The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

07 Feb

10 Magicians Honored in February Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK


Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters learned that Charles (Chuck) A. Cook, 75, of Oceanside, California, died June 19, 2014. His I.B.M. member number was 70315 and he had been a member since 2011. He was a member of Ring 76 (San Diego, California). He got his first taste of magic at age six while watching his uncle Gerald perform a torn and restored string. Chuck pestered him until he taught him how to do the trick. He was hooked, and loved performing close-up and parlor magic at kids shows and in restaurants. Chuck worked as a chemical engineer, setting up chemical refineries for major companies, including their design and installation. This brought him to the San Francisco region, where he lived with his wife for forty years. He retired in 1996 and later moved to Oceanside, becoming active in local magic activities, including frequent visits to the Magic Castle. Among survivors is his son, John.



Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters was notified that Kenneth Lloyd Cowan, 87, of Brockville, Ontario, Canada, died September 11, 2014. His I.B.M. member number was 15483 and he had been a member since 1955. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excalibur (fifty years a continuous member). As a child he grew up with the family dairy business, called “Cowan’s Dairy.” He later married his wife, Betty, and they had four children: Brenda, Pam, Vicki, and Doug. Lloyd eventually became a real estate agent and was a dedicated community volunteer. He started in magic at age four and was mostly self taught. He took great pride at being able to make people smile and laugh.  



Andrea (Andi) Diamond, 81, of West Palm Beach, Florida, died December 31, 2014. She was the wife of veteran magician Paul Diamond for sixty-two years and often assisted him during his performances. The Diamonds co-owned and ran Paul's Magic and Fun Shop in Ft. Lauderdale for many years.  Survivors in addition to Paul are their children, Wayne, Jodi, and Rick, and their families. 



The Ring 25 newsletter, The Budget, recently reported the death of Leslie W.C. Downham, 85, of Calcot, Reading, Berks, England, in November, 2014. He was a former member of the I.B.M. He was an active member of Ring 25 (England), appearing regularly in the competitions. He also ran two very successful magic auctions, raising considerable funds for Ring projects. He was the last remaining founding member of the Home Counties Magic Society. He was a full-time professional entertainer -- doing magic, Punch and Judy, illusions, emceeing, etc. He also had a Doctor Macabre Illusion Show. He performed under the names of Leslie Dee and Marzinni. He ran the Regency Entertainments agency for many years. 



Dr. John (Jack) Elwood Graham, 81, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, died December 12, 2014, after a battle with cancer. His I.B.M. number was 21391, and he had been a member since 1967. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He was a member of Ring 151 (Ottawa). Born in Kingston, Ontario, he had a Ph.D. in mathematics and retired at age sixty-five as a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His newspaper obituary said his true life passion was performing magic; he performed as Magic Jack. He played an important part in writing the Ring 151 constitution, and always performed at Ring meetings, more often than not with a mathematical theme. He was both a wealth of magic knowledge as well as a collector of historic magic apparatus. Survivors include his son, Mark (Nicee), four grandchildren; and his fiancee, Norma Vaillancourt. Memorial contributions may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.  



Timothy Edward McGowan, 61, of Paragould, Arkansas, died October 9, 2014, after battling cancer. His I.B.M. member number was 48579, and he had been a member since 1992. He also was a member of the Greene County Magic Club, the Northeast Arkansas Magic Club, and the World Clown Association. He retired from Emerson Electric after thirty-seven years. He was well-known throughout Northeast Arkansas and beyond as Elrod the Magician, Clown and Balloon Artist. He also did shows in China, Singapore, and Indonesia. Among survivors are his wife of forty-one years, Sue; sons Matt (Chandra) and Mark (Mysan); five grandchildren; sister Karen McBride; and a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law. 



