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Jeffrey Forbis, a fourth generation railroader who served on the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's (ASLRRA) board, died May 13 in California. He was 65.
Forbis made an impact on short lines in California and on the national stage by serving on the ASLRRA board as a member and as Pacific region vice president. He also served on association's Legislative Policy Committee and the Strategic Review Committee that led to the merger of ALSRA and RRA, according to an obituary published in the ASLRRA newsletter."On behalf of ASLRRA, I extend my deepest condolences to Jeff's family, colleagues and friends and acknowledge his entrepreneurial can-do spirit and contributions as a board and Executive Committee member of our association," said ASLRRA President Linda Darr.Forbis began his career in railroading in Eugene, Ore., before moving to Mount Shasta, Calif., in 1987 to take a job with the McCloud River Railroad Co. (MCR) He followed his lifelong dream of owning and operating his own railroad when he purchased the MCR in 1992. The railroad provided freight service as well as passenger excursion trains.Both Forbis' daughter, Jalene, and his son, Troy, followed him into the railroad business and worked with him on the family-owned short line."Jeff was one of the first railroaders I met when beginning my career and I remember thinking at that time how friendly he was and later learned how willing he was to share his railroading knowledge," said ASLRRA Chair Judy Petry. "But more than that, I was always struck anew by how much he loved his children and how he continually invested himself in them. He loved railroading but always first and foremost, he loved his children. He leaves behind a great legacy in them.”Forbis is survived by his wife, Natalie; three daughters, one son, two stepsons, two stepdaughters, nine grandchildren, a brother and a sister.Memorials may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.