The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

23 May

12 Magicians Honored in June 2016 Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK




Rev. Joseph Frank Broz III, 61, of Chester, Pennsylvania, died May 4, 2016. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1985-1992). For thirty years he was Pastor at the Independent Bible Fellowship Church in Chester, Pennsylvania. His passions were in the fields of Biblical Scholarship and Bible Translation. While still in high school, he auditioned for and got a job performing magic at Disney World one summer. He got considerable attention in the media, especially for his Indian Rope Trick in a rowboat in the middle of a body of water. After a life-changing spiritual experience and physical healing, he completed ministerial studies and was ordained. His magic skills served him well in the ministry with gospel magic. In recent years, as a Vatican-approved exorcist he was called to serve as chaplain for a paranormal investigative group, the Society for Paranormal Research and Education. Using his magic skills, he often debunked false paranormal claims, like Harry Houdini did.  Survivors include his wife of thirty-five years, Mary Ann; sons Sgt. Joseph IV (Stefanie), and Jonathan; sisters Joanne Ruth and Susie Figley; and granddaughter Ehlene Broz. Memorial contributions may be made to the Independent Bible Fellowship Church, E. 15th and Upland Streets, Chester, PA 19013.




The I.B.M. Headquarters recently was informed that Dr. William M. Futrell, Jr., 74, of Frederick, Maryland, died October 13, 2015. He was a former member of the I.B.M. He was a member of Ring 250 (Fort Collins, Colorado) and Ring 94 (Hagerstown, Maryland). He also was a member of the Society of American Magicians. Born in Rich Square, North Carolina, he received a B.S. degree from Campbell University, North Carolina; a M.S. degree from the University of California, Berkley; and a Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, where he stayed to teach in its math and science department. Later he became Director of the math and science division for the state of Wyoming, retiring in 1996. Creating his alter ego “Dr. Wonderful,” he used magic and showmanship in teaching students and teachers alike how to more easily understand complex math and science ideas. He wrote several books about math and magic, and traveled extensively throughout the world lecturing and teaching mathematics through the art of magic. Survivors include his wife, Leslie.




Billy Dean Godfrey, 63, of Fort Worth, Texas, died May 11, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 48364, and he had been a member since 1992. Survivors include his wife, Jan; daughters Megan (Ezekiel) Compton, and Corey (Cole) Moulton; son, Patrick; granddaughter, Ramona Compton; and brother, Kenneth.




Clifford Stanley Harden, 82, of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, died May 4, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 19638, and he had been a member since 2000. He also was a member of Ring 17 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). He was proud to have served six years with the 33rd Medium Regiment in Cobourg. He was a talented magician (performing as “Hardini”), artist, woodworker, and photographer. He loved teaching magic to others, serving as a mentor to many, among them Neil Croswell, who he took under his wing. Survivors include his wife of almost fifty-nine years, Marie; daughters Rose Marie (Rob) Walker, and Wendy (Randy) Crawford; son, David (Trish); grandchildren, Sarah Walker and Shauna Yarrow-Harden. Memorial contributions may be made to Lakeridge Health Foundation Cancer Center, or to the Canadian Diabetes Association.




Maurice “Mo” Stanworth Howarth, 93, of Brierfield, Burnley, England, died April 21, 2016. He was a member of the Modern Mystic League; the Order of the Magi, Manchester; the Pendle Wizards; and the Cavendish Knights of Close-up Magic. Mo was almost literally born into the theater. His mother was pregnant with him when she performed as a successful ventriloquist (which her brother taught her). At age five Mo’s mother and father taught him simple magic tricks and ventriloquism, and he pursued them into his teens. But he gave them up for a ”proper job,” which was drawing, draftsman and producing engineering drawings. Later he drew maps during World War II. After retiring, he became a semi-professional magician, giving shows in clubs and at various masonic events. He wrote a monthly column “Mo’s Moan” in the MeMeL magazine for over fifty years. He published fourteen magic effects in that magazine and invented many more. His longtime friend, Dr. Roger Woods, MIMC, ended a long biography on Mo with: “Rest in Peace Maurice Howarth: gentleman, uncle, draftsman, engineer, magician, ventriloquist, artist, raconteur, dog lover, friend and all-around good guy.”




Peter Patrick Thomas Marucci, 77, of Fergus, Ontario, Canada, died May 2, 2016 after a long illness. His I.B.M. membership number was 15582, and he had been a member since 1983. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years of continuous membership). He also was a member of Ring 235 (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada), Ring 2100 (The Universe), and the Society of American Magicians. For over twenty-five years he wrote a column in The Linking Ring -- “Showtime.” For much of his working career, Peter worked for newspapers in news and editorial positions: first his hometown newspapers -- the Guelph Guardian and the Guelph Mercury -- then the Toronto Telegram, and the Toronto Star; and finally, the Guelph Tribune, and then the Fergus-Elora News Express. In the late 1960s, he discovered a box of his old magic tricks, and was reminded that he had performed as a child beginning at age nine, and even took magic lessons from Charlie Rowe. It rekindled his interest in magic. After opening and running the Italian Kitchen Cafe for nearly three years, he decided to devote more time to magic, so sold the restaurant in 1990, promoted his Magicomedy act, and performed for hundreds of events and birthday parties until he was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder in 2010. Over the years he wrote for The Linking Ring, S.A.M.’s magazine M-U-M, and an on-line magic publication. He also wrote a syndicated humor column for Canadian weekly newspapers, “Around Our Place.”  He lectured and performed at magic conventions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Survivors include his wife, Helen; and his aunt Mary. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice Wellington, 795 Scottsdale Drive, Guelph, ON, N1G 3R8; or the Wellington Terrace Long Term Care Home, 474 Wellington Road 18, Fergus, ON N1M OA1.




