The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

27 Dec

Eight Magicians Honored in January 2015 Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK



Dr. Don “ Doc” Aaron Cunningham, 61, of Radford, Virginia, died November 28, 2014 after a decade-long battle with cancer. His I.B.M. membership number was 67677, and he had been a member since 2008. Born in Dallas, he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in journalism from Texas A&M University at Commerce, and a Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He taught writing at Radford University, and at Virginia Tech. He also wrote three books. For twenty years he worked in the telecommunications industry as an editor, writer manager and engineer. He served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines, 1971-75. In December 2014 Dr. Cunningham was honored as Black Belt Magazine’s 2014 Weapons Instructor of the Year. He was a noted international level competitor in the Olympic sport of Kodokan Judo. Survivors include his wife, Lynn; son Cory (Sonia); daughter Sarah; granddaughter, Eliyana Griggs; sisters Patricia Harris, Mariam Cohen, and Caroline (Doug) Hart; brother Michael (Brigada) McCollum; and brother-in-law Wayne (Judy) Witte. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Radford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 776.




Mark Andrew Diekman, 59, of Northville, Michigan, died December 1, 2014, from complications of diabetes. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1998-2000). Born in Detroit, he attended Michigan State University. He stage name was Andrew Dakota, and he both performed and invented illusions. Survivors include his sister, Shelley Diekman of San Francisco, and many friends.




The I.B.M. Headquarters recently learned that Dr. Ronald David Gladstone, 47, of Roswell, Georgia, died August 11, 2013. His I.B.M. member number was 45910, and he had become a member only shortly before his death. He was a member of Ring 9 (Atlanta). Born in Lansing, Michigan, he was a graduate of the Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Survivors include his father, Marvin (Sandra); sisters Kim, Kari, and Alexis; and several cousins. Memorial contributions may be made to the MSU School of Veterinary Medicine or to Congregation Shaarey Zedek Flower Fund. 




Douglas John Kalcik, 52, of Palm Bay, Florida, died December 3, 2014. His I.B.M. member number was 69583, and he had been a member since 2010. He was a member of Ring 170 (Orlando). Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Electromagnetic Theory from the University of South Florida in Tampa. His engineering career with TriQuint Semiconductor took him to North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida. Among his other interests were the Knights of Columbus, Mensa, and tutoring students. Survivors include his wife, Patricia; son, Bob (Tina) Davis; daughter Marcia (Taz) Davis; and grandsons Patrick and Ryan.




David C. Snetsinger, 84, of Webster Groves, Missouri, died November 23, 2014. His I.B.M. number was 32835, and he had been a member since 1978. He was a Lifetime Member of the I.B.M., as well as a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a former I.B.M. Board member. He was a member of Ring 1 (St. Louis) and Ring 2100 (The Universe). Born in Illinois, he earned a Bronze Star in the U.S. Army, earned a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois, and worked for Purina Mills where he made significant contributions in Poultry nutrition. He became known for his “egg-strodinarily” unique magic act featuring colored silks, matching colored egg yolks and a large chicken ventriloquism figure named Henrietta. He also performed for children in hospitals and for seniors groups. He and his first wife, Phoebe, raised four children, and he was proud and devoted to them and his grandchildren. After she died, he found love again in Barbara, a long-time neighbor, who survives. He also is survived by four children, Penny, Tom, Marmot, and Susan and their spouses; four grandchildren; brothers Bob and Don and their wives; and Barbara’s children, Cindy, Jennifer, Tim, Greg, Kelly, and Melissa, and ten grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association or SSM Hospice and Home Care.




Robert E. Sullivan, 87, of Wilmette, Illinois, died instantly September 26, 2014, when he was hit by a car while crossing the road near his condo in Wilmette. He held I.B.M. member number 7612, 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 was an active member of Ring 43 (Chicago). Pilot, flight instructor, director, theater historian, professor, scholar, sailing enthusiast, kayaker, and magician -- he was a true Renaissance Man. His first big break in show business was in eighth grade with a five-minute magic show at a Knights of Columbus breakfast in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was born. He performed throughout high school and college. He earned a B.A. at Aguinas College in Grand Rapids, and a M.A. at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Drafted during the Korean War, he served as a military liaison for the USO, booking acts and shows from Japan. In the late 1950s, Mr. Sullivan taught at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. He directed hundreds of shows until his retirement after fifty years. He also set up a student magic club. A Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted in his honor at his Ring’s October meeting. He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Marlayne. 

Robert K. Miller




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters was notified that Elliott “Cisco” S. Valderrama, 72, of Alameda, California, died February 6, 2014 from respiratory complications. His I.B.M. member number was 31519, and he had been a member since 1977. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). Born in San Francisco, he grew up in the tough streets of East Los Angeles. In early 1965 he moved to Santa Rosa for a job as a hod carrier for a brick mason. He became a proud member of the Hells Angeles Motorcycle Club in 1966, and worked for many aspects of the film industry for over thirty years. He is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Joann; and sister Virginia McManus.




Stephen “Steve” Trevor Walker, 69, of Castle Hill, New South Wales, Australia, died December 11, 2014. He had attended the Christmas meeting of the Geniis Magical Society and unexpectedly became ill, dying later from an existing liver condition.  His I.B.M. number was 22663, and he had been a member since 1969. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was an active member of Ring 102 (New South Wales) serving as president in 1978-79, as well as newsletter editor. Born in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, he moved to Australia in 1968 and quickly made a name for himself in the magic world there. He was widely known for organizing and hosting magic conventions, arranging lectures, emceeing events, and performing. He was booked and re-booked by numerous corporations, and attended many magic conventions in the United States, New Zealand, Britain and Europe. He was a mechanical engineer by profession.  Survivors include his wife, Ann; brother Graham, and sister Joyce, and their families. Memorial contributions may be made to the RSPCA  Australia, P.O. Box 265, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia.   

  Kent Blackmore


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