James W. McClellan
James W. McClellan Virginia Beach - James (Jim) William McClellan, 77, passed away peacefully on October 14, 2016, at Sentara Hospice House in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Born June 10, 1939 in Bryan, Texas, he was the son of Lt. Colonel William D. and Barbetha "Betty" McClellan. After graduating from high school in San Antonio, Texas, Jim attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School on a full Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship. He graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in Transportation, and then was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Upon leaving the Navy, Jim began his long railroad career at the Southern Railway in 1962. He held marketing and strategic planning jobs with the New York Central, Penn Central, the US Department of Transportation, Amtrak, the US Railway Association, and the Association of American Railroads. He rejoined Southern (later Norfolk Southern) and retired from Norfolk Southern in 2003 as Senior Vice President for Planning. Jim's broad areas of responsibility included rail mergers and acquisitions, sale and abandonment of rail lines, strategic and network planning and public-private partnerships. He was instrumental in the creation of several railroads, including Amtrak (he was one of the first employees), Conrail, Norfolk Southern, and the split of Conrail between NS and CSX. After retiring, Jim stayed active in the railroad industry, speaking to industry audiences worldwide. He was named a Fellow of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute, and listed as one of the top 75 most influential figures in American railroading by Trains Magazine in 2015. Jim also indulged his passion for travel with visits to all seven continents and riding much of the world's rail network, including a 7700 mile journey by rail from Beijing to Moscow. He enjoyed many other hobbies, including boating, photography, model railroading, painting, and writing. Just recently, Jim finished the final edits of his book "My Life with Trains: Memoir of a Railroader," which is slated to be released in May, 2017, a legacy for which his family, friends, and colleagues are grateful. Jim is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Joanne McClellan, and their two dogs and two horses; his son and fellow railroader Michael Robert McClellan and wife Andria of Norfolk; his daughter Susan McClellan Abagnale and husband Jean-Paul of Virginia Beach; and his three grandsons, Aidan, (James) Lachlan, and Roark. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Suzanne McClellan Otto. The family will host a funeral service followed by a celebration of Jim's life on October 27, 2016, at 2:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Family Catholic Church, 1279 N. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local SPCA, the Salvation Army of South Hampton Roads, or a charity of your choice.
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