Mr. Kenneth Wilk
Director, Erie County Agricultural Society
1940 - 2018
In Memory of a Great Friend
On October 23, 2018, the Western New York Garden Railway Society (WNYGRS) lost a good friend and supporter. As a member of the club for about 8 years, I first met Ken Wilk during the set up for the 2010 Erie County Fair display. Dave Downs and Gary Tebo were the Chairmen of this event, working with Ken to get the perimeter landscaping blocks set up and mulch put in the center to be ready for our efforts in turning this into a model train garden layout. As my involvement in the club increased and I took more time off from work, I got to know Ken very well. Dave had asked to enlarge the space over these years, and indeed it did grow. However, we seemed to have reached a point where future growth was going to be limited. Yet he continued to ask Ken for more space. And with a smile, Ken said he would consider it for next year. Each year he would work with us as we changed things, a little here and there to make a better experience for the fair visitors. And when the fair opened, Ken would stand there and say this was “The Best Yet!” I believe we had made it a little better every year, but it was still nice to hear Ken make that statement with sincerity in his voice.
Ken will be missed by many people, but he will be sorely missed by the Western New York Garden Railway Society. Each year as we approach the fair season, we will be reminded of his commitment to our club and to the public in giving us space for a train display. As our members go about their lives in Western New York, we run into many people that recognize us from the fair display layouts. From this, we know that Ken’s efforts and support of our club had a far-reaching effect on the residents of Erie County, and all those that come to the fair from around the country.
For all of Ken’s efforts to support us, we than Ken. For his family, we offer our sincere thanks for his efforts on our behalf, and want you to know how much we appreciated Ken.
On behalf of the club,
Charles Bartel, Jr.
Western New York Garden Railway Society