Stu Silbaugh

We were really sorry to hear about the passing of Stu Silbaugh, a well known and well liked member of the East Rutherford Sales team on 25 January 2022.

Stu's good friend and former colleague Jim Maher has provided the following:

1989 Christmas Party. Stu Silbaugh with some of the other NY/NJ Sales Team members.

Front (left to right): Stu, George Douglass and John Strang. Back: Kevin Sinnott, John McParland and Bob LoParo

[Image courtesy of John McParland]

Stuart E. Silbaugh was born on May 22, 1938 and went home to God on January 25, 2022.

Stuart was the son of Ruth and Stuart (both deceased). He grew up in Merrick, New York with his two sisters Janet Hanley and Virginia Reilly (deceased). He also had a brother Robert who predeceased him. He was married to Susan Phelan Silbaugh, who predeceased him, whom he loved very much. They had resided in Garden City, NY for many years.

He is survived by his sons Robert and Michael and Michael’s wife Julie. He was the proud grandfather and great father to Ryan, Grace, Charlotte, and Caroline, Olivia Keyser, and Ruby Silbaugh. Additionally, he is survived by his partner Grace Nolan.

Stuart graduated from Mepham High School, Merrick NY in 1956 and Babson College in 1959.

Stuart was a great salesman, winning numerous awards. He had worked for Panasonic, Ford Motor Company, and P&O Nedlloyd (now Maersk Containers).

After Stuart retired, he moved to California and enjoying volunteering at the John Wayne Airport, Crystal Cove, Newport Fire and Police Department, Segerestrum Theater, and The Hoag Classics. He was active in the billiards, golf, grandparents and the preparedness clubs.

In lieu of flowers, please give a donation to the Missouri Military Academy ( Give someone a hug and tell them that you care about them.

A memorial mass will be offered at St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Huntington Beach, CA on February 7, 2022 at 10 am. ( and a future memorial will be offered at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Garden City, NY.

Stuart will be missed by his family, and his many friends.

[Arlington Cemetery Services - Obituary]

John McParland, another good friend and former colleague of Stu's, wrote the following which first appeared on the P&O Nedlloyd Friends Facebook group. We thank John for his permission to reproduce this here.

Stu Stories - if you ever met Stu Silbaugh then you have one, but more likely you have many. Thinking about my friend Stu this past week and speaking to TFL, P&O Containers & P&ONL friends have brought back many of those stories and wonderful memories. I am sharing one with this post. If you have one - please share it. He was an amazing person and a larger than life character.

Training Day

Spring of 1987; 2 years out of college, I had just been promoted from Sales Coordinator to Sales Representative at Trans Freight Lines (TFL). After supporting 3 New Jersey based Export Reps for 14 months, I was assigned an Import territory that included Northern NJ and Manhattan

It was a different world…

  • The Trans Atlantic was the dominant trade lane for Liner Shipping.

  • Overseas Containers Ltd (OCL) had purchased a controlling interest in TFL. OCL as a brand would soon become P&O Containers.

  • The TFL “Rates” Department would quote customers over the phone from a 500 Page tariff book and confirm those rates via a type-written offer, sent by US Mail.

  • Service Contracts were a new concept to most – a fresh by-product of the Shipping Act of 1984.

  • Telex was how we communicated with our colleagues in Europe. We even had a full time Telex Operator.

  • Booking and Production Reports were printed on massive sheets of “Green Bar” paper.

  • The Fax machine was revolutionizing communication.

  • No one had a PC on their Desk. We had dumb terminals connected to the Main frame.

  • Our 2 Trans-Atlantic Services employed vessels that would barely qualify as Feeders today. The Independence Class Ships were 850 TEU and our “big” Ships like the TFL Adams Class carried 1350 TEUS.

  • Liner Shipping and Freight Forwarding were losing the turf war for Lower Manhattan office Space to Finance and Banking firms.

  • There was no such thing as a cell phone.

I was to take over some existing customers from colleagues and be expected to find and close business with new customers. One of the reps who I was to inherit clients from was Stu Silbaugh. Stu was giving up his general cargo importers and Freight Forwarders in Manhattan to focus full time on selling to Importers and Distributors of Beers, Wines & Spirits.

I met Stu at 7:00 AM in the Coffee Shop next to the PATH Station in the bottom of 1 World Trade Center. He had laid out a full day of calls starting at 8:00AM with 3 customer meetings in the “Trade Center”. Then a quick trip on the E Train to TRIBECA and Atalanta Foods just off Varick Street. That old warehouse building long since converted into pricey lofts. Lunch with Savino del Bene at the South Street Seaport, then 2 more calls with Companies at 17 Battery - an address that was once synonymous with International transportation.

After our last call Stu bought me a drink at a bar on Nassau Street. He stopped me when I ordered a Becks from the bar tender with “Drink what we carry”. Huh ? He explained that we should support the companies that use our services. Becks was not a customer, so I had to pick another brand. Stu did the same thing with every Beer, Wine or Spirit at every Industry Function, lunch or dinner for as long as we worked together. It was his mantra. Approved drinks in hand, we recapped the day and Stu gave me advice that has helped me throughout my career.

  1. Set an agenda and stick to it, but be ready to go off script if the discussion goes in a different direction.

  2. Do not sit on news, - good or bad - tell the customer what is happening

  3. Recap action items and Follow up. You made the effort and the customer took the time to meet you. Neither of you did it for your health.

  4. Plan your day around your most important meeting.

  5. If you take a customer to lunch and you know they like their cocktails, do not plan any meetings for the afternoon.

  6. “If they ask for lemons, give them lemonade” – I think he meant – give the customer and the company more than they ask for.

  7. Find out where the best (cleanest) public toilets are.

  8. Find the best Payphones in your territory “Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, bottom of the World Trade Center”

  9. Be good to those who support you – Inside Sales, Customer Service, Trade, Finance.

  10. Ask for the business.