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It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform the OGR family that longtime participant and contributor Skip Natoli has passed away. Skip was also a close personal friend to me and to my wife Wendy, and we both were deeply saddened to learn of this loss. Skip was a great fan of the Christmas holiday and its close association with electric trains--especially Lionel trains--and the Christmas holidays in New York City, in particular. He had feature articles published in OGR Runs 274, 288, 295, 309, 327, and 329, and was also an active member of this Forum. He will be greatly missed, but certainly long remembered.

Here is a link to Skip's obituary:

327 Skip-14-Skip Natoli-Author Photo


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  • 327 Skip-14-Skip Natoli-Author Photo
Last edited by Allan Miller
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Man, I had thumbed through one of Skip's recent runs. Dang.

While I ran into Skip, we only knew each other through a few emails back and forth about various New York Central engines. During 2019's York week, I had gone out to Strasburg for 611 and I got there extremely early(I think they had finished cleaning all the cars for the day's run). Well, Skip and friends(as well as some of our OGR colleagues) were anxiously waiting for the morning to begin with cab tours and whistle blowing. Skip was actually behind me but since he had the cab tour and I only a whistle blow, his group and others were moved ahead.

I did manage to snap a quick pic of him which I think I had popped on here on another topic(I'll find it tonight and repost). I also believe that one of the whistle blows I recorded via video is his groups.

I really wish I got to know Skip better. I know through one of our correspondences he had gotten busy in baseball(little league I think). He had been off the forum for a bit and that was what he had said he was busy with.

I know that we will all miss his smile that was seen at York by all. New York Central Hudson's all the way Skip, R.I.P.

I have been on the phone as well as the keyboard discussing this horrible news all morning.  Frankly ... I am in shock as many of you are/were when you heard of his passing.  I echo Allan Miller's comments above ... Skip was one of those guys that you couldn't help but like.  He was a beacon for this hobby and of course a kindred spirit when it comes to layout themes.  Skip and I had several conversations about our urban themed layouts and always made a point to visit each other at York.  He was a top contributor to O Gauge Railroading Magazine with his inspiring Christmas scenes which received tons of wonderful comments from thousands of readers who enjoyed his articles.

We have lost another one of the "great ones" in this hobby which is so sad.  We will miss you so much my Friend ....

That is really awful.  I bumped into him once when we were in line for a cab tour on 611.  Nice guy - infectious enthusiasm for trains - and he didn't strike me as particularly old.  What a shame.

Another reminder that life is short and needs to be focused on important things - friends, family - and nothing petty.  

Sincere condolences to his family and prayers that he rests in peace.

I am so sorry to learn of his passing.  I greatly enjoyed his New York City walking tour threads for the Christmas season - he brought "Christmastime in the city" to life with his enthusiasm and well researched and well thought-out recommendations.  With the cheer and energy that typified his writings, he always seemed youthful.  My condolences to his family and friends.   

Such sad news.  My prayers and condolences go out to Skip, his family and friends.  His passing leaves an empty place in the hearts of all who knew him.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at Trainstock once.  Of course the conversation started out about trains then naturally went to Christams and the Walking Tour and quickly became two Bronx kids talking about family, friends and growing up in the northwest Bronx.  Even though we didn't know each growing up we shard so many of the same memories it seemed as if we did.

God rest your soul Skip and keep you in his presence.

OMG! Im in total shock! I remember Skip with the Bear Mountain train displays in the mid to late 1970's, talking about the elusive Maerkin "Swiss Air" layout and my time with him at the Bergen Co. Model RR club back at the "Turn of the Century"

Wow! God Bless and those TW layouts IMHO was retirement money well spent esp for his short time in retirement!

Skip Natoli was not only one of my best friends but one of the most wonderful human beings I ever met. We have been buddies for over twenty years. Many know him as a passionate railroader, others know him as an amazing guitar aficionado, still more know him as a Yankee fan. My wife and I have been blessed to know him as a great human being. He was an administrator of the New York welfare system where countless people benefitted from his caring and compassion. If you had a train gathering, Skip made it sparkle, if you loved music, Skip made it much more fun, if you loved the yankees, Skip would proudly wear his satin Yankee jacket. More than anything on earth, Skip loved his children. He spoke of them constantly and adored walking the streets of New York City Holiday time with them and sharing the photos with us.

It is the nature of life to love and suffer loss. If we did not love greatly, we would not be so mournful when those we enjoy so much are taken from us. My wife and I will be life long beneficiaries because we knew Skip. He'll be with us every day in one form or another. Toot the whistles tonight for Skip Natoli.

Last edited by Jerryrails

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