CANFIELD – Joseph M. Letro Jr., 94, died at home, with his loving family with him, on Sunday, January 30, 2022, after a short illness.
He was born on January 29, 1928 in Olean, NY, to Joseph M. and Mildred C. Nichols Letro, their first son.
He grew up in Randolph, NY, and graduated from Randolph Central School in 1945. He attended the University at Buffalo, then transferred to St. Bonaventure University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1950. He worked summers for the Erie Railroad.
After graduating from college, he began working full time for the Erie Railroad in the engineering department. He was the third generation of his family to work for the company.
In 1958 he was promoted to General Foreman of Track at Hornell, NY In May 1964 he was promoted to Supervisor of Track at Greenville, Pennsylvania, in October 1964 promoted to Assistant Division Engineer at Youngstown, and in 1965 Engineer of Youngtown Division.
He was responsible for the track maintenance and engineering departments from Kent, Ohio to Hornell, NY In May 1976, he accepted the position of track maintenance engineer with the Grand Trunk Western Railroad in Detroit, Michigan and became Chief Engineer in 1979. He was responsible for the construction and maintenance of Grand Trunk system-wide track, serving in that position until his retirement in May 1989. From 1964 he was a member of the Railway American Engineering Association and a life member of the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society.
In 1950 he married his high school girlfriend, Jeanette Williams; they were married for 67 years until his death in 2018. Together they raised their two children, James and Christine.
After quitting the job he loved, he embraced his retirement. They joined the Nomad Travel Club in Michigan and traveled to many destinations in the United States and Europe. He became an avid watch collector and spent hours repairing watches and reselling them. He was an active member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. He was also a car enthusiast and enjoyed putting the top on his 1969 Mustang convertible and taking long drives.
He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them. He remained young at heart and lived life to the fullest for as long as he could.
He will be sadly missed by his son, James Letro of Hubbard; daughter, Christine (Rick) Hanrahan of Canfield; sisters-in-law, Donalee Letro of Randolph, NY, Roberta Letro of Hanceville, Ala. and Julia Williams of Steamburg, NY; nieces, Rhonda (Durwin) Jacobs of Salamanca, NY, Melinda (Matt) Moran of Steamburg, NY and Carol Hanson of Boulder City, Nevada; nephew, Donnie Letro of Aliso Viejo, California; two step-grandchildren, Stephanie (Brain) Racz and Lauren (Louis) Suarez; and four great-grandchildren.
His parents predeceased him; his wife, Jeanette; two brothers, Robert Letro and Donald Letro; brother-in-law, Allan Williams; and sisters-in-law, Helen Winship and Audrey Letro.
There will be private services at VanRensselaer and Son Funeral Home in Randolph, NY Reverend Joseph Janaczek will officiate. He will be buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Randolph.
The family would like to thank their caregivers, Lynn, Debbie, Raquel, Leslie, Loretta, Missy and Lottie, for their loving care and support. Also, Patrick and Jennifer from Patriot Home Care Therapy and Dr. Faull and his team.
To leave a condolence or keepsake, visit www.vanrensselaerandsonfuneralhome.com.