Jerome 'Jerry' G. Kemner


December 2, 1933 - August 15, 2005


It is with great sadness we mark the passing of another original member of the Quincy Society of Model Engineers, an avid railfan and model railroader.

Jerome 'Jerry" G. Kemner died in his home after a battle with cancer. He was 71.

Jerry was responsible for the design of the Chesapeake and Lake Erie. To fill you in, Jim Keller says the club decided only that they wanted to model an eastern railroad, but left the location to Jerry. It was he who chose Pennsylvania.

He selected the route and the towns and cities through which it would travel. He spent a lot of time looking at maps to determine what would be best for the railroad. One time he told me he even studied topographic maps to determine if the grade would be right.

Jerry planned the layout to serve as a coal hauler and bridge route. If you would like to see his original plans they are in our article in Model Railroader, the April 1989 issue.

We built it exactly as he planned until we made some changes to include the Harrisburg level and the Ashtabula lower level and dock area. Jerry did not expect the donation of the dispatchers panel when he drew the plans.

Jerry was a charter member of our group when we met round robin style in members homes. I remember Jerry seldom would say anything detrimental about a layout that he visited. However, on the occasion of visiting my new layout just down the street from his home, I remember he had several constructive suggestions including one about "starting over."

He had a fondness for switching layouts and using them to create the best moves for switching. In the early days of our club, he would bring a portable one to the open houses.

Jerry was last at the club room the evening of June 2nd but did not stay for the business meeting. That was one part of the QSME he did not care much about.

In addition to designing the club layout he worked on several other layouts for members. One of the last to be designed was a Union Pacific for Al Durand.

We owe so much to him and he will be sorely missed.

The family has requested memorials to the National Right To Life, EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the Franciscan Missionary Union, or St. Peters School.


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