Celebrating Paul Koehler

July 1, 1941, to January 30, 2023

The Trains of Paul Kohler

Paul was born and raised in Glendale California, His father owned a furniture store, and his grandfather was a motorman on the Glendale and Montrose Railway. He had a lifelong love of trains that came from those early days. He became a member of the Glendale Model Railroad Club (Now society) in 1953 When he was 12 years old.

This love wasn’t stopped or diminished, only slowed down by getting older and the discovery of cars and girls. Like the rest of us! …and then by his 4 Years in the US Navy from 1959 To 1962 Where he was assigned to the USS Yorktown in the flight and commissary divisions. He used to tell us stories about a tug that was unfortunately lost at sea during a storm and his similarities to the Tony Curtis Character in Operation Petticoat. He even had trains on the ship.

When he returned from the Navy, with the help of a member of the club Bill Topham, he started working at the Southern Pacific Transportation company (we call it the SP) It was during this time that he met his wife Theri while she was working at the Southern Pacific as a legal secretary. He spent many years at the SP where he worked his way up from customer agent, Passenger agent to the head of Intermodal Los Angeles. Again, he would tell us many stories from the day running trains during strikes because as a company official and a road-rated employee, he was part of the group they called on to run the railroad when there was a strike. He had story after story from eating at the Far West Tavern in Guadalupe to delivering paper to the LA Times, working wrecks on all parts of the west including an encounter with a tiger and He finally left the SP during the merger with Union Pacific in 1984 as his job was moving to Chicago.

Next, Paul went to work for the city of Glendale where he was responsible for all the city building. From 1984 To 1994. After these two careers, he wasn’t quite done. From 1994 To 2005 He worked as a manager at the Original Whistle Stop for Fred Hill.

He was also involved in many railroad organizations including the Southern Pacific Historic and technical society and the

At the Glendale Model Railroad Society, he has been president six times more than any other member and has been the social dictator and more of the club for 70 years.

Paul made many friends along the way and even those that didn’t have a friendship would never say he wasn’t a straight shooter.

Paul is survived by his Wife Theri and his Children Philip and Tina

We salute Paul and his 82 Years!

Paul and Theri Koehler
Paul and his iconic red cowboy hat
A young Paul Koehler works a freight yard on the original Glendale Model Railroad Club layout