Roger Ramey is known as a former president of the Kiwanis Club of Logan a member of the Logan Airport Board of Directors and other community projects, but to most folks he is also known as the trainmaster of the CSX Railroad Yard at Peach Creek.
Ramey’s official last day in office was April 2, but on April 28 his coworkers held his official retirement party for him. On the special occasion Ramey’s coworkers actually prepared the steak and potatoes dinner, which was ironic, considering that Ramey has built up quite a reputation as a chef due to the delicious meals he has prepared over the years for fellow Kiwanians during the organizations annual picnic in the park.
Ramey and his wife Janie shared many memories with friends and coworkers at the dinner, including his first trip for CSX as a new hiree and his most recent as Trainmaster.
The normally loquacious Ramey was at a loss for words when coworkers presented him with a card, a fact one friend was eager to point out.
Ramey is a lifelong native of Logan County except for his years in service in the US Air Force. He is the son of Jasper and Verna Ramey and grew up in the Dehue area. His father was a coal miner employed by Youngstown mines. Janie quipped that Roger went from McConnell to McConnell Air Force Base when he went into the military.
Ramey graduated from Logan High School in 1971 and went into the Air Force with 12 good friends.
“We were all in basic together and the boys from Chicago and up north called us the Hillbilly Brigade,” he said.
In 1972, Ramey married Janie his high school sweetheart. The couple met in April of 1969 and were smitten with each other. They had two daughters and Janie stayed home for 11 years raising them.
During his military career, Ramey served from Vietnam to Desert Storm.
“Then his third tour of duty came along,” Janie quipped. “It was called the railroad.”
Ramey was hired in 1991 after the Trainmaster who worked at the Peach Creek Railroad Yard laughed at him and told him that the company wasn‘t hiring.
Before leaving the service, Ramey had come back to Logan and applied for jobs all over town.
“I came here and talked to Jack Fortune, who was the chief clerk,” Ramey said. “He sent me to the Trainmaster who said CSX hadn't hired anybody in ten years. I gave up and got a job on construction.”
Later, Ramey heard CSX was hiring and because he was a Vietnam era veteran he was hired. Ironically, he wound up becoming the Trainmaster at Peach Creek.
“All I wanted to be was an engineer,” Ramey explained, saying that at first he was hired to be a conductor. Later, when the assistant Trainmaster transferred out, he applied for that position. “It was unusual because I was from here and usually the railroad hires outside managers.”
Along the way, Ramey became involved in many volunteer efforts and organizations including the Kiwanis Club of Logan, where served with distinction as President and Lt. Governor for his district, the Airport Board of Directors and became involved in other volunteer activities. Currently Ramey is excited by the announcement that the Air National Guard has chosen the Logan Airport to start training exercises.
“It’s been a dream come true for me to have our airport associated with the Air Force,” the former Airman admitted.
Ramey also has plans to get involved in more projects relating to veterans and says he will be more involved in the community than ever before.
“It’s only getting started,” he quipped. “I’ve got the time now to do stuff and I am not moving to Florida.”