November 18, 2016
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Saying Goodbye to APTA's John Neff

Many current and former APTA employees were among the guests saying goodbye to John Neff, a senior policy researcher with more than 42 years of service to the association, at a Nov. 13 ceremony ­celebrating his life.

Neff, 72, died Nov. 2 in Silver Spring, MD.

The Rev. Kip Banks, a former APTA employee, presided over the service and APTA Vice Presidents Rob Healy and Art Guzzetti joined friends and family members in sharing their reminiscences of Neff. Three musicians accompanied a sing-along of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” in honor of Neff’s hometown, and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” recognizing his love of baseball. The family encouraged guests to wear baseball caps during the ceremonies.

In addition to Acting APTA President & CEO Richard White, attending were two former APTA chief executives, Bill Millar and Jack ­Gilstrap, along with dozens of other ­former employees, one of whom ­traveled from Seattle to attend.

“John left an indelible mark on our industry, our association and all of us. He was respected as a consummate professional, a dedicated advocate for public transportation, a lover of unsung sports heroes and a loyal and kind friend. That is a legacy to which we should all aspire,” said White.

The family requests donations to the University of Missouri (memo-Mule Club, Neff Memorial) or to support ­ballet programming at the John F. ­Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Neff worked on many research projects during his tenure at APTA. He was proudest of the annual Fact Book and its appendices. He also was responsible for the Public Transportation Passenger Demographics and Travel Characteristics Report, which combines data from 150 agency on-board surveys.

For once, the normally reserved John Neff wasn’t wearing a baseball cap for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals in this photo taken at a former APTA staffer’s going-away celebration.

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