever produce. 

With Chip's assistance the layout acquired schematic turnout control drawings for the more complicated areas.  Chip also helped me refine my car routing system that does not rely on car cards or waybills, but uses industry requirements as a guide for assembling and switching trains.  We worked together to create magnetic boards that are used to track trains and motive power out on the layout and in yards. 

With his graphic arts skills he helped put together some interesting building signs and vehicle decals for the layout.  Lest I forget, he drew a sketch of how to fit and model a portion of a small shipyard for Rouses Point, NY on the top level of my 2013 layout expansion.

I have tried to discuss what he did for NMRA and how he helped me do a number of things, just to give you a partial indication of his talents and skills.  However, some of you realize, and some may not, that TJ and I were not the only people he gave such assistance.  We will all move on, and his assistance with our modeling will be really missed, but the impact that he made with our lives will continue for a long time.

 

Larry Cannon

 

Tom Jones' memories of Chip Faulter

    I am writing these remembrances of my best friend Chip Faulter who was unexpectedly taken from us November 1st, 2019. If incoherent, I apologize but I have had the pleasure of calling Chip my friend for almost 25 years and in the hundreds of flashbacks I have had since his passing, I hope the words here will help in the grieving process.

   I met Chip in about 1994 or 1995. I had rekindled my passion for model trains a couple years earlier as I prepared to retire from the Navy. I had moved back to Maine and had started making plans for my railroad empire in a modest unfinished basement. I heard there was a railroad club in Brunswick that met monthly in the 55+ center downtown. I went to the next meeting and that is where I first met Chip. He was warm and inviting and presided over the small group as president of the “Downeast RR Club”. The “club” consisted at that time of 3 or 4 older gentlemen, one teenager and his father, myself approaching 50 and Chip who didn’t look to be 40. As it turned out there wasn’t much to the club as they had no layout or assets. The monthly meeting consisted of a couple hours of watching slides and train videos. I liked Chip from the start though and joined- even buying a club hat which Chip was wearing when I met him. Chip, I think, got bored with the Club’s lack of activity and stepped down as President and left the Club. I lost track of Chip for about a year at this point as I had started a new job in Portland and house projects kept me from working on my railroad empire.

            I had around this time become aware of the Amherst Railway Society train show in West Springfield Mass. I bribed my wife Janet into getting up early and driving the 4+ hours to the show. They had grandstands in the middle of the Better Living Center building at that time and that is where Janet sat and read a book for 4 hours at which time, she told me we needed to head home. Needless to say, I had to con a golfing buddy into going to Springfield with me the following year (he was about as enthused as my wife). I think this was 1996 or maybe 1997 but it was fortuitous as I ran into Chip in the crowd and we agreed to get together back in Maine. Our first attempt to get together didn’t go well. Chip drove to Brunswick thinking we were meeting at my house and I drove to Phippsburg thinking we were meeting at his. Awkward but we had a good laugh later. We finally got it right and spent most every Wednesday night for the next 15 years working and playing on each other’s layouts. In that period Chip and I attended almost 75 train shows and didn’t miss the Amherst show until last year when Chip was fighting his cancer. As the show grew, we needed to spend more time there so we began leaving on Friday morning and coming back late on Sunday. Sometimes we would drive by Rigby yard on our way to Palmer Mass for lunch in the depot and more train watching. One year we spent an hour mesmerized watching a jet engine on wheels thawing out the frozen turnouts and stands around the depot. We would leave Palmer and take the back roads into Springfield in hopes of siting yet another train.

            As the train show grew so did our pre-planning. With so much to see we quickly had to prioritize our time and could no longer do a “fighter sweep” in the morning and settle down to buying in the PM. In the last several years it was taking us all of Saturday just to get through the whole show. Chip was a Pennsylvania Railroad nut! He was very active in the PRR Historical and Technical Society and often contributed articles to their publication. Chip also collected Penny brass locos and cars. He carried a spiral notebook to almost every show we went to. In it was a list of every type of car and loco the Pennsylvania had during his modeling timeframe and whether or not he owned a brass version of it. I would see the gears turning in his head every time we stopped at the brass dealer’s tables as Chip spotted a car or loco, he didn’t have. Exhausted by Sunday afternoon we reluctantly headed back to Maine although the back seat was usually full of loot.

            Chip also loved to ride trains when he could. We took a memorable trip with our wives to North Conway in 2004. A gorgeous ride with the trees at their peak we picnicked at the top and enjoyed the scenery again on or return to North Conway. The trip was memorable in another way as we listened to the Red Sox win a playoff game on the drive home. 2004 was the year they won their first World Series in the 21st century.

            Somewhere near this timeframe Larry Cannon MMR and I coerced Chip into joining the NMRA and Seacoast division where he later became very active. With the NMRA national convention coming to Hartford in 2009 another chapter in our story was started. I had gone to my first NMRA convention train show at Valley Forge in 1993 and had attended several National conventions since. With our wives still working Chip and I went to Hartford for the convention. Chip, always organized came with a color-coded spreadsheet of all the clinics and layout tours he wanted to see. Chip was hooked. Over the next 10 years we attended 7 more National conventions together, most with our wives who became good friends.

Chip and Mona had to cancel their Kansas City convention plans when Chip was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy miraculously shrunk the tumor enough that the surgeons would operate. After a grueling surgery the cancer was eradicated. Chip’s recovery was slow and post operation chemo sessions kept him weak. A tongue and swallowing issue thought to be caused by the tubes in his throat during surgery, made it hard for Chip to eat very much at a time. Chip was determined to make it to the Salt Lake City convention.

I had moved from Maine to western Colorado a few years ago and when Salt Lake City was announced as the site for the 2019 national convention, I looked forward to hosting a few friends from Maine who were going to make the journey west. The week before the convention Chip and Mona, Tage and Lois Erickson and Peter McKenney made the trip to Grand Junction. Ken May who was taking Amtrak from Connecticut to Salt Lake started his trip a day early so he could stop for 24 hours in Grand Junction. In between a few site-seeing trips around the Grand Valley we managed to get in several hours of running trains on my in-progress Wyoming & Western Layout. Inviting a few local friends to come and operate we had a good time and “moved some merchandise”. Chip was his usual Tour de Force in the train room. As Maestro he single-handedly organized, dispatched and recorded 44 train departures and arrivals in less than an 8-hour time frame. He had at least 20 more trains ready to go when we were called down to dinner. The rest of us were having cocktails while Chip was in the train room setting up more trains.

            We had some of the most memorable times together that week and during the convention in Salt Lake City. I will cherish them for a long time.  Although complications from post-surgery and recently diagnosed ALS, took Chip’s life on November 1, 2019, I will always look at a Pennsylvania Loco, passenger car or lowly box car and smile. What fantastic memories I have made with my best friend.

Tom Jones (tj)