August 06, 2008

Passing of Ken Holter

Ken's nephew contacted me last week to tell me the sad news that Kenneth Holter had recently passed away in St. Paul. Minnesota. Details are sketchy at this time, but I knew Ken had been hospitalized a couple times in the last two years. He was a very private individual, so I knew little of any conditions he may have endured.

Some of you probably knew Ken through his online sales of railroad stocks and bonds at Scripophily Corner. I am positive that all of my newsletter readers recognize his name as a L-O-N-G-time contributor. After the first edition of my catalog appeared in 1995, Ken immediately became one of my heaviest contributors.

Except when on vacation, Ken contributed certificate images every single day. I just did a quick search and found he had reported over 10,500 pieces of information to the database, primarily serial numbers and images. I imagine he contributed another 1,000 pieces of information before I developed capabilities for recording information sources.

In the last couple of years, Ken contributed many new company names by searching through all sorts of railroad passes, books, timetables, brochures and ephemera he found listed on eBay and elsewhere on the web. Ken was seriously detail-oriented and was always on the lookout for errors in descriptions. Had he not contributed a single bit of other information, his error-checking alone would have proven tremendously valuable.

I will miss Ken's constant presence in my e-mail inbox.

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