Louis J. Redman, Sr. - "Mr. TCA"
by Bob LeBras
Ben Avon, PA - February 1, 2002 - Lifelong
toy train collector and railfan, Louis J.
Redman, Sr. passed away Friday night with
his wife at his side from a possible stroke
or heart attack. Known widely as "Mr. TCA,"
his passion for the toy trains hobby and commitment
to the Train Collectors Association garnered
him the distinction of "Charter Member #3"
in the organization. A fixture at train meets,
Lou was readily identifiable in his ubiquitous
train suit. Lou was also a founding member
of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington,
PA, and a significant contributor to many
other local and national organizations. He
is survived by his wife, Jody, son, Louis,
Jr., and daughter, Peggy. Viewing will be
held at McDonald-Linn Funeral Home, 529 California
Avenue, Avalon, PA on Sunday, February 3 from
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm,
and on Monday, February 4 from 2:00 pm to
4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The funeral
will be held at the Northminster Presbyterian
Church on Tuesday, February 5 at 1:00 pm.
Friends are asked to send memorial gifts to
either the Northminster Presbyterian Church,
45 N. Fremont Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15202,
or the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, 1 Museum
Road, Washington, PA 15301-6133.
Mr. TCA: The Man And His Suit
Shortly after joining TCA in 1999, I recall
hearing numerous mentions of someone called
"Mr. TCA." I thought, "This man must really
be someone special to embody the spirit
of an organization with over 30,000 members
doing business since 1954."
I asked a TCA savvy friend at the York
train meet, "Who is this Mr. TCA?"
He replied, "Why, that's Lou Redman. You
should go over and introduce yourself. I
think he lives near you."
I looked around at the throngs of people
and queried, "But how will I know who he
is? There are so many people here."
My friend looked at me and stated, "You
will know him. Just look for the suit."
After being pointed in the right direction,
I trudged over to the correct hall wondering
how the heck I would ever find Lou. Well,
it turns out, indeed, locating Lou was tremendously
easy. Dressed in his famous train suit with
his wife sitting next to him, I timidly
approached and introduced myself, "Mr. Redman?
I'm Bob LeBras from Bellevue."
Lou stood up and warmly greeted me saying
that he lives in Ben Avon, a small town
about a mile from my home along the Ohio
River. We chatted briefly, and both he and
his wife encouraged me to visit them to
see Lou's collection. I got the strong impression
that he truly loved toy trains, was pleased
to share them, and just enjoyed being with
I saw Lou several times subsequent to
that first meeting with the most recent
being the TCA Ft. Pitt Division meet on
January 27, 2002. Without fail, he always
wore that suit and I noticed that he took
ample opportunity to meet people at every
opportunity. The jar near the entrance to
the train meet had a sign that bespoke of
his intrinsic generosity: "Free Candy From
If indeed the clothes make the man, Lou
Redman, despite his ubiquitous toy trains
suit, was a man three sizes too big. A charismatic
and beloved icon of the toy train collecting
world, his sincerity, warmth and friendship
will be missed by those who were privileged
to meet him.
In Respectful Memoriam,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February
Unexpectedly on Fri. February 1, 2002, Louis
J. Redman, age 85, of Ben Avon; beloved
husband of Jody Thomas Redman; father of
Ruth Smith and her husband Mark of Pierre,
SD, Carol McGinnis and her husband Chuck
of Columbia, MD, Louis J. Jr. and his wife
Pam of Emsworth, and Peggy Hartman and her
husband Daryl of Kilbuck Twp.; brother of
Roy C. Redman Jr. of CA.; proud grandfather
of Matthew Hillman, Rob, Dan and Rick McGinnis,
Robin and Roger Redman, Erin and Leigh Hartman.
Friends will be received Sun. 12 -3 & 7-9
pm, Mon. 2-4 & 7-9 pm at the MCDONALD-LINN
FUNERAL HOME, INC., 529 California Avenue,
Avalon. Funeral Services will be held at
North Minster Presbyterian Church, 45 North
Fremont Ave., Bellvue, Tuesday at 1 pm.
Memorial contributions are suggested to
the Church, or Pennsylvania Trolley Museum,
1 Museum Rd., Washington, PA. 15301