Gagnon

It is with profound sadness and a feeling of tremendous loss that we relay the sudden passing of our beloved friend and associate, Wayne (Hoss) Gagnon. Wayne, like a lot of us, was a self-confessed “Train Nut”, and as such was an active member of The Boston & Maine RR Historical Society and the Flying Yankee Restoration Group, having served Leadership roles in both organizations. Wayne passed suddenly and I’m told, peacefully, from heart problems, on Monday morning, January 29, at home.

If you were lucky enough to call Wayne a friend, you know that he was a gentleman, kind, and generous to a fault. Wayne blessed us with his knowledge, patience, and passion for the railroad industry as a whole. Always proud of his family history with the “Broken & Mended RR”, it did not take much to get him started on B&M stories and History. Fortunately, Wayne lived in an era when cab rides were possible and he took advantage of every opportunity, riding with relatives employed by the B&M every chance he got.

Wayne’s passion for railroading was matched only by his love of family and family oriented activities.

As a member of the Flying Yankee Restoration Group, Wayne was tireless in his efforts to move the project forward and to help find funding to keep the restoration moving onward. Whenever something needed doing, whether it was an open house that needed another tour guide or a work day/maintenance day,or a train show, if he could possibly be there he would be! Wayne also volunteered to be Secretary for the Board of Directors when no one else would step up to the plate. Whatever task Wayne took on, you could bet it would be done right and on time – he gave 100%, 100% of the time. We miss you already Hoss.

From Wayne's obituary:

Wayne “Hoss” Gagnon, 68, a long-time resident of Keene, and formerly of Manchester and Bedford, died suddenly on Monday, January 29, 2018. He passed peacefully at his home.

Wayne was born on July 18, 1949 in Nashua, the son of the late Elsie (Elwell) and Paul Gagnon. He was graduated from Nashua High School class of 1967.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Pistol Sharp Shooter Award, Rifle Expert Award and Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1972. In his role as a Transportation Specialist, he facilitated soldiers in their transport back home. Over the years, he met many Veterans who he had helped return to the states.

On July 17, 1976 he exchanged vows with Ann M. Boucher at the Immaculate Conception Church in Nashua. They have been married for almost forty-two years.

Education was very important to Wayne. He graduated from New Hampshire College with a Bachelors of Science. He later went on to earn a Masters Degree from Rivier University in 1983.

Wayne, or “Hoss” as he liked everyone to call him about town, was the Ambassador for Bulldog Design in Keene where he had worked for the many years. He enjoyed helping out in many day to day operations of the business, as well as going out into the community to deliver orders and meet with customers. Prior, he had worked at Keene Middle School. Additionally, he was employed by Osram Sylvania, Markem Corporation, and Kollsman Instruments as a Procurement Specialist.

Wayne was a avid train enthusiast. He loved the history of trains and the importance of their historical value, especially the Boston & Maine Railroad. Wayne’s family history with the Boston & Maine fueled his passion for trains and brought him to be a member on the Board of Directors for the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society and the Flying Yankee Restoration Group, where he strived to keep the importance of the rail system alive.

He also enjoyed spending time with his family. He loved North Conway, Cape Cod, the seacoast of Maine and spending time on Martha’s Vineyard. He loved to spontaneously get in the car and explore new places all around New England with his family. He always thought of others first and would go out of his way to lend a hand to anyone in need.

Mr. Gagnon is survived by his wife, Ann M. Gagnon of Keene. His two children; Karleen S. Tolman and her husband, Joe of Keene and Justin K. Gagnon and his wife, Whitney of Dover, NH. Two grandchildren; Jordan and Nicholas Tolman both of Keene. In addition he leaves many cousins, extended family and friends.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018 from 5 to 8pm in the funeral chapel. Burial will take place at a later date with military honors at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. Donations in Wayne’s honor can be directed to: Flying Yankee Restoration Project, www.flyingyankee.org. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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Welcome to the Flying Yankee Restoration Group's website!

