Obituary of William Francis Wulfhorst
William Francis Wulfhorst, 87, of State College, Pennsylvania, formally of Havertown, passed away peacefully Nov. 16, 2018. Bill was born April 29, 1931 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Charles and LaDonna (neé Irick) Wulfhorst.
Bill grew up in Cincinnati. He spent his summers visiting his grandmother "Ruckie" in Delphos, Ohio, where he developed his love of trains. The Pennsylvania Railroad stopped at the hotel his grandparents owned and many who knew Bill heard the story of how he saved the day as a young boy. Hearing the whistle of the express train, young Billy instinctively knew it was on the wrong track. He ran to the tower, threw the switch putting the express train on the correct track, ensuring it would not hit the local train.
Bill moved with his family to New Jersey as a teenager and attended Fordham University in the Bronx. In 1953, shortly after his college graduation, Bill was drafted into the United States Army. He served as a radio operator in Korea with the 1st Korean Army Corps (IROK Corps).
After leaving the Army, Bill began working for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a train master in Philadelphia. He married the love of his life Eileen Kelly in 1957 and they moved to Washington D.C. Bill worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, which became Penn Central and then Conrail, his entire career, retiring in 1994. His final position at Conrail was as director of passenger operations, responsible for maintaining Conrail's fleet of executive private cars.
Bill was a huge football fan, rooting for the New York Jets and even working on the equipment crew for the Washington Redskins' marching band when he lived in Washington D.C. (it was the only way he could get in to see the games). After their children attended Penn State, Bill and Eileen became ardent Nittany Lions fans, becoming season ticket holders and joining the legions of blue-and-white supporters every fall for epic tailgates. Bill was so beloved by his children's friends they initiated him into the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity's Alpha Gamma chapter as an honorary Brother.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Eileen in 2015 and his son-in-law Joe Quinn in 2011. He is survived by his three children, Peter (Kelly) Wulfhorst, Kathleen Quinn and Kevin (Elizabeth) Wulfhorst; his seven grandchildren, Allison Wulfhorst, Daniel Fowler, Joseph, Erin, Colleen and Brendan Quinn, and Emma Wulfhorst; sisters Jill Burchfield and Terri Farnsworth; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial Mass will be held at 10:00a.m. April 6, 2019 at Our Lady of Victory Church, 820 Westerly Pkwy, State College.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fordham University, Office of Development and University Relations, Attn: Stewardship, Joseph A. Martino Hall, 45 Columbus Ave., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10023. Please note "In Memory of William F. Wulfhorst, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1953," on the check. Donations may also be made online at fordham.edu/giving.
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