John A. Moag Sr., CSX executive, dies
He rose from a mailroom worker to CSX marketing department executive and volunteered at St. Ignatius and the Franciscan Sisters
John A. Moag Sr. (June 19, 2011)
The Blakehurst retirement community resident was 80.
Born in Detroit and raised in Chicago, Mr. Moag was a 1949 graduate of St. Norbert High School in DePere, Wis.
He served in the Army in Heidelberg, Germany, in internal affairs and, after being discharged in 1954, went to work in the mailroom of the Illinois Central Railroad in Chicago.
In 1962, he joined the traffic rate department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Chicago, and subsequently held traffic rate assignments in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, before joining the railroad's marketing department and moving to Baltimore in 1963.
"I worked quite a bit with John and you'd have to go back to the 1960s and the Jervis Langdon era," said Herbert H. Harwood Jr., who worked in the finance and marketing department of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and later the Chessie System. Jervis Langdon Jr. had been president of C&O-B&O, which became today's CSX.
"John was one of that creative bunch of young guys that Langdon had brought together to revolutionize the way the railroad looked at service, pricing and marketing through creative new ideas," said Mr. Harwood, who is a nationally known railroad historian and author.
In 1969, Mr. Moag was the marketing executive for Auto-Trans, an experimental service in cooperation with the Southern Pacific Railroad that transported individuals' or company automobiles from Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The service, Mr. Moag explained in a Baltimore Sun interview at the time, "will be a saving of the valuable time of people being moved for business reasons, and elimination of the wear and tear of long-distance driving."
"Auto-Trans was a perfect example of creative marketing and new marketing opportunities that were not being exploited," Mr. Harwood said. "These were services that were not being done before and offering customers creative solutions."
Norman Brubeck, who had worked with Mr. Moag for years, retired in 1991 as director of automobile parts marketing. "After the department was reorganized, there were six marketing groups and John was director of lumber and paper marketing in the early 1980s," Mr. Brubeck recalled.
"I'm the more contemplative type and John was the dynamic guy, which was a great asset. He had such great enthusiasm and was a man who made things happen on this big damn railroad," he said. "He was outspoken, intelligent and wasn't shy standing in front of crowds. It was his dynamism that made John Moag so successful."
Mr. Moag retired in 1986.
Mr. Moag, who had never attended college, decided in midlife to earn a college degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, which he attended on weekends.
"An insufferable Notre Dame University fan, he decided to enter college at 50 by attending the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and was its first male graduate," a son, John A. Moag Jr., said with a laugh. He is former chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority and lives in Baltimore.
Mr. Moag was a communicant and active volunteer at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Mount Vernon, and also volunteered at the Franciscan Center, where he had served for nearly a decade on its board.
"John was such a great person and he was deeply revered and loved by our parish," said his pastor, the Rev. William J. Watters.
"He assisted me when I was president of St. Ignatius Academy, in which he had a keen interest. He and his family endowed a $100,000 scholarship for the academy. John had a real desire to see those boys go onto good prep schools and college and have a good life," Father Watters said. "His commitment to the school was very serious."
He described Mr. Moag as "a wonderfully gifted and outgoing man who had a concern for others" and personified the Jesuit tradition of being a "man for others."