The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

01 Jul

12 Magicians honored in July Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: I.B.M. Website Editor

In the July 2013 issue of The Linking Ring we honor twelve magicians whose deaths we have learned about since the middle of May, when we published the list for June. We celebrate the lives of these men, who devoted much of their lives to bringing joy and laughter to other people. We thank all of those people who have helped honor these men by furnishing to us information (and photos) for these obituaries.


The I.B.M. Headquarters recently learned that William J. (Bill) Anderson, 83, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, died July 29, 2012 of cancer. His member number was 63254, and he had been a member since 2002. He became interested in magic as a teenager, and it became a life-long hobby. He was literally a jack of all trades, from a master plumber and welder, to a carpenter and furniture and antique restorer, He and his wife lived and traveled throughout Canada and the United States over their almost sixty-four years of marriage. Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; children Richard, Heather (Alex) Chiong, and Judith (Mike) Meyer; and grandchildren, Nora, Mark and Tina.


Robert H. Arkley (Bob Ostin), 84, of Lancs, England, died recently. His I.B.M. membership number was 20967, and he had been a member since 1966. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 25, The British Ring; the Liverpool Mahatma Magic Circle, and the “Good Times Society.” He was both a performer and a prolific inventor of magic (close-up and children’s effects). He also lectured widely to magic clubs in the United Kingdom and around Europe.


Byron Charles Cohen, 72, of Kansas City, Missouri, died May 10, 2013. He held I.B.M. member 33115, and had been a member since 1978. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). A graduate of Columbia University in New York City, he retired from real estate development to follow his passion for the arts. He lead the Young Friends of Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the UMKC Gallery of Art, and the Contemporary Art Society, and opened the Byron V. Cohen Gallery for Contemporary Art. Besides magic, another favorite hobby was golf. Survivors include his wife of forty-five years, Eileen; son Mark (Gaye); daughter Toma (Andy) Wolff; and five grandchildren.


Ernest (Ernie) Ray Earick, 53, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died April 27, 2013 from cardiac arrest. He was the business services manager at the University of New Mexico Press, where he had worked since 1986. His driving passion for card magic led him to write his innovative book on the subject, “By Forces Unseen: The Innovative Card Magic of Ernest Earick.” Jon Racherbaumer said, “Ernest was a committed swain of the pasteboards.” Survivors include his wife, Teresa Neudecker, and their children, Sam and Grace.


Gene Grant, 86, of Jackson, Mississippi, died January 18, 2013. His I.B.M. number was 12109 and he had been a member since 1970. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He was a member of Ring 98 (Jackson, Mississippi). That Ring is named after him. He was born in Belfast, Maine, but lived in Jackson for over sixty years. Known as “Mr. Magic” on a local television show he hosted for many years, he marketed many effects (“Wonder Rope”) and booklets under the name “Phantini.” Some of them include: “Phantini’s Lost Book of Mental Secrets,” “Phantini’s Mental Key,” and “Phantini’s Incredible Mental Secrets.” Survivors include a brother who lives in Maine.


The I.B.M. Office recently was notified that Cian M. O’Mahony, 72, of Lancs, England, died June 10, 2011. His member number was 46329, and he had been a member since 1990. He was a member of the British Ring, RIng 25. Among survivors is his wife, who called in the notice.


Charles (Chuck) Gilbert Peterson, 60, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, died March 6, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. His I.B.M. member number was 36840 and he had been a member since 2011. His life work was to help people with disabilities since he was blind most of his life. He was a social worker, working for the Government of Alberta for people with special needs and disabilities. He demonstrated with his own life that even with a disability you could do almost anything. He loved to cook, bake, sew costumes, and paint pictures, in addition to doing magic (which he did for small parties, birthday parties, and special events. He also played guitar and banjo, and was a real cowboy. He was active in the gay community and equal rights. Survivors include his husband, Dale; step-children Johnathan, Joshua (Katrina), sister Pauline, and father-in-law, Mike. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Cross Cancer Institute,11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G1Z2


Andrew (Andy) William Philip, 50, of Unionville, Ontario, Canada, died February 16, 2013. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1986-2000). A high school math teacher introduced him to magic, and they became life-long friends. Although diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease as a teenager, he was never without cards and coins everywhere he went. He was a finance manager at I.B.M. Canada for seventeen years until his health prevented him from working any longer. With magic he was obsessed with presentation and crafting scripts, and he loved performing for children, especially at the family cottage in Port Elgin. Survivors include his wife of twenty-four years, Kim, and their children David and Danielle.


The I.B.M. Office recently learned that Ernest Edward Staggs, 77, of Yuma, Arizona, died February 5, 2012 at home. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (2002-2010), and was a former member of Ring 29 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he was a carpenter, and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.


Leland B. Van Deventer, 92, died May 22, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Born in Loa Angeles, he was a tool and die maker with North American Aviation. He was proud that he made a major support beam for the space shuttle. A veteran of World War II, his hobbies included fishing, photography, carpentry and camping, in addition to magic. He was president of the Orange County Magic Club in California, as well as the Fort Worth Magician’s Club. Known as “Van the Magic Man,” he enjoyed performing for children’s and family groups, especially in church settings. Survivors include his daughter, Ruth (Walt) Porter, step-daughters Sheri (Dan) Sly and Linda (Toni) Kisner; seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.


Joachim Wolf, 77, of Roggwil, Switzerland, died March 18, 2013. His I.B.M. number was 39331, and he had been a member since 1984. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He was a magician for children, using the stage name “Mamac.” Survivors include his wife, Beatrice; brother Ulrich (Gertrud), and descendants Walter, Susanna, Peter, and Uli.


Jose L. Zialcita, 94, died recently in a Portland, Oregon nursing home. Born in the Philippines, he was a big star there in the days of vaudeville, appearing with many of the big stars of the era. When vaudeville came to an end, he transitioned to night clubs, and performed throughout the world, primarily in schools and theaters. He appeared in the very first television commercial ever made in the Philippines. A book was published in Manila in 2003 about him -- “The Great Zialci.” Survivors include a son, Ricky.

« Back