Eric Lee Wolf
, 57, a conductor for the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train service, died of a massive heart attack May 3 at Union Station, according to the obituary Frederick N. Rasmussen wrote for the Baltimore Sun.
In his detailed account of the event, Rasmussen wrote: Mr. Wolf's commuter train, No. 849, the 7:20 a.m. from Camden Station, had just arrived at Union Station.
"Eric was in the process of opening the doors up when he was stricken," said David Johnson, who is chief customer communications officer for MARC. "He died on the platform."
Mr. Wolf was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, said his wife of 29 years, the former Mary Jo Dolan.
So popular was Mr. Wolf, that, according to Mr. Johnson, passengers saddened by his death quickly sent pages and pages of emailed tributes to MARC.
Rasmussen included the many ways in which the fun-loving Wolf endeared himself to commuters. He often employed windup toys, which would follow him up the aisle to amuse passengers.
The story comes full circle as Rasmussen writes about Wolf’s funeral service.
Mrs. Wolf said that at the conclusion of the service at the Ambrose Funeral Home in Lansdowne, suddenly, as if on cue, a CSX train roared by.
"I thought it was an airplane at first, it was so loud," she said, "but it was a train, and it came by giving Eric a nice sendoff."
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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.