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Artist Gary Pember

Artist Gary Pember

Claude Pember with Gary

Gary J. Pember was born in Puyallup, Washington in 1946 to Claude and Nellie Pember. As the son of a Milwaukee Road diesel mechanic of 27 years, Gary developed his love for the railroad at an early age when his father would take him along on road trips to repair locomotives. After an honorable discharge from the United States Navy in 1970, Gary started serving his railroad apprenticeship at the Mi1waukee Road’s Tacoma Roundhouse.

In 1980, when the Milwaukee Road shut down, Gary was forced to work a variety of jobs until in May of 1988 when he was able to return to his roots as a diesel mechanic working for the Burlington Northern Railroad at Interbay Diesel Shop in Seattle, Washington. He has worked on everything from the Milwaukee Electrics to the BNSF’s General Electric AC-4400 Diesels. Gary retired after 26 years of railroad service in July of 2004.

Since 1975, Gary has created several illustrations of his favorite railroads, which have included the Milwaukee Road and now the Northern Pacific. He is also working on scale plans for five western Milwaukee Road Roundhouses from Harlowton, Montana to Tacoma, Washington.

"No More Mountains To Cross" came from the deep void felt when the Milwaukee Road left the West in 1980, leaving a trail still visible today over the mountain ranges where the trains pass no more.

* A note of thanks to the following photographers who have graciously allowed the artist, Gary Pember, to work from their photographs:

Steve Schmollinger
Blair Kooistra
Dale Sanders
Warren McGee
Jay Lentzner
Robert Leachman
Museum of the Rockies - Ron Nixon

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