BROKEN WAND -- NOVEMBER 2016
LYLE F. ALBRIGHT
Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters was notified that Lyle Frederick Albright, 89, of West Lafayette, Indiana, died December 27, 2010. His I.B.M. membership was 6133, and he had been a member since 1937. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 219 (Lafayette, Indiana). Born in Bay City, Michigan, he received B.S.E., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He worked for Dow Chemical Company, E.I. duPont de Nemours (Manhattan Project), and Colgate-Palmolive. From 1955 until his death he was a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University. He also taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas, and Texas A&M University.
CATHERINE M. ATKINS
Catherine Mary Atkins, 96, of England, died May 23, 2016, according to the Ring 25 magazine, Key Ring. She was the widow of magician Jeffery Atkins, and was his assistant for many years. She was a medical doctor, raised three children, and attended many magic conventions with her husband over the years. She was an honorary member of The British Ring, Ring 25.
JOSEPH T. CAFFALL
Joseph Thomas Caffall, 72, of San Jose, California, died September 30, 2016, from complications with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He held I.B.M. member number 30701 since 1976. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 216 (San Jose, California), and the Society of American Magicians (Assembly 94, in Palo Alto), The Mystic 13, and the Magic Garage. Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, he earned a Business Administration degree at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation he served in the U.S. Air Force for eleven years, and then moved to California. As a magician, Joe performed at parties, picnics, festivals, libraries, and an occasional restaurant. In his retirement years he called his shows, “Grandpa Joe’s Amazing Show.” He also had an eclectic collection of interesting T-shirts, such as “Slow Down, Life is Good.” Survivors include his wife of fifty years, Kathy; daughter Kitt and her wife, Cynthia Morris; daughter Megan (Donald) Garrett; daughter Jennifer Eversole; son, Paul; brother, William (Marcia); sister, Elizabeth (Earl) Loop; and four grandchildren.
JAMES M. DYKO
James M. Dyko, 69, of Toledo, Ohio, died September 23, 2016, after a year-long battle with brain cancer. His I.B.M. membership number was 20313, and he had been a member since 1974. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 68 (Toledo, Ohio), and the Society of American Magicians (Assembly 105). He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Toledo, paying his tuition by doing magic. His working career was diverse: first thirty years teaching the deaf with the Toledo Public Schools, retiring in 2002. Later he taught American Sign Language (ALS) as a foreign language, at the University of Toledo -- without speaking a word, even though hearing himself. His students were shocked as he spoke while passing out the final exam. He used magic in the classroom, even writing his master’s thesis: “The Use of Magic as a Teaching Tool in the Classroom.” He even created a forty-five-minute stand-up magic show in ALS. He was one-third owner of the Toledo Magic Shop. In addition to magic, other hobbies included Boy Scouts, bird watching, and traveling to all states except Hawaii. Survivors include his wife of forty-seven years, Cathy; son, Andy; brother, Robert (Linda); sister Darlene (Jerry) Hargraves; in-laws, Daniel (Diana) Corcoran; Sharon Corcoran; and Rose (Jim) Smith. A Broken Wand Ceremony was held in his honor.
ROGER A. EDGAR
Roger A. Edgar (Roger Linden), 91, of St. Charles, Missouri, died October 6, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 35898, and he had been a member since 1980. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 1 (St. Louis, Missouri), and the Society of American Magicians. Born in England, he came to the United States when he was young. He worked for many years for General Cable, and also served in the United States Army during World War II. In his early years of performing magic, he and his late wife, Regina, performed together. He performed using the stage name Roger Linden, but many people knew him only by that name. Survivors include daughters Jean (Edward) Szoko, and Maureen Ward; brother Barrie; grandchildren Stephanie (Scott) Meyer. Michael Szoko (Sarah Wood), Nicholas Szoko, Joseph (Anne) Ward, Andrea (Roy) Hong, Jennifer (Jason) Hackler, Dean (Laura) O’Hara, and Colleen Murphy; and ten great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Honor Flight of St. Louis: www.gslhonorflight.org. A Broken Wand ceremony was performed in his honor.
