The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

25 Feb

10 Magicians Honored in March Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK






Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters office was notified by Anne Booth that her husband, David Booth, of Northumberland, England had died. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1953-2014). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). According to Alan Clarke of Ring 25, David was a university academic and a magic enthusiast rather than a regular performer. He was a magic historian and a member of both Ring 25 and the Northern Magic Circle. He used to attend magic conventions regularly until about five years ago. Among survivors is his wife, Anne.



John W. Bushey, 56, of Duluth, Minnesota, died February 8, 2018 after battling cancer for several years. He was diagnosed in 2003, but surprised everyone -- including his doctors -- by “coming back” several times. Born in Duluth, he graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He was a major collector of anything dealing with escapology, having been a fan since his youth. He had hundreds of sets of handcuffs, as well as other escape-related pieces and collected almost anything related with Houdini. He was known throughout the magic world for those two accomplishments alone, but he also performed widely as a magician and escape artist. He also was a major Bob Dylan fan, hosting his own radio show on KUMD called “Highway 61 Revisited” for twenty-six years, and was a major force behind the annual Duluth Dylan Fest. He was an elementary school teacher; he loved teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders, as well as mentoring young magicians. Survivors include his brother, Jim (Jodi); sister Barbara; and several nieces and nephews.



Dirk William Byrd, 63, of Williston, South Carolina, died December 2, 2017. His I.B.M. member number was 29639, and he had been a member since 2013. Born in Albany, Georgia, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Reactor Controls Supervisor. After the service he worked as a scheduler/planner at Westinghouse and at the MOX facility at the Savannah River site. In addition to magic, he enjoyed astronomy, math, and Scouting. Survivors include his wife of thirty-two years, Dana Kathryn; son, Dane; daughter, Kathryn (Alex) Paavel; in-laws, Myron and Katie Bolen; and sister and brother-in-law, Denise and Jimmie Elkins.




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters office learned that Craig Cole, 71, of Wichita, Kansas, died November 26, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 45753, and he had been a member since 1990. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He was a home remodeler, and called himself “A Pretty Good Magician.” Survivors at the time of his death were: wife, Linda; son, Joshua (Sandy); daughter, Sarah Maddux; three grandsons; three granddaughters; and sisters, Jennifer (Bill) Wiseman, Shelba (Tony) Kruse, and Cindy (Teddy) Pauly. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harry Hynes Hospice or the Wichita Humane Society.



Robert Eugene Copeland, 61, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died January 29, 2018. He was active in the local magic group for many years, specializing in card and close-up magic. As a special education teacher he made a positive influence on hundreds of children. He had a life-long love of music, especially jazz. He performed with all sorts of bands -- rock-and-roll, blues, country, and jazz. He also wrote poetry, songs, and instrumental pieces. Survivors include his wife, Laura Sue; sister, Edith; and daughter, Hannah Camilia Bluhm.




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters office learned that L. Joseph Keller, 89, of California, died May 13, 2015. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1974-2003). He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). Born in Sioux City, he trained as a Navy pilot, then graduated from the University of Iowa. Later he and his wife moved to California, where he was an advertising sales representative in San Francisco. He loved sports, especially tennis, golf and skiing. He was an amateur magician. He and his late wife traveled throughout the world. He was a member of the ROMEOs -- Retired Old Men Eating Out. Survivors at the time of his death included: his children, Bob, Kathleen, and Josh Keller; Barbara Keller; Mary (Keller), and Mattson Austin; Nancy (Keller) and Grae Stevens, James and Quita Keller, Catherine Keller and Freddy Rundlet, and Susan Keller; and by his siblings: Rosemary (Keller) Bernoski, and Mark Keller. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Hilary School Scholarship Fund, 761 Hilary Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920.



William Kent Shelton, 61, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died January 30, 2018. His I.B.M. member number was 46251. Kent, as everyone called him, graduated from Texas State Technical Institute in Amarillo, with a mechanical engineering and design degree. He worked at Burlington Northern Railroad for nine years, then at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque from 1987 until his death. In addition to magic, his hobbies included model railroading, being the official scorekeeper for the New Mexico Scorpions hockey team, a balloon chase captain for hot air balloons, and a member of the New Mexico Gunfighters, which performed 1880s-style comedy reenactments in Albuquerque Old Town. He also played softball in the Sandia National Laboratories leagues. Survivors include his wife of twenty-five years, Susan; six children; and several other family members. 



Wilbur Vaughn Stevens, 92, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died December 30, 2017. He held I.B.M. member number 15848 since 1956, and was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 112 (Chattanooga, Tennessee), and served as president several times, as well as served many years on its Board of Governors. Born in Patoka, Indiana, he worked for Southern Railway (now Norfolk Southern) as a foreman in the diesel shop. He was an active Mason as a lifetime member of the Brainerd Masonic Lodge. Magic was one of the joys of his life and “Vaughn the Magician” brought countless smiles and laughs to thousands of people over the years. Survivors include his son, Jim; sister, Mary Jane Davis; brother, Ben; and many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as one great-great-grandchild. His grandson Bryan devoted himself to the last six months of Vaughn’s life by moving in with him and caring for his Papaw.



Max V. Suko, 84, of Salem, Oregon, died January 24, 2018. His I.B.M. membership number was 13514, and he had been a member since 1952 (sixty-six years). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 238 (Albany, Oregon). Born in Salem, he developed a love of magic as a youth, seeing a magician at a carnival sideshow. His interest deepened with the gift of an A.C. Gilbert Mysto Magic Set and his purchase of Howard Thurston’s “400 Tricks You Can Do.” He put together a magic act and performed at banquets, luncheons, and school events. After studying piano performance at the University  of Oregon for two years, he joined the U.S. Air Force near the end of the Korean War. In the service he performed with an entertainment unit. After leaving the service he performed on television in Dallas and Houston and worked as a disc jockey. By the late 1950s he put together a full-time magic career, working as “Suko the Magician” in clubs, theaters, and schools. He also was an accomplished magic apparatus builder, designing, building and decorating his own props. In 1964 he met and married Jo, and they toured until 1971, when they had a son. They divorced in 1988, and he continued to tour with new assistants, and alone. During the 1990s he stopped touring and performed close-up magic in local restaurants. Survivors include his son, Greg; and several cousins. A Broken Wand Ceremony was performed in his honor.



Thornton Max (Mick) Willoughby, 67, of Tucson, Arizona, died October 29, 2017. Formerly he lived in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and was an active member of Ring 31 (Madison, Wisconsin). He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1989-2001). In Wisconsin they still remember his stunts such as Houdini-like escapes (from a locked straight jacket while suspended twenty feet in the air), and for producing a live Burmese python out of a dove pan. He was key to the prosecution of the Madison Cobra Venom Murder Case of 1978. He moved to Arizona in 2004, continuing his stage illusion performances. He also worked for the Old Tucson Movie Studios as the town marshal. Survivors include his brother, Rocky.















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