The picture above is a composite, showing the Flying Yankee as it might look at its potential new home. The plan is to move the Yankee from its current location at the Hobo Railroad to another location in the Lincoln, NH, area in May, 2018. There are multiple potential locations being considered by the NHDOT, with the most likely right now being the White Mountain Attractions visitor center at Exit 32 off I93. The picture above is a composite showing how the Yankee might look in front of the visitor center. It's shown here on the mainline, the actual location is still being studied.

The Restoration Group is working hard to raise the funds to put the Flying Yankee back on its trucks. This move is a great opportunity to do it if we can raise the necessary funds in time. The current estimate from the NHDOT to install a track panel, move the restored trucks from their current storage location, and place them on the track panel is $50,000. If we can't raise a significant portion of that money in time, the Yankee will be set up on blocks as it is now at the Hobo Railroad. We will publish details on this fund raising campaign as they become available.

The Flying Yankee has not been available to casual visitors while it's been at the Hobo Railroad due to the safety and security issues of an active rail yard. The move to a new location will allow it to be set in a visitor friendly environment where it will get the public exposure that it deserves. We then plan to partner with local businesses and organizations, state and city government, and individual enthusiasts to fund the completion of the Flying Yankee restoration! We promise to keep you informed with plans and progress on this website. We also have historical information and pictures posted here. We hope you enjoy learning about the Flying Yankee!

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Restored trucks waiting to be re-installed under the Flying Yankee. This picture was taken while the Yankee was still under cover, and before the trucks were moved into storage off-site. The Yankee has been uncovered and prepared for its impending move. The trucks will need to be brought out of storage and transported to the new site if they are to be installed during the move.

 

The NHDOT is preparing to move the Flying Yankee to its new home. As mentioned above, this would be a great time to get the Yankee back on its trucks, but the funding for that effort will have to come from donations through the Flying Yankee Restoration Group. NHDOT estimates that it will require $50,000 to procure the necessary material and set up a track panel at the new site, to prepare the Yankee to accept the trucks, move the trucks from their current storage facility, and place the train on them.

The FYRG is starting a fundraising drive to raise the funds by this spring (2018) so that this work can be done. If you believe with us that the Flying Yankee deserves to be saved, restored, and back on the rails, please make a donation! We are a totally volunteer organization, all donations go directly to the preservation and restoration!

 

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Online Catalog Store Bulldog Design of Keene and the Flying Yankee Restoration Group wish to announce the launch of an on-line catalog store relative to the 1935 Budd built streamliner "Flying Yankee" . Bulldog Design will donate $4.00 from each sale to the Flying Yankee Restoration Group, a not-for-profit, 501c3. Call Karli at 603-352-7217, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their website https://flyingyankee.itemorder.com/sale

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The Flying Yankee Restoration Group was at the Hooksett, NH, Lions Club 22nd Annual Model Railroad Show on Sunday, April 23rd 2017 at the Hooksett Cawley Middle School, in Hooksett NH.

Wayne Gagnon and Tommy Robichaud (shown above) manned the booth, with help from Joe Linquata and Bill Clark.

This was a really nice show, on a really nice day! There were lots of vendors of models of all scales, and of railroad memorabilia. There were several operating layouts with at least one Flying Yankee model running! There was an excellent turnout of train enthusiasts, many of whom stopped by the FYRG booth to say hello, get caught up on the Flying Yankee status, buy some Flying Yankee gear, and/or make a donation to the restoration fund.

Thanks to everyone for making it a successful show! And a special Thank You to the Cawley Middle School staff, the Hooksett Lions Club and their staff for the golf cart "ferry" parking lot service and for allowing the "Flying Yankee group" to participate, and the Hooksett Boy Scouts who acted as parking lot guides and after show clean-up crew.

We plan to be at the show again this year. Please stop by and say hello!

Hooksett Lions Club Model Railroad Show