GARY G. FLESHER
Gary Glenn Flesher, 70, of Venice, Florida, died September 18, 2016, of cancer and other health problems. His I.B.M. membership number was 60788, and he had been a member since 1999. He also was a member of Ring 81 (Sarasota, Florida), and Ring 303 (Fort Myers, Florida). Previously he was an active member of Ring 50 (Washington, D.C.) until moving to Florida in 2012. He was a classical magician, featuring award-winning manipulations, classical dove magic, and several signature magic effects, including the show-stopping floating card box, his own creation. He performed his Parlor Magic Show at the Westin Hotel in Washington, D.C., and later in Florida. He performed as Glenn Gary, and formed Glenn Gary Productions to produce live variety shows around the Sarasota County, Florida, area, as well as to produce The Cabaret of Magic in Venice, Florida. Among survivors are his sister, Jeanne Lynch.
KENNETH E. FLETCHER
Kenneth (Ken) Edward Fletcher, 79, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, died September 9, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 14809, and he had been a member since 1976. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 9 (Atlanta, Georgia). Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He had a life-long love of magic, and in an effort to elevate the image of magic shops in the public eye, he created the Magic Masters chain of magic shops. Starting in 1973 in Westbury, New York on Long Island, shops were added in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, New Orleans, Shreveport, Orlando (Downtown Disney), and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The stores were designed to look like an upperclass, scholarly library in order to attract an adult audience. And that they did, bringing many magicians to this performing art form. The shops were known for many introductions, not the least of which was Rocky Raccoon and his realistic furry spring animal friends. In addition to his love of magic, he was a long time baseball fan. Among survivors are his wife, Susan, sister, Pam, and brother, Bob. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association in his name.
PAUL R. FRIED
Paul R. Fried, 89, of Cranbury, New Jersey, died October 3, 2016, following complications from a fall and surgery. His I.B.M. membership number was 17911, and he had been a member since 1960. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excalibur (fifty years a continuous member). Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927, his immigrant father died when he was eight. He got his first job as a newspaper boy at age nine, helping support his family. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Navy just before his eighteenth birthday, to avoid being drafted in the Army. After the war, he went to Brooklyn College on the GI Bill, and taught history for a couple of years. But that wasn’t for him, so he formed Paul Fried, Inc. and manufactured magic tricks and jokes. In 1960, he married Rhea and they bought D. Robbins and Co. from David Robbins, which he started in 1916. Robbins manufactures, imports, exports and distributes magic tricks and books, jokes, and novelties, selling wholesale to magic shops and dealers. Fried ran the company -- including the popular E-Z Magic line -- with family members as employees, for over fifty-six years. Many people consider him the “Godfather of the magic business.” Survivors include his wife of fifty-six years, Rhea; daughters Barbara and Elise; and grandson Julian Lucas Moana Fried. An In Memoriam appears elsewhere in this issue.
HENRY A. GOODALL
Henry Alan Goodall, 92, of Witham, England, died July 17, 2016, according to the Key Ring, the magazine of the British Ring, Ring 25, of which he was a member. He performed using the stage name Henrique. He was raised in Devil’s Acre, an impoverished and rough part of London. He was the youngest of eight surviving children. Later he had his own band, playing drums and the piano, and performed in variety shows as a comedy magician. He was a full-time professional entertainer. He always had pocket tricks with him and would entertain wherever and whenever he could. Survivors include his four children: Lorna, Robert (Bob), Miriam, and Wendy; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
PAUL K. HAMMONS
Paul Kevin Hammons, 66, of Irrigon, Oregon, died September 25, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 47757, and he had been a member since 1991. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He served in the United States Navy for six years, with two tours in Viet Nam. For over thirty years he worked as a Quality Control Administrator for several companies. He was a natural clown and performer. He attended Clown College at the University of LaCross, Wisconsin. He loved to perform magic, especially for his many nieces and nephews and their children. He never stopped being a kid. Paul performed as “Strawbelly” to his wife’s “Strawberry” (or “Checker’s”). He was a master balloon twister. He was active in several Southern California magic clubs, taught classes on Hospital Clowning at Presbyterian Hospital in Whittier, California, and performed magic in forty states and China. Survivors include his wife of twenty-five years, Charlene.
MICHEL D. JOUAN
Michel Daniel Jouan, 71, of Verrieres-le-Bulsson, France, died August 29, 2016, of cancer of the bones and lungs. His I.B.M. membership number was 64656, and he had been a member since 2004. He was a member of Ring 343 (Nantes, France), and Ring 358 (Paris, France). He was an international man of knowledge, and was well-known in the scientific community. He taught for many years at the Central School of Paris, and was fondly remembered by former students. Among survivors is his wife, Rosine, a major teacher in Paris. She always accompanied him to the conferences he attended.
