To visitors of the Southeastern Railway Museum, Ken Birmingham was a staple, greeting passengers and collecting tickets as the conductor on the standard gauge historic demonstration train.
The Long Island native moved to Norcross in 1995 and began volunteering at the museum after a December 2016 visit.
“I rode on the rear platform of the N & W caboose and got talking to the young man who was the conductor,” Ken said in an earlier volunteer profile. “He encouraged me to apply.”
Ken, 76, died on July 2. Norcross Presbyterian Church will hold a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Aug. 3.
Volunteer Ruth Hummel knew Ken when her sons were in Boy Scouts.
“Ken’s life was a reflection of the Scout Law,” she noted. “Ken was also an exemplary example of the Scout Oath.”
“Ken was very enthusiastic when he volunteered as a conductor at the SRM,” she recalled. “He loved helping the visitors and watching their amazement at seeing the trains. I always enjoyed taking my tour group on his caboose. He was a very talented, kind man who will be missed, but not forgotten.”
Before volunteering, Ken worked as a design review engineer, working on the moving parts of the wings on the Boeing 747. Later, he worked as an industrial/enterprise account manager and national channel manager for Hewlett-Packard before retiring in 2002.
“Ken was such a generous person and a wonderful storyteller,” volunteer Kristen Fredriksen recalled. “He loved recounting his adventures riding the New York Subway as a kid and loaned me many DVDs from fan trips and excursions around the system.”