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Lou Redman

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 people.

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 Lou Redman."

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,

Bob LeBras

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — February 3, 2002


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

Lou Redman

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