The January 2013 issue of The Linking Ring will include a Broken Wand which honors eleven magicians whose deaths we learned about since last month. We learned of most of the deaths through normal channels: the death of a Ring member, the death of a family member, the death of a friend. But several deaths we learned about when our Membership Committee members called to renew a membership, only to learn that the person died several months ago. Please notify the I.B.M. when you hear of a death. Don;t assume we already know or that someone else will tell us.
DAVID R. ALLEN III
David Richard Allen III, 71, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died November 14, 2012. His I.B.M. membership number was 34372, and he had been a member since 2002. He was a former member of Ring 89. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during the Vietnam War. He was a shoe salesman, working for several shoe stores. He also was a youth minister. In addition to his love of magic, another favorite hobby was singing barbershop harmony. Among survivors are his mother, Ruth; sister Patricia Sartain; and an uncle, Melvin Allen.
DAVID L. ALTER
David Larry Alter, 60, of San Antonio, Texas, died June 24, 2012. His member number was 23201 and he had been a member since 1977. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous service). He was a member of Ring 18, the M.S. Mahendra Ring. Originally from New Mexico, he was an entertainer all of his life. Over the years he toured with many traveling shows, working as a magician (Dave King), announcer, circus ring master, and -- for twelve years -- as “The Voice of the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions.” At press deadline his Website was still active, as a tribute to him: www.magiking.com. Among survivors are three brothers: George, Charles, and Don; and daughter Terry.
Roger Collis, 77, of Hornchurch, Essex, England, died November 16, 2012. His I.B.M. number was 43637, and he had been a member since 1988. He was a member of Ring 25, the British Ring; and the Ilford Magical Society. After working for the Financial Times as a print compositor for some time, in 1981 he decided to become a full-time professional entertainer. He was a close-up magician, a balloon modeler, and a popular children’s entertainer. He also was part of the Balloon Brothers in the 1980s, who entertained at town shows and fairs. A Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted at his funeral. Survivors include his wife, Eunice; daughter, Susan; and son, Martin.
WALLACE J. HEDDON
Wallace Jenkins Heddon, 79. of Rayleigh, Essex, England, died November 8, 2012, after a nine-month battle with cancer. He held I.B.M. number 53009, and had been a member since 1996. He was a member of Ring 25, The British Ring. He also was a long-time member of the Southend Sorcerers Society, which he served as treasurer for fourteen years. He and his wife regularly welcomed people to club meetings and functions, and he ran the club auctions, supervised visiting judges, and recently donated the club trophy for Clubman of the Year. Performing as Wally the Wiz, he loved magic with strings, numbers, and wine bottle corks. Survivors include his wife, Audrey, and sons David and Michael and their families. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fairhaven Community Palliative Team, www.havenshospices.org.uk.
LESLIE G. HINSLEY
Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters was notified by his son, Carl, that Leslie George Hinsley of the United Kingdom had died in September. Carl said that his father was extremely proud to be a magician and to attend magic club meetings and conventions. We have received no additional information after several requests.
SAMUEL J. MARTIN JR.
Samuel Joseph Martin Jr., 76, of Las Vegas, Nevada, died November 23, 2012. His I.B.M. membership number was 19939, and he had been a member since 1964. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). Born in Chicago, he received a degree in radiology from Provident Hospital in Chicago, and worked as Chief Radiologist at the University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary. He is survived by his son, Samuel J. Martin III; a sister, Annette Craighead; and many other family members. Memorial contributions may be made to his church’s Alter Flower Fund, Christ Episcopal Church, 2000 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89104; or to St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church in Chicago, the church his father started and which he attended before moving to Las Vegas.
THOMAS W. SALE
The I.B.M. Office recently was notified that Dr. Thomas Wirt Sale, Jr., 86, of Hampton, Virginia, died June 17, 2012. His membership number was 20100, and he had been a member since 1965. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 103, the Earle Edwards Ring. A graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, he served his residency in Boston, and then returned to Hampton in 1957 as a general surgeon, until he retired in 1994. During World War II he served in the Fifth Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. In addition to magic, he was deeply involved in several genealogical, patriotic, and history organizations, and also was interested in postcards, coins, gems and minerals, and travel. Among survivors are his wife of sixty-three years, Elizabeth; sons Thomas (Daphne), Carter (Karen), and John (Melissa); daughter Sidney (Richard) Bland; and four grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. John’s Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, 100 West Queens Way, Hampton, VA 23669.
RAYMOND F. SANTEE
Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters learned that Raymond F. Santee, 96, of San Antonio, Texas, died June 3, 2012. His member number was 6931, and he had been a member since 1984. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 18, the M.S. Mahendra Ring. Survivors include his wife, Doris; children Mary (Philip) Reininger, Ross (Riela), Tom (Sonia), Carrol (Raymond) Jacob, William (Shirley) Kneuper, and Robert (Barbara) Kneuper; nineteen grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Vitas Hospice, 5430 Fredricksburg Road, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78229.
CARL J. SCHNEPF, JR.
The I.B.M. Office has learned that Carl J. Schnepf, Jr., 77, of Indianapolis, Indiana, died June 26, 2012. His I.B.M. membership number was 29835, and he had been a member since 2003. He was a member of Ring 10, the Gene Keeney Ring. He also was a member of the S.A.M. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife of fifty-eight years, Laurel; son Carl (Mary Jo), grandson Christopher (Sarah), and Ryan (Karen); grandchildren Nicolas, Michael, Elizabeth, and Rebecca; and brother, Paul (Sheila). Memorial gifts may be made to Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ, 603 N. New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
WILLIE E. SHIRLEY
Willie Eugene (Gene) Shirley, 76, of Apopka, Florida, died November 9, 2012. His I.B.M. number was 33843 and he had been a member since 1979. He was a member of Ring 170, the F.A.M.E./Bev Bergeron Ring. He was the president of the Florida Association of Magical Entertainers for five years. He was an elementary school teacher with Orange County schools, and a pastor of several churches. He was a Christian magician, ventriloquist (his dummy was “Joey”), escape artist, and balloonist. He graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, William Carey College, and Rollins College. He was the first magician to work with the Orlando Magic professional basketball team, and helped introduce their first uniforms. Once a hospitalized boy spoke for the first time, in response to Gene’s dummy, Joey. Some called it a modern medical breakthrough; others called it a miracle. His life was full of such stories. He and his wife took a suitcase of bibles on cruises they took, and they gave them all out before they returned. Survivors include his wife of fifty years, Monnie Rose; sons, Greg, Dean, and Barri and their families; and seven grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made in his name to Operation Christmas Child, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607-3000.
MURLIN R. WENZEL
Murlin Ray Wenzel, 51, of Orem, Utah, died October 29, 2012, after a long battle with cancer. His I.B.M. member number was 57981, and he had been a member since 1997. He was a member of Ring 193, the Len and Thalia Swinyer Ring. After serving a mission in Mexico for the Mormon Church, he toured with the Young Ambassadors, and finished his B.S. degree from BYU. He worked for Novell/IBM, programming, teaching, and traveling. In addition to his interest in magic, he was a small aircraft pilot, flew remote control helicopters, and was a ham radio operator. Survivors include a brother, Eddison Lyman (Robyn); nephew, Corbyn; nieces Natacha, Danielle, and Harlie; and many cousins.