Roland Lichter

Roland “Skip” Lichter passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at his home in Garibaldi, Ore. where he was living his best days with his life partner and love, Gail Dever.

Skip was born on Jan. 21, 1942 to Roy and Freida Lichter in Chicago, Ill. He was the oldest of six and spent summers in Rib Lake, WI and Antioch, IL on the Chain of Lakes with family. He enjoyed boating, aviation and all things history related.

From a young age, Skip was fascinated with mechanical things and had a long career as a master heavy equipment mechanic at Thelen Sand and Gravel. He held a private pilot’s license and enjoyed traveling with family. After retiring from Thelen, Skip relocated to North Freedom, WI to spend more time pursuing his passion.

Everyone who knew Skip understood his passion for trains. Skip spent over 50 years volunteering his time to the restoration and preservation of steam locomotives and other historical railroad equipment at train museums in the mid-west. In the early 1980’s Skip had the opportunity to purchase the Polson #2 steam locomotive with several other train enthusiasts. The #2 actively ran at a Wisconsin based railway museum until 2000. In 2001 Skip began extensive restoration of the #2 that spanned the next 13 years. In 2017 the #2 was relocated to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad in Garibaldi OR where it is actively used for passenger runs between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach.

Skip is survived by his life partner and love, Gail Devers, the mother of his children, Sharon Lichter, son Dan Lichter (Nora), Jill Keeker (Todd), Sue Barker (Chad), grandsons Drew, Ethan and Justin, brothers Jim Lichter (Patti), Bill Lichter, many nieces and nephews and hundreds of friends in the train world family. He is preceded in death by his parents Roy and Freida, and brothers Robert, Raymond, and Thomas.

A celebration of life will be held Dec. 11, 2021 at Redlin Ertz Funeral Home, 401 Madison Ave, Baraboo, WI. Visitation will be at 1:00 and memorial service at 3:00. We would like to encourage everyone to consider bringing a picture, memory or story of their time with Skip to share. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “Polson #2 Preservation Fund”, care of the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad (OCSR) to support the continuing preservation of the Polson #2 and continue Skip’s legacy.

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