Left-Right: Former business manager and William’s son, Ken Greiner; Local 12 member William A. Greiner, aged 93; Business Rep. Geoff Foringer; former Business Rep. Dave Zychowski; Business Rep. Kevin Malley; former Business Manager and William’s son, Bob Greiner; William’s son and Local 12 member Bill Greiner; and William’s grandson and Local 12 member Ben Greiner

Longtime Local 12 (western Pa.) member and former Business Representative William Greiner passed away on March 11, 2023, at the age of 103. Greiner not only led a fulfilling life as a sheet metal worker, a unionist and an engaged retiree; he helped forge a deep personal and familial legacy within SMART.

“The Greiner family has a long, rich history embedded in the fabric of Local 12,” said Local 12 Business Rep. Geoff Foringer. “William had three sons, a son-in-law and two grandsons in the trade — two sons, Bob and Ken, were business representatives and went on to be business managers of Local 12.”

Greiner served in the United States Navy as a sub chaser during World War II before entering the sheet metal trade; he would live the rest of his life — 77 years — as a proud member of Local 12, including 18 years as a business rep. He ended up collecting a pension for longer than his years of service, Foringer added, and he was the definition of an active retiree: In addition to Local 12 activities, Greiner was an enthusiastic participant in Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) events, as well as an avid gardener.

“Bill loved to dance and was always the life of the party,” Greiner’s Legacy.com obituary reads. “Bill cherished his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”

In 2015, the SMART Members’ Journal published an article on the legacy of the Greiner family, noting at the time that, collectively, the family had contributed more than 480 years of service to the local. As we honor and remember William Greiner, it is clear that at least several generations — both in the Greiner family and beyond — benefited greatly from the more than seven decades he served as a SMART member.

“He lived a full and active life,” Foringer concluded.

The daughter of General Chairperson Richard Finley (GCA-RCL), Tori Brianna White, passed away at the untimely age of 28 on Feb. 26, leaving a huge void in the lives of Brother Finley, her mother, Stephanie L. Brown, and members of SMART Transportation Division Local 1558 in Bergenfield, N.J., in mourning.

Tori B. White, daughter of GC Richard Finley (GCA-RCL), passed away on Feb. 26, 2023.

GC Finley says Tori helped local members with run and vacation picks on many occasions and that, despite contending with illness and health issues for years, his daughter had lived a very full and happy life.

“Tori will be missed by all. Remembering Tori will always bring a smile to your face and warmth in your heart,” the family wrote in her obituary. “As God’s angel, she will watch over all of us.”

Tori was the youngest blessing born to Stephanie Brown and Harry White in Sacramento, Calif., on May 13, 1994. Her favorite pursuits included taking after her mom in a great enjoyment of karaoke. She was a huge fan of celebrity chef Bobby Flay and enjoyed watching both cooking and crime/suspense shows on television.

Brother Finley and Tori made it a point to spent time together, sit down and watch “The Masked Singer” as appointment viewing every week.

Tori is survived by her mother, Stephanie L. Brown; Brother Finley, who helped raise her since the age of 8; three grandparents; two brothers; four sisters; numerous nieces and nephews; dozens of cousins and so many friends. Tori also is survived by her pride, joy and life companion Lola, her Chihuahua, and Camron, the love of her life. Tori was looking forward to getting better and being with Camron.

She was preceded in death by her biological father, Harry White, who passed just three days prior to Tori; grandmother Betty Greer (Brown), grandfather Murray Finley, aunt Lanette M Alexander (Brown); and uncle Sam Taylor.

An online fundraiser has been established to assist the family.

Former Vice President Robert “Bob” W. Earley, who served our union’s membership for decades, died June 7, 2022, at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, N.Y., after a short illness.

Robert Earley

Brother Earley, a member of Local 610 (Baltimore, Md.), began his railroad career in 1963 starting with the B&O Railroad and became an active member of the United Transportation Union. He became secretary of the B&O General Committee in 1981. As he continued his advance in the UTU, he served as a general chairperson and was elected ninth vice president at the seventh quadrennial convention of the United Transportation Union before his retirement in 1999.

During his railroad career, Brother Earley studied the history of railroad labor at Cornell University and furthered his education at the George Meany Center for Computer Studies and Labor Relations. Following his retirement, he maintained a strong connection with his union by donating to its political action committee and as a member of the SMART-TD Alumni Association.