STEPHEN J. KONZEN
Stephen John Konzen, 64, of New York City, New York, died August 11, 2016. He held I.B.M. number 40014 since 1985. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 26 (New York, New York). He lived in East Village in Manhattan, and was considered by all as “an original.” He worked for Newsweek magazine. His father, John, dabbled in magic and got Stephen (and his wife) interested in it. Stephen and his wife, Elizabeth, performed together as “The Konzens” until her death in 2004. They performed at many venues, including Washington Square Park, birthdays, Blue & Gold dinners. city festivals, and private parties. They even spent one summer performing for people standing in line at the Statue of Liberty. They produced. hosted, and performed in a local cable access series in the 1980s called “The Modern Masters of Magic.” They also edited the local magic newsletter, “The Blinking Ring.” Their signature effects were: “The Schackles,” “Tissle & Tassle,” “Disappearing Birdcage,” “Linking Rings,” and “Strait Jacket Escape.” Later Stephen performed alone as “The East Village Magicman.” He had an extensive library of magic books and LP records. He loved to cook for other people, and hosted popular holiday parties. Survivors include brothers John, Edward, and Paul; step-mother Edith; and a host of nieces and nephews. A Broken Wand ceremony was performed at his wake.
Volkmar Mrasek, 77, of Hermannsburg, Germany, died June 5, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 22498, and he had been a member since 1968. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). Born in Ploscha (formerly Germany, today the Tcheque Republic), he studied mathematics and history in Gottingen and Munich, and was a teacher and headmaster at a high school in Hermannsburg, Lower Saxony. He retired in 2002. He loved magic, especially micro and card magic based on mathematical principles. He attended many magic conventions, throughout Europe, and even in the United States (Abbott’s Gettogether, Norfolk, Magic Castle) and Canada (Quebec). His last convention was in Rimini in 2015. He was active in helping organize magic meetings in Northern Germany, including inviting international magicians to come and lecture. Survivors include his wife, Marianne.
Samuel Oddo, 90, of Elburn, Illinois, died September 30, 2016. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1981-2015). He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of the Society of American Magicians. He was a long-time fixture in the Chicagoland magic community, including Ring 43 and Assembly 148. A Marine veteran of World War II, he enjoyed tablehopping at bars throughout Chicago, carrying his magic stuff in a doctor’s bag. He performed well past age eighty-nine, and often said, “Magic keeps you young.” He loved going to magic conventions, hanging out with fellow magicians, and finding a bunch of lay people to amaze. He also loved inspiring and mentoring younger magicians. Survivors include his children, Linda Houren, Michael (Marion), Paulette Ortiz, and Paul, and their families; grandchildren, Eli, Arielle (Pete), and Alex; and one great-grandchild; and brother, Tony (Carol).
PAUL F. OSBORNE
Paul Ferris Osborne, 68, of Dallas, Texas, died October 3, 2016, from a sudden and unexpected cerebral hemorrhage. His I.B.M. member number was 39473, and he had been a member since 1984. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He became interested in magic when, at age five, local magician Mark Wilson performed at his birthday party, and gave Paul his TV Magic Kit. Paul developed his own act and performed throughout high school and college, paying his tuition. He won Best Club Act and Best Act trophies at a Texas Association of Magicians convention. Even while he was an accomplished magician, be became an equally accomplished illustrator and designer. He was a dreamer -- he wanted to take magic to a higher level. In 1973 he formed Paul Osbourne and Associates, and designed complete shows for theme parks across the country, such as Six Flags, Disneyland, Cypress Gardens, and Great Adventure. The company specialized in creating characters, and designing the costumes, puppets, magic shows, props, and sets -- everything. They also created all of these for Broadway and television productions. He and his company set the standard for family shows, for live productions, for big stage events. And his plans and blueprints and sketches are works of art, appreciated for themselves as much as the actual illusions they depict. They are compiled in a series of thirty books, all collector’s items. His client list was (is) a Who’s Who of magic: David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, David Blaine, etc., as well as other show business celebrities (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, David Bowie). Throughout his world-wide fame he remained in Dallas, in a warehouse off Stemmons Freeway. He had one of the largest collections of magic illusions in the world, second only to Copperfield’s, according to a profile in the October 2012 issue of “D” magazine. A note on their website says: “Please rest assured that Illusion Systems will continue to exist and operate as we always have in spite of the sudden and untimely passing of our creator, Paul Osborne.” Survivors include his wife, Michelle. There is an In Memoriam to him elsewhere in this issue.
