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Obituary: Dr. Thomas Catherall of Märklin

By Nick Bullock
Published: August 5, 2014
Dr. Thomas Catherall
Dr. Thomas Catherall, 71, a former digital consultant for Märklin Inc., died Aug. 1 following a stroke.

“Tom’s colleagues at Märklin Inc. and Märklin GmbH will miss Tom’s vast knowledge and tireless contribution to the Märklin model railroading hobby, but even more will miss a dear friend,” Märklin said in an Aug. 4 statement.

Catherall became a consultant for Märklin in 1987. He provided product support and dealer training for the model railroading company up until his death.

His work with Märklin kept him busy, as he conducted digital seminars, organized in-store promotions and attended trade shows across the country. He also beta-tested new digital products and worked closely with the development and technical departments at Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH in Göppingen, Germany.

Catherall was the originator of the Märklin Digital Club and served as editor of the Märklin Digital Newsletter for 26 years. He also manned the Märklin Digital Hotline and spent hours a day answering questions and troubleshooting electrical and digital problems.

In addition to his work with Märklin, Catherall was a professor in the Recreation Management/Youth Leadership department at Brigham Young University, where he was a department chair and associate dean of the College of Health and Human Performance before retiring in 2005. He was also the director of the Office of Youth Research and Development at BYU, where he used Märklin digital trains for research on youth in educational situations, and in problem solving and decision making research.

Catherall was survived by his wife, Lynette, three children and seven grandchildren.