BROKEN WAND AUGUST 2016
BRUCE A. BLUMENTHAL
Bruce Allen Blumenthal, 93, of Dunedin, Florida, died April 13, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 42372, and he had been a member since 1987. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 186 (New York Capital District), Ring 42 (Clearwater, Florida), and the Society of American Magicians. He performed as “Grandpa Magic” and loved to make people laugh and smile. One week before he died, he was waiting for something and pulled out his ropes to perform “Professor’s Nightmare” for people nearby. He passed on his love of magic to his granddaughter, Michelle; included his daughter, Nanci in one of his routines; and even started teaching magic to one of his great-grandsons. Among survivors are his daughter Nanci (John) Lutz, and son Jay (Susan); granddaughters Michelle (Bill) Faulkner, and Sarah (Josh) Robbins; grandsons Doug (Erics), Mark (Nicole) and Scott (Sara) Lutz; and several great-grandsons.
RUDI H. EMCH
Recently the I.B.M. headquarters was notified by Jeorge Emch, that his brother, Rudi H. Emch, 86, of Zurich, Switzerland, died in February. He said his brother was a passionate hobby magician from age twelve until he died. His I.B.M. membership number was 64545, and he had been a member since 2004. He also was a member of Ring 2100, The Universe.
DENNIS A. HUBER
Dennis (“Dennie”) A. Huber, 60, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, died unexpectedly, June 12, 2016. His I.B.M. number was 48169, and he had been a member since 1992. He also was a member of the Society of American Magicians. He started twisting balloons at age twelve, and that became his life’s work -- making people, especially children, smile and laugh. He added music and magic over the years, and became a well-known and well-loved entertainer throughout Pennsylvania. He was Executive Director of the Crazy Fest Talent Show for twenty-five years, and held annual Halloween and Christmas parties for area children. He also was an accomplished musician, as the front man for the band Crazy Notions, and the singer and drummer with the band Fire and Rain. He was a dedicated volunteer for many organizations, from the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and Relay for Life, to the ARC of Blair County and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Survivors include his wife, Donna; sisters Kyle Gwin (Ronald) Gallagher, and Heidi (David) Teeter; father-in-law, Dennis Patton; and sisters-in-law Denise Partner, Dixie (Rick) Bilka, and Dana (Jim) Gill. Memorial contributions may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County, or to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
The I.B.M. Headquarters recently received notice that Arvid Huss, 65, of Cape Town, South Africa, died December 26, 2015 after a prolonged illness (renal failure and diabetes). His I.B.M. member number was 30106, and he had been a member since 2009. He became interested in magic as a youngster; as a South African Springbok Scout, he took up magic to earn his entertainers’ badge. He was a founding member of the East Rand Magic Society and later was president of the South African Magic Council. Not a stage performer, he loved to entertain everyone with close-up effects, and encouraged young people to pursue magic. He was a human resources professional, holding a Ph.D. in Leadership. Survivors include his wife of thirty-seven years, Dr. Lesley Huss; and their daughter Heathyr.
ASHOK K. JAIN
Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters learned that Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain, 63, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, died January 27, 2016. He came from a small, impoverished village in rural India, but his love of learning led him to overcome innumerable odds and to eventually earn a doctorate in physics at the University of Belfast. For the past thirty-three years he had a wonderful career as a physics professor, researcher, and engineer in the United States. He influenced hundreds of young people. He learned and taught meditation, self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy to help others cope with their lives. He loved Bollywood films and music, traveling, and playing with his grandchildren. Survivors include his wife of thirty-nine years, Neelam; children Saranga Blaser and Avesh; and grandchildren Aryn, Jaya, and Niam.
Phillip Kosnitsky, 93, of South Burlington, Vermont, died June 17, 2016. His I.B.M. number was 25343, and he had been a member since 1972. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of the Society of American Magicians. He didn’t develop his interest in magic until the age of fifty, but from then on is became an obsession. He performed as “Farvel the Marvel,” performing in a variety of venues, including restaurants. hospitals, meetings, and workshops. He performed a the famous Grossinger’s Hotel, and at the Magic Castle. He is the only magician to win first place in comedy three years in a row at the S.A.M. National Convention. Survivors include his wife, Ruth (“Miss Ruthie”), and his son, and daughter, Jan Tockman.
