David Eldon Hiatt, a retired general chairperson of GO 377 (Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western), passed away November 11, 2020. He was 73 years old.


“I looked up to Brother Hiatt, he was what I strived to be like once I became a union officer,” said current GO 377 General Chairperson Bill Miller. “Brother Hiatt bled union and the SMART-TD.”
Brother Hiatt hired out on the GTW in 1969 in Battle Creek, Mich., and was a lifelong SMART-TD/UTU member. He was the local chairperson for Local 72 (Battle Creek, Mich.) for a number of years, then served as general chairperson for GO 377 from 2003 until his retirement in 2012.
“One of his big accomplishments was being able to get an hourly agreement approved on the GTW, which gave a better quality of life for the conductors with scheduled off days, five-day work week and great wages,” Miller said. “Brother Hiatt was a mentor to many officers on the GTW, especially me.”
Brother Hiatt was an Army veteran, serving in South Korea along the demilitarized zone in 1968 and ’69, and was a VFW and American Legion member.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn and children Tracy Hiatt, Larry Hiatt, Jeffrey (Shawn) Bowdidge, Owen (Ellie) Bowdidge; and his brother, Thomas (Sheila) Hiatt.
SMART Transportation Division offers its sincere condolences to Brother Hiatt’s family, friends and to his Local 72 brothers and sisters.
His full obituary may be read here.

Bruce Wigent

Bruce Robert Wigent, 73, of Prescott, Wis., died Wednesday, May 25 at United Hospital.
A member of Local 1709 in Pontiac, Mich., Wigent hired out as a switchman on the Grand Trunk Western Railroad in December 1964. He was first elected as a local officer in 1970 and then served as general chairperson of GO 377. Wigent was elected as a UTU International Vice President at the 1987 UTU quadrennial convention. He was re-elected to the position at the 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003 conventions. Wigent retired from the position in 2007.
As a vice president, he was instrumental in contract negotiations with SEPTA and also led a strike on the Soo Line in 1994. Wigent wholeheartedly believed in the power of unions and the right of the worker to organize, as evidenced in this 2009 video Wigent made supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
A time of remembrance and Masonic Service is being held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 31 at the Old Ptacek’s Store Event Center, 1449 Orrin Road, Prescott, WI 54021. A visitation will be held one hour prior to services. Interment will be at Pine Glen Cemetery in Prescott.
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