“He will be remembered for his work ethic, generosity and kindness. He loved life and was young at heart,” his family wrote in his obituary.

Brother Earley was married to the former Ann Campbell, who survives. Also surviving are two daughters; a son; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a brother; and loving nieces and nephews.

There will be no visitation. A memorial celebration will be held at the convenience of the family at a later date.

The SMART Transportation Division offers its sincere condolences to Brother Earley’s family, friends and to those who knew him.

Follow this link to read Brother Earley’s official obituary.

Vice Chairperson Debria L. Bradford (GCA-STU), 56, a longtime officer of SMART Transportation Division Local 1704 (Kansas City, Mo.), passed away Jan. 26, 2022.

“She served numerous positions in our local — sergeant of arms, trustee,” said General Chairperson Sharon Harris (GCA-STU). “Debria was instrumental in helping negotiate our last contract. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Services for Sister Bradford will be Feb. 4, 2022, beginning with a 10 to 11 a.m. viewing. Services will immediately follow at Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, 11424 Hickman Mills Dr., Kansas City, Mo., 64134

“Our union mourns her passing,” said Bus Department Vice President Calvin Studivant. “May her memory always be a blessing.”

SMART Transportation Division expresses its condolences to Sister Bradford’s family, friends and her brothers and sisters in Local 1704 whom she proudly served for many years.

Former Vice President Donald Carver, who led the United Transportation Union Yardmasters Department from 1987 until his retirement in 2003, passed away January 11, 2022, one day prior to his 79th birthday, his family announced.


Brother Carver had a 41-year career on the railroad that began when he hired out in April 1962 as a switchman on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. He joined UTU predecessor union the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) in May 1962 before becoming a yardmaster and an officer in the Railroad Yardmasters of America (RYA), rising to general chairperson and a national vice president in the 1970s in that union before its merger with UTU.

In 1987, Carver was elected UTU assistant to the president/yardmasters and he served in that capacity before being elevated to vice president in 2003. In total, 29 of Carver’s 41 years were as a union officer.

The late Jim “J.R.” Cumby, Brother Carver’s immediate successor in leading the Yardmasters Department, wrote a tribute to Carver in an issue of the UTU News published after Carver’s retirement in September 2003:

“Don was an indefatigable road warrior. When the carriers raised the qualifying days worked to seven for carrier-paid insurance, Don went to bat for our part-time officers. With assistance from the negotiating committee, Don ensured all our part-time officers working on the railroad at least one day per month retained carrier-paid insurance benefits,” Cumby wrote in the November 2003 UTU News.

Carver left “some mighty big shoes” to fill in representing the union’s members, Cumby wrote.

Carver’s role with the union hadn’t closed quite yet. In 2004, he served on a blue-ribbon committee to shape union technological efforts for the union as it headed into the 21st century.

After announcing his retirement, Brother Carver closed his final farewell column to the membership with a traditional Irish blessing:

“May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, And the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dianna Mae, and two children, the Rev. Dr. Richard Carver Jr. (Stephanie) and Marla Sanders (Chris); five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his brother, David. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Dr. Edward and Alene Carver, and his sister Beth Ostercamp.

A celebration of Brother Carver’s life will take place 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, at Schoppenhorst Underwood & Brooks Funeral Home, 123 Winning Colors Dr., Mt. Washington, Ky. Interment will follow at Bethany Memorial Cemetery, 10917 Dixie Hwy., Louisville.

The SMART Transportation Division offers its sincere condolences to the Carver family, his friends and the union brothers and sisters who knew him.

Click here read Carver’s full obituary or to leave condolences.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Y. Pearson, former general chairperson of GCA-STU and a former local chairperson for Local 1704 (Kansas City, Mo.), passed away Dec. 13, 2021, at the age of 55.

Sister Pearson served more than four years in both of those officer positions as well as serving as her local’s trustee for more than a year.

“The SMART-TD Bus Department along with the entire SMART organization mourns her passing,” Bus Department Vice President Calvin Studivant said. “It was a pleasure working with Jackie, and she will be missed by those who knew her. We pass along our condolences and sympathy to her family and friends. May her memory always be a blessing.”

Visitation is scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 22, 2021, at Watkins Heritage Chapel, 4000 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64130, with services conducted by Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 23. Interment will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left here.