Dr. Gunter Martin Nashelsky, 89, of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, died April 3, 2016 at the Western Nebraska Veterans Home. His I.B.M. membership number was 9738, and he had been a member since 1947. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excelsior (sixty years a continuous member). Born in Germany, his family anticipated the holocaust and left in 1934, emigrating to Woodward, Oklahoma, where his brother had emigrated as a teenager. The family moved to Colorado where Gunter spent his youth. He joined the U.S. Army, was assigned to Special Services and entertained as a magician. After being discharged he took premedicine courses at Denver University, followed by the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Moving to San Francisco in 1957, he hung out his own shingle; he made house calls, was “house doctor” for the exclusive Fairmont Hotel, and established his own brand of rehabilitation medicine. He met and married an Army nurse, Joan, and they moved to Colorado in 1970, and later to Nebraska. Their love of dogs led to elevating a hobby into raising them until declining health for both resulted in them retiring and moving to the Western Nebraska Nursing Home in 2007. Joan died in 2008. He continued his hobby of writing poetry until the end. Survivors include his son, Marcus (Joan); daughter-in-law Wendy; and grandchildren Shayna and David. Memorial contributions may be made to the Western Nebraska Veterans Home, 1102 West 42nd St., Scottsbluff, NE 69361.




Douglas (Doug) J. Nieland, 78, of Richmond, Kentucky, died April 22, 2016. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1957-2014). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excalibur (fifty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 198 (Lexington, Kentucky). Born in Guttenberg, Iowa, he taught in the Department of Recreation at Eastern Kentucky University for thirty-one years. In addition to magic, his hobbies included photography, nature, collecting baseball cards, and he was a philatelist and a numismatist. Survivors include his wife, Anita; son, Eric (Delma), and daughter Lisa (Garren Ruggabear) Juvette; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild; step-daughter Alisia (Lonny) Robinson; brothers-in-law Keith (Verna) Martin, and Vernon Guibro, among other relatives. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Compassionate Care Center, 350 Isaacs Lane, Richmond, KY 40475.




Walter Jackson (Jack) Ogletree Jr., 76, of Orlando, Florida, died April 30, 2016. His I.B.M. membership number was 37671, and he had been a member since 1982. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 170 (Orlando, Florida). He retired after twenty years in the United States Navy. At the age of forty he went to college and earned a nursing degree, and then spent fifteen years working in the emergency room at Florida Hospital. Before she died, he and his wife of fifty years, Maryrose, traveled extensively, visiting all fifty states. Survivors include his son, William III; grandchildren Amanda, Jordan, and Shelby; and great-grandchildren Kaitlynn, Aiden, Patricia, and Damon.




Thomas J. Peiritsh, 67, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died May 7, 2016 of cancer. His I.B.M. number was 33049, and he had been a member 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). He worked as a computer programmer for over forty-five years. He performed magic as the magician Tom Jay, and owned The Cuckoo’s Nest Magic Shop for over forty years. Among survivors are his wife of forty-four years, Linda; children Jasmin and Chrislyn; grandchildren Ariana, Alaina, and Jaiden; and brother, Joseph (Teresa). 




Brian Spencer Penman, 58, of Christchurch, New Zealand, died May 7, 2016 following a long battle with cancer. He was a former I.B.M. member (1993-2000). He was a member of the Canterbury Society of Magicians for twenty years. His stage act was called “The Magic of Brian Penman,” in which a highlight was the production and disappearance of doves. He also featured a rabbit, to the delight of children in the audience. His magic act complemented his family’s other business activities. They had show ground and carnival bounce castles, go-carts, mini-golf, balloon animals, and sold many items such as windmills and toys. In addition to his entertainment activities, he also enjoyed fishing, ballroom dancing, and owning and managing rental properties. Survivors include his wife, Linda; mother Gwyneth; son Martin; daughters Amanda and Natasha; and granddaughter Jazmine. A Broken Wand Ceremony was performed at his funeral, after which several white doves were released into the clear, blue sky, creating smiles and tears of emotion.




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters was notified that Sy Sussman, 85, of Westbury, New York, died January 11, 2016. His membership number was 9326, 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 and his partner, Mike Tannen (Lou’s brother) opened the Funny Store Magic and Joke Shop on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway in New York City. It quickly became a hangout for magicians as well as the place to go if you aspired to become a magician. Sy was patient and took time to teach how to use the tricks he sold. He also was a pioneer in magic mail order selling. He is credited as having created the full-page ads in comic books showing dozens of tricks and gags. The style was widely copied by others. Sy and Mike created and manufactured many magic tricks and joke items, including the Penetration Frame and the Rolling Barrel. Sy also developed the first self-defense Pepper Spray. In later years he ran Circle Magic Shop at 52nd Street and Broadway. Among survivors are his daughters Robin and Lisa. His legacy will live on since his grandchildren, Tasha and Jazz, are members of SYM and the I.B.M., and his granddaughter, Emma, practices the tricks he taught her.

                                              Tag Powell








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