Richard (Phil) Russell, 84, of Seven Hills, Ohio, died December 28, 2014. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1986-2004). He also was a member of Ring 23 (Cleveland, Ohio). He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War. He was an Allstate Insurance agent for thirty-one years. He was an accomplished church organist for fifty-four years, and scored his own music for his colorful silk magic show. Phil was well known for his Symphony in Silks show, often assisted by his daughter. Survivors include his wife of sixty-one years, June; and daughter Cindy (Joe) Taress. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Building Fund, 7500 State Road, Parma, Ohio 44134.



Oscar Schwartz, 92, of Charleston, South Carolina, died December 16, 2014. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1949-2009). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 257 (Las Vegas). Born in Hungary, he moved to Milwaukee, married his wife, Sue, and moved to Minneapolis, and then to Las Vegas in 1978. He is best remembered as a magician, performing under the name of Buddy Cordae. His hands were featured in the Las Vegas episode of Al Roker’s series, “Going Places.” Later in life he became one of Las Vegas’ most respected personal property appraisers. Survivors include his son Rick (Sean Forestell); sister Nancy (David) Glicksman; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association. A Broken Wand Ceremony was held in his honor.  



Edward Smith Solomon, 82, of Garden Ridge, Texas, died January 4, 2015, just three months after the passing of his wife of sixty years, Delores. His I.B.M. member number was 18614, and he had been a member since 1979. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 18 (San Antonio, Texas). Born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, he entered the U.S. Navy when the Korean War began, attended the Navy School of Music in Washington D.C., and served as a bandsman on several ships. He also served as a radar technician during combat missions.  When the war ended, he attended Central State University at Edmond, Oklahoma, earning a B.A.; then earned a M.A. from North Texas State University, both in Music Education. Ed was well known as a musician and a band director for over fifty years, teaching band, orchestra, and choir in public schools in Oklahoma and Texas for thirty-five years, retiring in 1986. In addition to public school activities he lectured and taught in various advanced settings, wrote articles and teaching materials, and composed three hundred titles for student solo and ensemble instrumentalists. He also was a highly respected magician and the author of over twenty published books about Storytelling Magic.  He often invented and developed “effects” and props from odds and ends he found.  He coached many magicians all over Texas and as a result, built a large and loyal following.  All of his family members and friends loved to listen to him tell his original stories, usually involving both music and magic. Ed was a widely read contributor to many magic journals and traveled throughout the United States and the United Kingdom presenting his lectures and workshops. Writing under the pen name of his alter-ego, DeNomolos, Ed wrote a monthly column in The Linking Ring since the August 2004 issue (Best Column, 2004-05), and wrote the One-man Parade in the October 2003 issue (Best Parade, 2003-04).  Additional awards included: the Order of Willard from the Texas Association of Magicians; the Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick, and the Society of American Magicians in San Antonio named the local chapter of the Society of Young Magicians after him. He is survived by his son, Gregory (Kathleen) of Anchorage, Alaska; son, Mike of Garden Ridge, Texas; grandchildren, Audrey Salmon (Gavin), Ben Solomon, Casey Solomon, Jessica Solomon; and Mike Marijanhovitch; brother, John (Sheila); and several cousins. Memorial contributions may be made to your local music education programs. Visit Ed’s website at A separate tribute can be found elsewhere in this issue.



Stan Tarnowsky, 73, of Mabelvale, Arkansas, died December 21, 2014. His I.B.M. membership number was 49332, and he had been a member since 1993. He was a member of Ring 29 (Little Rock, Arkansas). Born in West Virginia, he owned and operated Arkansas Architecture Contractors. He was an Air Force veteran. He was a talented magic inventor (numerous card tricks) and manufacturer. Woodworking was a favorite hobby and he specialized in making hand-crafted chop cups (over a dozen designs), but could make anything in wood, from subtrunks to clever magic folding tables. His death resulted in an outpouring of e-mails from appreciative Ring 29 members who owned one or more of his prized pieces. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; daughter Tina (Todd) Pence; grandchildren Andrew, Matthew and Emily; twin brother John (Verna); and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Theresa Catholic Church Building Fund, 6219 Baseline Road, Little Rock, AR 72209.




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