Remembering a Lionel Legend

MOOSIC, Pa. -- A legend in the model train business in our area has passed away.

Joseph Grzyboski Jr. died last week after battling a two-year illness.

Grzyboski built his nationally recognized business in Lackawanna County. His family says even without him, Grzyboski's Train Store is still on track.

"We've been doing this, actually since I've been born, so 41 years, but it wasn't started as a business, it was just a hobby," said his son Joseph Grzyboski III.

Joe loved trains so much, he left a career in engineering to open Grzyboski's Train Store which moved from Scranton to Moosic in 2007.

"It was their old store on Lackawanna Avenue, and I used to work in Scranton. Lunchtime, I would walk up to the store and look around, get back to work in time. I would do that a couple days a week, then I finally said, 'I'm going to start buying some stuff,'" Michael Mercuri recalled.

That 30 thirty years ago. Mercuri started as a customer and became a friend to Joe.

He picked up customers and kept them, becoming one of Lionel's top sellers in the world, all from a small corner of Lackawanna County.

Newswatch 16 talked to Joe back in 2011 about how the model train business was still successful here even in the age of digital technology.

"There's still something about trains that's amazing. When you look at the real things, their size and everything, they're drawn to it," Grzyboski said.

The Grzyboski brothers plan to keep up with the store conducting business just like their dad.

"I've worked with him all my life, never had a job doing something else."

So perhaps the best lesson Joe Grzyboski passed along is that if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.

"We'll be around till the end, or so, and continue on till however long this hobby goes."