JAMES W. PAYNE
James William Payne, 87, of St. Albans, West Virginia (formerly of Belleville, Michigan), died October 7, 2016. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1977-2015). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member), and the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. He founded and operated a metal fabrication company, Payco Inc. He was actively involved with the local school board, amateur radio, and his church. He was a Christian magician, using magic to proclaim the gospel. Survivors include his wife, Jean; sons Jim (Dale), Tom (Cathy), and Bob (Becky); daughter Kathy (Jim) Robinson; step-sons, Ed Burgess, and Dan (Beth) Burgess; step-daughters Mary (Mike) Standifar, Carolyn (Jeff) Brady, and Sara (Randy) Rausch; three grandchildren. nineteen step-grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and seventeen step-great-grandchildren.
KEITH T. PONTIFEX-PRICE
Keith Thomas Pontifex-Price, 64, of Herefordshire, England, died July 24, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. His I.B.M. member number was 58604, and he had been a member since 1998. He was a member of Ring 25 (The British Ring), the International Magician’s Society, Hereford Magical Society, Blackpool Magicians Club, and the Acorn Magic Society. He was the youngest-ever foreman at Dales, before starting and running his own construction company with his wife. His magic shows were known for often going on well past three hours, keeping audiences captivated the entire time. The story is told of one of his daughters falling asleep inside one of the illusions she was assisting with, because it was well past her bedtime. He just went on to the next illusion. He was passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation. He built a mini-theater, a magic library and a museum for them. He started the Acorn Magic Society to teach aspiring magicians, and to give them a place to practice as well as to get valuable performing experience. His dream and legacy will continue. Keith is survived by his wife, All; four children, and two grandchildren. His wife; daughter, Morgan (The Amazing Morgan); and granddaughter Beau are all continuing with magic.
THOMAS S. RUH
Dr. Thomas Scott Ruh, 79, of St. Louis, Missouri, died September 16, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 24275, and he had been a member since 1971. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 1 (St. Louis, Missouri). He earned degrees from Gonzaga University (BS, PhL), and Marquette University (MS, PhD). After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois, he went to Washington University, and then to St. Louis University School of Medicine for thirty years. He taught, did research and published extensively. Survivors include his wife of forty-eight years, Mary; daughters Cynthia (George) Cazenavette, and Natalie (Kenneth) Hoemschemeyer; and seven grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities, 4445 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.
JULIAN G. THORNTON
Julian G. Thornton, 76, of Sherwood, Oregon, died August 14, 2016. His I.B.M. member number was 24932, 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 Ring 2100 (The Universe), the Society of American Magicians, and the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he joined the United States Navy after school, and met his wife, who also was in the Navy. After leaving the service, he worked for the telephone company and retired as an engineer in 1990. He became interested in magic at the age of eight, and became an accomplished magician. He was a volunteer adult counselor, as well as volunteered with the local Jerry Lewis Telethon and the local Air Show for many years. Over the years he played King Richard and Santa Claus for the Robin Hood Festival, and later became the Wizard at both the July and Winter Festivals. Survivors include his wife of fifty-one years, Alice; his three children and their families: Matt, Stephanie, Jeremiah, Jacob, and Nathan, Dan, Sarah, Joshua, and Andrew, Leah and Brandt.
David Yorke, 81, of England, died May 27, 2016, according to the Ring 25 newsletter, Key Ring. In the late 1940s he became a student member of the Medway Magical Society and his interest in magic grew over the years, with encouragement of mentors and fellow magicians. With a strong education in a prime mathematical school, he became a Chartered Civil Engineer, employed by the local council. He joined the The Mercian Mystics and The Order of the Magi (Manchester). He performed magic at children’s parties and for adults under the costumed name of Silvan. A Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted in his honor at his funeral. Survivors include his long-time companion, Daphne.