Deacs loved the railway and Holden cars
OBITUARY: Arthur William Deacon spent 45 years of his life working on the Queensland Railway and had a huge passion for Holden cars.
'Deacs' died on March 9, at 87 years of age.
He was born in Gladstone on April 15, 1927, the eldest of four children.
Arthur left school when he was 12 years old after his father died in a railway accident.
He had to help his mother support the family, so he took up work at Port Curtis Dairy.
Later he worked as a cook in the air force, and in 1947, when he was 20, he started work in Queensland Railways.
Arthur worked as a foreman shunter, guard and retired as a loco assistant when he was 65 years old.
One of Arthur's sons, Greg, said his father loved the camaraderie between the railway workers.
"Dad used to get the key to the Club Hotel after work from the publican, Ambrose," he said.
"He would open the pub after it closed and serve the boys drinks until midnight. They would throw some money in the till and go home."
Arthur met the love of his life, Pearl, in 1949.
The couple married in 1950 and later had four boys and one girl: Arty, Gary, Robyn, Greg and Robert.
Pearl and Arthur were married for 65 years.
Cars were a big passion of Arthur's.
Former Gladstone State MP and friend of 20 years, Liz Cunningham, said they were his pride and joy.
"He was the most faithful purchaser of Holden, I am sure of it," she said.
"He would have bought about 40 cars, but didn't have them all at once. He traded them in regularly and bought a new one."
Arthur was heavily involved in the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade for 35 years.
He was also a volunteer at various RSLs around the Gladstone region, having joined when he was in the air force, and would speak at the Anzac Day services at local schools each year.
Mrs Cunningham said Arthur was generous with his time.
"Arthur wanted to inspire young people to appreciate the sacrifice soldiers made in war efforts," she said.
"Also, for many years he helped on my election, handing out pamphlets at Gladstone South State School. He was a big supporter of mine for about 10 or 15 years.
"My husband John said he was a lovely man to be with at the polling booth."
In his later years Arthur had many skin cancers removed.
"There was no such thing as requirement of a hat back then, but that was his dedication.
"He worked hard on the railways and, as a product of that era, he had sun cancers," Mrs Cunningham said.
"He loved the railway and the people that worked in it. He had a huge connection with Gladstone and he loved the area."