Services Held For Train Advocate Ken Ruben
March 19, 2015
By Stephen Hadland
The graveside services were held last Sunday morning for Ken Ruben at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Commerce. Ruben, a train buff and longtime advocate for public transportation, passed away on Thursday morning, March 12.
Ruben was 72.
Ari Noonan of thefrontpageonline.com said it best: "He is gone.
"A man who never held public office, never was prominent in commerce, never accumulated the most remote form of wealth but rose to the perch of being one of Culver City's best known citizens through sheer will, Ken Ruben died at 10:40 this morning at Los Angeles Community Hospital.
When he suffered a stroke in late December it was 2 ½ weeks before anyone found him in his Duquesne Avenue apartment.
Ken was as a member and officer with the various historical societies, including the Electric Railroad Historical Association, the Pacific Railroad Society and Southern California Transit Advocates. Ken rode the remnants of the old Los Angeles transit system, and the main line trains while they were still in private hands. Ken rode the last Southern Pacific "Lark" from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1968, and made sure that he was the last passenger to step off the train.
Ken Alpern, a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council commented on City Watch, "This article is dedicated to someone who almost everyone knew in the circles of transit advocacy--Ken Ruben, who just passed away at the age of 72. He was a sweet and outgoing man whose passion for transit and mobility knew no bounds. From his hometown of Culver City to the headquarters at Metro, he was a regular attendee in meetings of Southern California Transit Advocates and The Transit Coalition."
I last saw Ken at Union Station when I was changing trains several months ago. Ken was there for a historic train show. As usual Ken had lots to say. I was late to catch my connecting train, I apologized but I had to go. I cut him off. I wish I had stayed and listened a little longer.