IN APPRECIATION FOR THEIR LIFE IN MAGIC
by Dennis Schick • Editor, The I.B.M. Broken Wand
by Dennis Schick • Editor, The I.B.M. Broken Wand
Vanni Bossi, 48, of Italy, died December 6, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 45000 and had been a member since 1989.
Mr. Bossi was an internationally recognized and respected master magician, teacher of magic, president of CLAM (Club Magical Arts), and magic historian. Along with Tony Binarelli, he annually organized a course of advanced techniques of magic, which constituted a "full immersion" curriculum.
The Winter 2005 issue of Gibeciere, the journal of the Conjuring Arts Research Center, contained Bossi's article "On the Prearrangement and Mnemonic Use of a Deck of Playing Cards," in which he revealed that the publication of this technique was in 1593, the earliest publication of this technique discovered to date.
In addition, he conceived and ran an important exhibition in October 2003, showing objects and equipment from ancient magicians, and including a number of prestigious events, including performances.
Extremely creative, his magic effects and methods will ensure his name will have lasting fame and gratitude from current and future magicians. A good friend, Vanni was inspired by the Schulien book, and credited with much of his performing repertoire. With the permission of Jay Marshall, he translated and published an edition of the book in Italian late in 2006.
KYLE E. DELUNG
Lt. Col. Kyle E. DeLung, 84, of Merritt Island, Florida, died July 20, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 10141, had been a member since 1948, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years of continuous membership).
His wife, Bette, who survives, wrote: "He had been interested in magic since he was a teenager but was never a professional. We attended many I.B.M. Conventions, but had to miss the latest one due to his illness. His Order of Merlin pin and certificate arrived and were presented to him before he died. He was so proud. Thank you for the joy that magic was in my husband's life."
Christian Fechner, 64, of Boulogne, France, died November 28. He learned magic at age twelve from a sideshow magician. He became a semi-professional illusionist at age seventeen, including some time with the circus. He was a well-known French movie producer. Since his 1979 FISM first prizes (Grand Illusion for a vanishing bar stool and Invention, for a vanishing television set), he became an icon in magic. He had been a prolific inventor (Floating Piano), collector (over 5,000 books, 500 posters, and hundreds of props), historian, and writer of books. All of these were displayed at his castle in Bordeaux.
CARL T. HUGGINS
Carl T. Huggins, 87, of Huntsville, Alabama, died November 7, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 18715, had been a member since 1962, was a charter member of Ring 194, Space City Magic, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield, with over thirty-five years of continuous I.B.M. membership.
His four passions in life were music, physics, family, and magic. He was an accomplished pianist and organist, sharing his talents in his community at churches, weddings, and recitals. He felt strongly about young magicians and magician assistants, and helped them develop. He was active in directing special effects for the Fantasy Theater and was on its board.
Under the stage name Karl-Tan, he won multiple magic awards throughout the Southeast. As a physicist he was the first to develop and fly a real-time commercial frame rate television system outside the earth's atmosphere in 1961, and was head of the Electronic and Film Imaging and Processing Group at Marshall Space Flight Center.
Mr. Huggins was active in Ring 194, serving several positions. He also was Territorial Vice President for several years. The local Ring honored him by naming its annual outstanding performer award after him, affectionately called the "Huggie."
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, two sons, two daughters, and their families. Mr. Huggins was honored at the local Ring’s December meeting with a Broken Wand ceremony.
GERALD "JERRY" JOHNSON
Gerald "Jerry" Johnson, 76, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, died October 30, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 18271. He was an I.B.M. member for forty-seven years, a member of Ring 19, the Carol Jones Ring, and a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous membership). He also belonged to the Society of American Magicians.
Mr. Johnson's magic career began at age eleven, with a fifteen-cent booklet, and grew into a lifetime of laughter, creativity, leadership, and fellowship. He was active in his local Ring -- serving all officer positions, including secretary-treasurer for fourteen years -- and for twelve years was the I.B.M. Territorial Vice President for Minnesota. He was featured on the cover of The Linking Ring in its October 1989 issue. He wrote two Hocus Pocus Parades the same year, in February and September. He often was a lecturer, performer, and master of ceremonies for many occasions, and was a regular performer at the Ring annual banquet
Outside of magic, Mr. Johnson played trumpet in the 74th Army Band at Fort Campbell, Kentucky while in the service. He taught school in LaJolla, California, worked as an insurance investigator, and as a computer specialist.
