James M. Davis Sr., railroad locomotive engineer

December 07, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

James Michael Davis Sr., a career railroad locomotive engineer and outdoorsman, died of cancer Wednesday at Carroll Hospice's Dove House in Westminster. He was 61 and lived in Sykesville.

Mr. Davis was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville. He was a 1965 graduate of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School.

He worked as an office worker, auto mechanic and at the old F&M Schaefer Brewing Co. in East Baltimore before taking a job as a brakeman in 1978 at what was then the Chessie System, predecessor of today's CSX.

After completing engineer's school, Mr. Davis entered engine service in 1979.

"He loved the railroad, and he loved being an engineer," said his wife of 35 years, the former Elaine L. Burnett. "During his career, he handled both passenger and freight trains."

Mrs. Davis said her husband, who was scheduled to retire in two months, worked out of the railroad's Brunswick yard in Frederick County.

For the past three years, Mr. Davis had been an engineer on the trash train, an intermodal train that hauls municipal trash six days a week between Montgomery County's Shady Grove Transfer Station to a Potomac Edison Power Co. generating station at Dickerson.

Mr. Davis was an avid saltwater fisherman and enjoyed vacationing at Cape Hatteras. He also made wine, brewed beer and liked working in his flower garden.

He was an active member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Winfield.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Burrier Queen Funeral Home, 1212 W. Liberty Road in Winfield.

Also surviving are a son, James Michael Davis Jr. of Baltimore; a daughter, Christina Grimes of Frederick; three brothers, Roland Davis of Timonium, Harry Davis of White Marsh and Jerry Davis of Cleveland; three sisters, Mary Ford, Peggy Myers and Nancy Quoss, all of Bel Air; and a grandson.

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