JAMES A. MAXWELL
James “Jim” Andrew Maxwell, 69, of Sunrise, Florida, died June 9, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 29372, and he had been a member since 2009. He also was a member of Ring 150 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), and the Fort Lauderdale Magic Society. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was a resident of South Florida for more than forty years. He worked for Rechtien International Trucks in Miami for over twenty years. He is survived by his three children, Jill Maxwell, Leah Kitzinger, and Mathew, and their families; two grandchildren, Jason and Carly Kitzinger; two sisters, Kathy Ann Dodson, and Virginia Lynn Corley; and brother, Thomas. A Broken Wand Ceremony and dove release were conducted in his honor.
GORDON G. MCINTOSH
Gordon (“Gord”) George McIntosh, 67, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, died June 17, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 68826, and he had been a member since 2009. He also was a member of Ring 92 (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), and Ring 387. Survivors include his two sons, Chris (Tanya) and Anthony; two step-daughters, Cheri (Dan) and Jennifer (Jeff); and grandchildren Chandelle, Maizie-Skye, Elana, Carmin, Samuel, Bryan, Ryan, Eric, and Austin. A Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted in his honor.
MERLIN D. OLDHAM
Merlin D. Oldham, 68, of Leeper, Pennsylvania, died May 7, 2016 of cancer. His I.B.M. member number was 69709, and he had been a member since 2010. He was a member of the Mystic Magicians of Beaver Valley. After serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in art education. He and his wife owned and operated a pottery shop, New Salem Stoneware. In addition to magic, he loved horseshoes, hunting and fishing. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl; son, Ben; daughter, Tabitha Martin; and Ken Bogle.
THOMAS J. PEIRITSH
Thomas J. Peiritsh, 67, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died May 7, 2016. He held I.B.M. number 33049 since 1978. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 13 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). He was a computer programmer for over forty years, and worked as a magician throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. His performing name was Tom Jay. He and his wife owned The Cuckoo’s Nest magic store for forty years. Survivors include his wife, Linda; daughters Jasmin and Chrislyn; and grandchildren Aeiana, Alaina, and Jaiden.
LARRY C. POAGUE
Larry Craig Poague, 72, of Fairway, Kansas, died June 12, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 35889, and he had been a member since 1995. He had previously been a member 1980-1985. He also was a member of Ring 129 (Kansas City, Missouri). A native of Phillipsburg, Kansas, he earned three degrees from Fort Hays State, and had a successful business career. In addition to magic and making people laugh, he was fascinated with aliens and Roswell conspiracy theories, and for years drove around with a life-size alien in his passenger seat. His obituary said “his dingbat skills were of the highest caliber.” Survivors include his wife, Margaret Ann; children, Larry Jr., Chris and Christel Koranda, and their families; four grandchildren; brother Monte; and sisters, Vicki Estrada, Marcia Press, and Peggy Winters. Memorial contributions may be made to Unity Temple or to the Rime Buddhist Center of Kansas City.
DONALD E. THOMPSON
Donald E. Thompson, 70, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died June 21, 2016. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1996-2013). He also was a member of Ring 29 (Little Rock, Arkansas). He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. He was a Certified Public Manager, and retired as an auditor with the Arkansas Department of Human Services after over thirty years. In addition to being a magician, he was a Master Gardener, and enjoyed watching cooking shows on television. Among survivors is a sister, Joanne Weiss, and a nephew, David Weiss.
ROBERT W. WAITE
Robert (Bob) Warren Waite, 85, of Redford, Michigan, died June 25, 2016, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (2013-2015). He also was a member of Ring 210 (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Performing as “Patches the Clown,” he was an active member of the Ann Arbor Magic Club, the Clowns Around Redford, and the Mid-West Clown Association. In addition to magic, he was active with the Boy Scouts of America, the Civil Air Patrol (recently promoted to Major), the Yankee Air Force (restoring vintage aircraft), and the Parade Company (preparing floats for the Thanksgiving Day Parade). Survivors include his wife, Velma, three children, and two grandchildren.
MERLE L. WRIGHT
Merle Levine Wright, 88, of Montgomery, Alabama, died June 1, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 34629, and he had been a member since 1979. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). In addition to the I.B.M., he also was a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club. Survivors include his wife of sixty-six years, Marie; children, Michael (Bronwyn), Sandra Taylor, Sherrie Adams, and Valerie Mason; eight grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sellers Scholarship Fund, Community of Christ Church, 351 Bell Road, Montgomery, AL 36117.