Survivors include his wife, Connie, and daughters Pam, Ann, Leslie, and Kim, and their families. A Broken Wand ceremony was held at the November meeting of Ring 19.
JO HAROLD JOHNSON, M.D.
Dr. Jo Harold Johnson, 70, of Lexington, South Carolina, died October 15, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 24010, had been an I.B.M. member since 1971, was a member of Ring 62, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous membership).
A native of Mississippi, he was a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He also graduated from the John Hopkins Medical School and did his residency in surgical pathology. He practiced in that field in the Air Force and at hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Seneca, South Carolina, and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He also attended the Hypnosis Center in Los Angeles. He was a gourmet cook.
Mr. Johnson was an avid magician and was past president of Ring 62. His first love was close-up magic.
Survivors include his wife of forty-eight years, Mary Anne; a daughter, Deborah Michalowski (Greg); son Haley (Heather); five grandchildren, and a sister.
ROBERT J. KURTZ
Robert J. Kurtz, 75, of Amherst, Ohio, died December 20, 2007. He held I.B.M. number 14278, had been an I.B.M. member since 1961, was a member of Ring 23, the Blackstone Ring, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous membership).
WALTER J. MUSIAL
Walter J. Musial, 92, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, died October 24, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 48154, and joined the I.B.M. in 1965.
Mr. Musial was active in the Detroit magic scene for many years, but he and his wife, Julie, retired from the Ford Motor Company to Florida many years ago.
He is survived by daughter Patricia (Gil Clayton); son Robert (Anne), and son Gregg (Arrahwona); two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
ROBERT L. NUCKELS
Robert L. Nuckels, 76, of Iron Gate, Virginia, died recently. He held I.B.M. number 33415, was a member of Ring 222, the Jim Murphy Ring, had been an I.B.M. member since 1978, and was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years of continuous membership).
ALLEN G. ROSCOE
Allen G. Roscoe, 76, of Miami, Florida, died December 7, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 18237, was a member of the Syd Bergson Ring 45, had been an I.B.M. member since 1968, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous membership). Born in Pennsylvania, he spent most of his life in Miami. He was retired as a marketing director for Burdine's after thirty-five years. He was multi-talented. He was a member of the Antique Automobile Association of America since 1960, serving as a past president on its board, and as a respected judge. He directed several bands, played clarinet for the North Miami Concert Band, taught AARP courses, was a private investigator, and was an active member in the I.B.M. Ring which his father, Ernest, helped to found.
Surviving are his wife of fifty-four year, Phyllis; daughters Julie (Jeff) Krantz; Sherry (Jack) Bernstein; and Lori (Brian) Taylor; and eight grandchildren.
WAYNE ALLEN SCOTT
Wayne Allen Scott, 79, of Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, died December 8, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 27860, had been an I.B.M. member since 1985, and was a member of the F.A.M.E./Bev Bergeron Ring 170.
Mr. Scott and his family were well known in the world of clown shoe construction, as well as other circus and magic props. He was a clown for Ringling Brothers in the 1960s, and his wife, Marty, was a seamstress for the circus. Marty and her sons still carry on the tradition of making quality shoes and recently made the shoes for the Broadway production of Wicked.
Three decades ago Wayne made my Head Chopper, Assistant's Revenge illusion, and Vanishing Dove Cage, all of which I still use today, which is a testament to the quality of his props. In the 1970s S.A.M. Assembly 99 held many of its picnics at his unusual house, which he built himself, containing a trapeze bar, a massive clown collection, and a bus next to the living room that could roll out for long trips.
RICHARD R. ZUNIGA
Richard R. Zuniga, 78, of Highland, Indiana, died February 12, 2008. He held I.B.M. number 21415, was a member of Ring 173, the Lake County Ring, had been an I.B.M. member since 1967, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years of continuous membership).