Jaime Garcia-Perez, 48, a member of our union for more than 15 years out of Local 23 (Santa Cruz, Calif.), passed away Sept. 3 from complications of COVID-19. He was an operator for the Santa Cruz Metro ParaCruz.

“Jaime, who worked at ParaCruz for nearly 17 years, had an unwavering work ethic and the utmost respect from everyone here at Metro. He was an integral part of ParaCruz from Day One,” GCA Vice General Chairperson Nathanael Abrego and General Chairperson James Sandoval said in a letter to membership. “A hard-working man and full of passion, integrity, and respect. When the workday got hard, we leaned heavily on the ‘Jaime Factor’ because he counted as two drivers. He was that good. You can always count on him to ensure our riders got to their destination on time.
“Jaime was loved by all who knew him. He will be missed.”
Brother Garcia-Perez is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dawn; daughter, Madison; and son, Kaden.
An online fundraiser has been established to assist Brother Garcia-Perez’s family.
SMART-TD expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Brother Garcia-Perez and his brothers and sisters of Local 23.

Local 1261 in Atlanta is mourning the loss of a longtime local chairperson. Joshua Allen Morstad, 39, passed away Sunday, July 11, 2021, three days after he was injured in an automobile accident while traveling home from work.


Brother Morstad was a loyal member of our union for 20 years, local chairperson of LCA-169A (Central of Georgia) since May 2015 and an engineer for Norfolk Southern.
“Josh was loved, respected, a friend to all, and will be missed by his family, friends and co-workers,” General Chairperson James E. Stewart Jr. of GCA-169 wrote.
Brother Morstad enjoyed being outdoors, hunting, fishing, golf and playing sports with his children. He had a fierce love for his family and always made sure they were cared for. He is survived by his wife, four sons and an unborn son who is due Sept. 7, 2021. Other survivors include his parents, brother and in-laws as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and extended family and friends.
In his last selfless act, Brother Morstad was an organ donor and gave of himself so that others may live.
SMART Transportation Division extends its deepest condolences to Brother Morstad’s family, friends and to Local 1261 in this time of painful loss.
Read Brother Morstad’s full obituary.

Norman “Norm” Patterson Jr., 52, of Lubbock, Texas, vice local chairperson of LCA-020 and a member of Local 9 (Slaton, Texas), passed away Jan. 5 after a battle with cancer.


A member of our union since 2006, Brother Patterson was a conductor for BNSF, and he had served as a vice local chairperson since 2014.
“He was very involved in his union and was always there to help his fellow brothers,” his family stated in his obituary. “If you were lucky enough for Norm to call you his friend, you were his true friend for life.”
Brother Patterson took great pride in his railroad job, his family wrote.
A memorial gathering to remember Brother Patterson is to occur in July. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Brenda, and two sons, Austin and Tristan. He was preceded in death by his son, Hunter Ryan, who passed away in 2016 as a result of a car accident.
SMART Transportation Division offers its sincere condolences to Brother Patterson’s family, his brothers and sisters in Local 9, the SMART-TD members he was proud to represent in LCA-020, and to all those who knew him.
Click here to read the full obituary.

Brother Miguel “Mike” Gaitan, 64, an active SMART Transportation Division member out of Local 1241 (Richmond, Calif.), passed away Friday, December 11, 2020, from COVID-19.

Brother Miguel Gaitan of Local 1241 in Richmond, Calif., passed away Dec. 11 from COVID-19. He was 64 years old.
An engineer with BNSF, he joined our union in February 1995.
“Fellow employees state that Mike was hard-working, respected and kind,” California State Legislative Director Louis Costa said. “He always made railroad get-togethers with his union brothers and sisters a priority.
“Mike was larger than life, his kindness, his funny laugh and his ability to be a leader in the railroad family was not rivaled,” Costa said. “He will be deeply missed.”
Brother Gaitan is survived by his wife, Alice, and four children, Megan, Mike Jr., Santiago and Dolores. He also had two grandchildren.
Services for Brother Gaitan are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at Cano Funeral Home, 2164 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Stockton, CA 95205, where flower memorials also may be sent.
The SMART Transportation Division offers its heartfelt condolences to Brother Gaitan’s family, his friends and to all of his brothers and sisters in Local 1241.