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David Elson GratzOctober 19, 2017
David Elson Gratz, born July 7, 1927 and a longtime Brownsville resident, was promoted into Eternal Life on October 19,2017. Born to Martha and Gustav Gratz in Columbus, Ohio, David grew up on the north side of Pittsburgh and graduated from Perry High School. After an honorable discharge from the Army in 1946, he earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, then started his lifelong railroading career with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1957, he relocated to Brownsville, Pennsylvania and started as the Supervisor of the Maintenance of Way Department for the Monongahela Railway and in 1961 was promoted to Division Engineer. From 1974 until 1989, David was the Superintendent of the Monongahela Railway. After retiring, his 35 years of accumulated local knowledge resulted into a 212 page, co-authored book entitled: The Monongahela Railway: It’s History and Operation 1903-1993, published in 2003. He was a member of the Fort Burd United Presbyterian Church and a charter member of the Monongahela River, Rail & Transportation Museum, both in Brownsville, a member of Brownsville Masonic Lodge #60, Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, Izaak Walton League, as well as multiple other organizations in the community. He is survived by: his wife, Betty (Spaulding) and two of his children, Susan with her husband, Charles; and Glenn with his wife Roberta; grandchildren: Joel and wife, Cara, Nathan and Aaron Phoebe and Joshua and Kelsey Gratz, and great-grandson Hendrix Phoebe. He is predeceased by two brothers, William and J. Roger; and a son, David Allen. A memorial service was held at the Masonic Village in Sewickley on October 24th, and a remembrance service will be held tentatively November 18th at the Fort Burd United Presbyterian Church in Brownsville at 11:00. (details can be found on the church’s FaceBook page) There will be a private interment at Bridgeport Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Masonic Village at Sewickley, or Fort Burd United Presybterian Church in Brownsville.
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