The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

22 Dec

Eight Magicians Honored in January 2018 Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK





John Bryan Atherton, 79, of Trysull, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England, died November 7, 2017, only two days after his wife, Valerie, 74, died. His I.B.M. membership number was 62919, and he had been a member since 2002 (fifteen years).  He also was a member of Ring 25, the British Ring, the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians, the Indian Magician’s Academy, and the British Magical Society. Born in Blackpool, he was a natural entertainer from an early age. He graduated from Sheffield University and became a senior manager in the British steel industry, rising through a number of companies. In 1989 he and his wife, Valerie, formed their own successful steel consultancy and agency, sourcing and supplying steel and industry-related goods to customers throughout the world. He was active in the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians, serving as President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and winning numerous awards, including an Honorary Life Membership for his many years of service. In addition to magic, he had a passion for golf. In recent years he suffered two strokes and cancer, and his wife had heart problems. He is survived by a brother, Ken. A Broken Wand Ceremony was performed at their joint funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, c/o Wombourne Funeral Services, 124 Bridgnorth Road, Wombourne, England, WV5 8AY.




Recently the I.B.M. headquarters office was notified that Jerome Harvey Boxer, 84, of Paso Robles, California, died December 16, 2014. His I.B.M. member number was 30562, and he had been a member since 1976 (thirty-eight years). He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years a continuous member). He also was a member of the Academy of Magical Arts (the Magic Castle). When he graduated from UCLA in 1954, he became a CPA and had his own accounting firm for sixty years. After “retiring,” he continued to use his accounting skills to help seniors and others who could not afford to hire an accountant. He was an accomplished artist in several areas: He grew grapes and made wonderful wines. He even taught a wine appreciation college course. He loved the water and had a collection of boats he called “The Boxer Navy.” Other hobbies included model railroading, clowning and magic. He was a “Giver” and worked hard for many worthy causes and charitable organizations. He and his late wife, Sandra, had two children. After she died, he married another Sandra, in 1980, and she survives. Other survivors at the time of his death, include his children, Michael, and Jodi Antov; a grandson, Ben; and nephews Joel and Ted.




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters office was notified that Robert (Bob) James Hinman, 88, of Albany, Georgia (formerly of Binghamton, New York), died January 23, 2014. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1998-2013 -- fifteen years). He was a member of Ring 42 (Clearwater, Florida), and Ring 79 (Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott, New York). A native of Lockport, New York, he was a World War II veteran, serving in the Pacific Theatre. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and worked for Ansco Film Corporation as a governmental sales representative for many years. Later he worked for Broome County, New York and retired as a supervisor with Disaster Services. He was an avid magician, photographer, and an award-winning marksman. Survivors at the time of his death were four nephews and a niece and their families. Memorial contributions may be made to Child Abuse Prevention, c/o The Albany Exchange Club, 810 South Westover Blvd., Albany, GA 31721.



Donald Ewart Holcomb, Jr., 91, of San Diego, California, died September 21, 2017. His I.B.M. membership number was 61867, and he had been a member since 2000 (seventeen years). He also was a member of Ring 76 (San Diego, California). Born in Berkeley, California, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European Theater. After earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkley, he worked as an engineer for the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory, Rayan Aeronautical, and General Dynamics, and also taught at San Diego State University. He retired from General Dynamics in 1992. Among his many interests were woodworking, photography, and magic. He treasured time spent in photography classes with Ansel Adams. He was a life-long learner and attended many workshops in areas of his interest and passion. Survivors include his wife of sixty-seven years, Elizabeth; daughters Barbara (Gary) Jacobson, and Judy Whitehead; son, Bill; and granddaughters Briana Whitehead, and Christina Jacobson. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or the First United Methodist Church of San Diego Children and Student Ministries.



Henry Lee Langer, 88, of Clermont, Florida, died November 29, 2017 due to complications of surgery. His I.B.M. membership number was 20945, and he had been a member since 1966. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Excalibur (fifty years a continuous member). He also was a member of Ring 258 (Leesburg, Florida), Ring 170 (Orlando, Florida), and the Society of American Magicians. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he also lived in California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida. He got the “magic bug” at the age of five when his father took him to a magic show. During his life he wore many hats. He was a Convention Meeting Planner, a “Guardian Ad Litem,” (a court-appointed children’s advocate), and a world-class balloon sculptor. He owned “The Balloon Box,” the largest balloon distribution agency in the country. Survivors include his wife, Sandy; and children, Ben, Pamela, and David, and their families. A Broken Wand Ceremony was performed at his memorial service. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Sinai, 303A US Highway 27 North, Minneola, FL 34715.  



Earl William Mallick, 91, of Fort Myers, Florida, died September 6, 2017. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1993-1998). Born in Pennsylvania, he enrolled in a U.S. Navy program which put him through Northwestern University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. Later he worked his way through Harvard Law School. A devout Christian, he was an ordained Presbyterian elder for over thirty years. He joined U.S. Steel’s law department in 1949, working in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., where he retired in 1991. Moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina he and his wife, Evelyn, performed magic shows regularly as the “Magic Mallicks.” He also worked in local politics, and worked on behalf of the homeless. They later moved to Florida.  Survivors include his children, Craig (Kelley), Keith, and Joy; and grandchildren, Emily (Chris) Wenstrom, Rebecca (Jeff) Machusko, Sam Rattray, Nora (Graham) Gajewski, Scott Mallick, and Emma Mallick. Memorial contributions are suggested to a homeless organization in your hometown. 




Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters office learned that Arthur (Bud) E. West, 91, of Colon, Michigan, died August 29, 2016. Born in Colon, he lived there his entire life. He was in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving in the North Atlantic on a submarine chaser, and in the South Pacific on a mine sweeper. For over five decades, he worked as a woodworker in the manufacturing department of Abbott’s Magic Company in Colon, building some of the best-known magic illusions in the world. His quality workmanship was known and praised throughout the world of magic. Magicians from around the world came by to meet him when they were in Colon. Even after he retired he continued to build in his home woodworking shop, and old friends stopped by to see him and thank him for all he contributed to magic. At home he built presents for kids -- such as a rocking horse -- among other things. Too often we either forget to thank these “behind-the-scenes” people or do not even stop to think about them at all. Yet what Bud did was critical to the success of so many magicians. Bud’s legacy lives on through his woodworking and building workmanship. In addition to building things, Bud loved fishing. Survivors include his wife of seventy-two years, Nancy; son Patrick (Rolene); twelve grandchildren; and thirty great-grandchildren. Thank you, Bud. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Christmas Fund, 122 East State Street, Colon, MI 49040.



Paul Willers, 78, of Burnley, England, has died, according to the December 7, 2017 issue of the Burnley Express. He was best known as both a travel agent and a magician. Born in Cliviger, after completing two years of National Service he went to work for his father’s company, Central Motors. He worked for two years as a coach driver, but then he decided to become a travel agent. He took over Central Travel and ran it for thirty years. Interested in magic since the age of twelve, he developed a stage act, and also had a Punch and Judy Show. Wendy, his wife of fifty-eight years, was his assistant. Survivors include two daughters, Jennifer and Karen; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.







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