Thanks for the ride!
  • 73 years old
  • Born on September 12, 1943 in Peoria, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on November 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Stephen Michael Scalzo, 73, of Park Forest, Illinois, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, in the arms of his wife, Kimberly. He was preceded by his parents, Silvio M. and Jerry V. Scalzo, and is directly survived by his wife, daughter Emily, sons David and Michael, daughter-in-law Licun, grandson Ciro, estranged sister Emilie Annette, and nieces Michelle and Kristi. His extended family, friends, and colleagues number in the hundreds. He was an animal lover, and many of Stephen’s pet companions were rescues, including the Chihuahua he left behind, Chiquita, her daughter Spot, and his cats, Chessie and Panama—fittingly named after railways.

A native of Peoria, Illinois, Stephen was an alumnus of Bradley University and worked many years for various railways, most recently Metra in Chicago. Fittingly, he passed in Metra’s Millennium Station on his way to work at a job he loved. He was an avid rail fan and belonged to the CERA and was an Illinois Railway Museum member since the 1960s. He attended monthly CERA meetings in the Loop, and often took Saturdays out to go to Union, Illinois to enjoy the exhibits and ride the trains at the museum. His obsession was electric streetcars and trolleys. He was a cartographer whose maps were published in numerous CERA publications, and his articles about railways were published in a variety of train magazines.

Although he grew up listening to the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio, he grew to love the Cubs after moving to Chicago in the 1960s and enjoyed attending games at Wrigley with his children—especially when the Cardinals were in town. He celebrated the 2016 Cubs World Series win with joy and was looking forward to next year.

A quiet man, he was known for a dry sense of humor and had a mischievous streak, occasionally playing pranks when his family least expected them—though he never could hold back a wicked little grin when he was playing them. He was generous, loving, and hard-working. He will be greatly missed by many.

Stephen Scalzo's life was celebrated in an informal ceremony at Skyline Memorial Park’s chapel at 10am, Wednesday, November 23, 2016. He wished that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory be sent to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, where he spent many happy days.

Posted by Maria Massel on November 19, 2017
So sorry you never got a chance to enjoy the wonderful retirement for which you worked so hard.
So sorry you never received the recognition and respect you deserved.
Hope you are in a better place.
Posted by JEFFREY WIEN on November 23, 2016
Dear Scalzo Family, I was saddened to learn of Steve's sudden passing on Nov 16th, but consider him fortunate in not having to endure much pain in his passing and consider him especially fortunate in passing with his wife present. Having lost my spouse several months' ago, I know the severe pain and grief that you are all suffering. You were lucky to have Steve for the years that you did, and know that it was his love for you and vice versa that was the love of his life. One thing that I have learned in the grieving process is that you only grieve for someone when you loved them. Adjusting to his loss will be a long and slow process, trust me. I am 75 years old and knew Steve through the CERA and the Illinois Railway Museum. My thoughts are with you in this period of bereavement.

Sincerely, Jeff Wien
Posted by Eugene King on November 22, 2016
I have enjoyed photos from his collection over the years.
I wish I had the pleasure of meeting him.
Keep your hand on the controller and your eyes on the rail Stephen.
Posted by Tammy Matteson on November 22, 2016
I worked for many years with Steve and he was a true pleasure to know and work with. My prayers are with his family as Steve takes his last ride.
Posted by Richard Sieben on November 22, 2016
As a fellow railfan, we always enjoyed discussing railroads and their history. We also had fun tossing barbs back and forth about trains, like "real trains make their own power", or 'only model trains require and extension cord'. I even went to one of his CERA meetings for fun. I appreciated the invite and enjoyed it.

I still expect to turn around and see him at his desk.
Posted by Ola Odusanya on November 22, 2016
Steve was a very caring family, always talking affectionately about his wife, children and many fun pet projects he was doing around the house for his family.

As a colleague Steve had an open book policy and an open heart and was accepting of all irrespective of their backgrounds. He was ever willing to share needed information. He had a good knowledge of railroad history and joint facility agreements and was a subject matter expert and resource.

Steve was a railroad fan and he truly loved everything about trains. He was the only one I know whose plan for the weekend was to travel to Joliet or some far flung place to watch trains roll into the station. His love for the railroad carried over to his work at Metra which he did so passionately and excellently. He was the best cost analyst I ever worked with. He had an eye for looking to save costs and ensuring compliance with procedures and agreements.

In the past two years that we worked closely together, I didn't realize that I had grown fond of Steve, until after his demise. I was distraught by the news that we had lost Steve, and I am still trying to recover from the shock, and its really difficult. We didn't always agree on everything but he always respected my views and in the end we always achieved the set goals and objectives. Whatever and however Steve did what he did, he did it believing it was the best thing to do. He was principled, objective and was a gentleman. He was truly a good person and I didn't see any animosity in him at all.
I pray that Steve would find peace where he is at in Jesus name. Above all I pray that the family would receive the grace of God to bear the loss and to keep going stronger in honor of Steve's name and goodness.
Posted by Maria Massel on November 22, 2016
I mourn for Stephen and his family. He died way too soon. Always cared and contributed. Always did the right thing in the end. Thoughtful hard working. Great friend and coworker.
Will be greatly missed.
Posted by James Hart on November 22, 2016
Our hearts are saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

James & Jenny
Posted by Jack Rabens on November 22, 2016
Enjoyed working with Steve for many years. While it could sometimes be a challenge to provide him answers to questions he'd be satisfied with, those same challenges helped me better prepare responses to questions and situations that would present themselves at work. I enjoyed challenging him as well. We forced each other to learn. May his family and those that knew him be blessed with wonderful memories.

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