Edward Ralph Emanuel Sr.

August 1, 1923March 8, 2018

Edward Ralph Emanuel passed away on March 8 from natural causes, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on Aug. 1, 1923, to Philip and Eva (de Rochier) Emanuel in Tacoma.

Ed attended Stadium High School, and joined the Navy soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific Theater as a radioman second class, earning two Battle Stars and two Campaign Ribbons. He fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

After the war Ed went to work for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, the same company that had employed his father. He would work for the Milwaukee Road for more than 30 years, in Ellensburg, Port Angeles, and Everett. He later worked for the Seattle North Coast Railroad.

After his retirement in 1983, Ed had a second career as a freelance writer, contributing many articles to railroad historical publications. He was an expert on the lore and history of the Milwaukee Railroad, particularly on the events surrounding its bankruptcy in 1980. In addition, he was a great lover of military history, especially that of the Pacific Theater of World War II, and maintained an impressive book collection.

He married Elizabeth Hornung on June 26, 1954 in Seattle. They were sweethearts right up to the end of their long and happy married life. The last thing Ed said was, “Marrying you was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.” He often expressed gratitude for the devoted care Betty gave him during his last years.

Besides his wife, Betty, Ed is survived by his daughters, Ann Marie and Therese, and sons Ed Jr. and Philip. Many nieces and nephews on the Hornung side of the family also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Albert.

Ed was a devout Catholic and devoted much of his time and money to charitable causes. He was a proud veteran of the US Navy, a loyal member of the Patrol Craft Sailors Association, and a lifelong Husky football fan.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marysville. A reception at the church will follow the service. Interment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery.

Remembrances may be made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (care of St. Mary’s Church).


  • Memorial Service Thursday, March 15, 2018

Edward Ralph Emanuel Sr.

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Allen Miller

March 18, 2018

Ed was my boss for over a year when he was the General Agent at Everett and I bid in the train order operator's position in 1972-73. He was a good man to work for and we had many a discussion on the history of the Milwaukee Road and Ed willingly shared his experiences with me of his days as an operator on the Coast Division. I continued to see him often as I continued to pick up my paychecks at the Everett depot for several years more, while I was working the extra board. Ed would also specifically request me to fill in on relief positions at Everett depot and the yard office whenever vacations occurred. He would call me and offer me to ride along with him to attend the twice-yearly Milwaukee Road employee get-together's at the Poodle Dog restaurant in Fife. In later years when posting historical facts on social media he would refer to me as his "mentor." Rest In Peace Ed Emanuel, you were a true "rail" a good boss and a great friend. I am blessed to have known you, "I got no complaints."

Cheryl Labriola

March 16, 2018

I am a very good friend with Mr. Emanuel's daughter, Therese (Terri). I have met Mrs. Emanuel several times and know what a great mom she is. What I also know is the Emanuels must be wonderful, loving, and devoted parents because their daughter is a caring, responsible, and gracious friend. Terri often spoke of her parents with love and admiration in her heart. The family Emanuel must be hurting right now. It is a sorrowful time, but it is wise to remember how blessed you all were to have Edward, Sr. in your lives--to have met him, to love him, and to have had him here with you for quite a long time. I hope you know that I am sending heartfelt sympathies to the Emanuel family in this difficult time. It sounds trite, I know, but this is not our home; we are just passing through. I imagine Mr. Emanuel is home now--peaceful, without fear or pain. It's a good place. Blessings to the whole family. Love, Cheryl Labriola

Gary Gunder

March 15, 2018

I first met Ed I think in 1955. I relieved him as agent at Ellensburg, WA while he was on vacation. That started a lifelong friendship that continued during our Milwaukee Railroad careers. Ed was an excellent railroader and the Coast Divn was lucky to have kept him for so long. I have fond memories of being with Ed and the many conversations we had. Although he's gone those memories will continue to bring me great happiness.