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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 6 — Paul L. Wingo Jr., retired International and National Vice President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, passed away on June 6, 2022. He was 78 years old.

Brother Wingo served as International and then National Vice President from 2002 to 2006. He was elected to the office of First Alternate International Vice President in September of 2001 at the BLE’s Seventh Quinquennial International Convention in Miami Beach, Fla., and was elevated to the BLE Advisory Board in November 2002. He announced his retirement and did not seek reelection at the BLET’s First National Convention in June of 2006.

Following four years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1960s, Brother Wingo began his railroad career in 1966 when he hired out as a switchman with the Southern Railroad. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 1969 and joined BLE Division 198 (Chattanooga, Tenn.) on September 5, 1969.

Over the next four decades, Brother Wingo would hold numerous elected positions within the Brotherhood. He served Division 198 as Secretary-Treasurer from 1969-1986, Legislative Representative from 1980-2000, and Local Chairman from 1986-2001. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Norfolk Southern (Southern Region) General Committee of Adjustment from 1986 to 2002 and as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Tennessee State Legislative Board from 1982 to 2002.

Brother Wingo was a delegate to the 1986, 1991, and 2001 BLE International Conventions, winning election to the First Alternate-Southeast Member of the Board of Appeals in 1986. For nine years, he served as a member of the Board of Appeals from 1987 to 1996.

During his tenure as Vice President, Brother Wingo was assigned to assist the BLET’s Norfolk Southern General Committees of Adjustment, where he helped to negotiate the first short-term disability agreement at Norfolk Southern for BLET members. He was also assigned to various short line railroads, including the Meridian Southern, New England Central, Iowa, Chicago & Eastern, and the New York Susquehanna & Western. Brother Wingo assisted with national contract negotiations as part of the National Wage/Rules Team and helped to negotiate a contract agreement with the New England Central, which was ratified in 2006. From 2002-2004, Brother Wingo served on the Finance Committee that helped lay the foundation for the merger between the BLE and International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He also served as the BLET’s Security Officer in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pioneering ways to make the rail industry more secure. A month after the horrific Norfolk Southern train derailment in Graniteville, S.C., Brother Wingo represented the BLET at a candlelight vigil and prayer service in Graniteville to honor the victims, including the train’s locomotive engineer and BLET member Christopher Seeling.

Outside of the BLET, Brother Wingo served on the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood’s Relief and Compensation Fund (1996-2002) and served on the Board of Directors of the North American Railway Foundation (1996 to 2002).

“For nearly 40 years, Paul Wingo dedicated himself to serving the members of our Brotherhood,” BLET National President Dennis Pierce said. “He had a tremendous amount of compassion for his fellow railroaders and their families, and he used his skills and knowledge to go above and beyond the call of duty in protecting their rights and interests. Paul was not only a Brother, he was a friend to many of us and he will be deeply missed. On behalf of all men and women of the BLET, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Brother Paul Wingo.”

Information regarding memorial services will be made available soon.