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The International Brotherhood of Magicians

24 Aug

Eight Magicians Honored in September Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK



James B. Bruff, 83, of Ogden, Utah, died January 20, 2015, six days before his wife of fifty-nine years, Jeanne, died January 26. His I.B.M. member number was 24846, and he had been a member since 1972. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years continuous membership). He also was a member of Ring 193 (Salt Lake City, Utah), Ring 200 (North Brunswick, New Jersey), and Ring 21 (Hollywood, California). Born in Brooklyn, New York, he was a vice president for Max Factor Cosmetics, and an Instructor/Owner/Operator of Dale Carnegie Institute. In addition to magic, his hobbies included reading, photography, rockhounding, acting and working on his computer. Survivors include his son, Barry (Susan), daughter Julie (Bill) Reardon, and four grandsons. Memorial contributions may be made to your local animal rescue organization.




David Gale Eastman, M.D., 94, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, died July 9, 2015. His I.B.M. number was 21310, and he had been a member since 1967. He was a member of the Order of Merlin Shield (thirty-five years  continuous membership). He also was a member and past president of Ring 166 (Manchester, New Hampshire). He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and then served three years as a U.S. Navy officer during World War II, in both the European and Pacific Theaters. He earned his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1951. He practiced medicine for twenty-four years in private practice, then eight years in the Emergency Room at Frisbee Hospital. He also spent eighteen years performing physical exams for military applicants in Manchester, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine. After retiring he focused on water and chair aerobics at a fitness center for the next twenty-four years. In addition to magic, he loved to sing in the church choir (over fifty years), travel, and play bridge. Survivors include his wife of sixty-one years, Esther (Toddy); daughter Susan; three granddaughters; and two great-granddaughters. Memorial donations may be made to the First Parish United Church of Christ (Congregational), P.O. Box 228, Somersworth, NH 03878; or to the Frisbee Memorial Hospital, 11 Whitehall Road, Rochester, NH 03867.




Jack Leonard Ellis, 95, of Old Tupton, Chesterfield, England, died May 29, 2015. He was a member of the British Ring, Ring 25, having joined it in 1959. He worked for Trustee Savings Bank. He was a well-known children’s entertainer. A highlight of his career was performing several times at Chatsworth House for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. He was born in Sheffield, and later became a member of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians. He was one of the founders of the Chesterfield Magicians’ Club. After the demise of that club in the 1970s, seven ex-members continued to meet in each others homes on a rotating basis for the next thirty years. Survivors include sons Steven and David, and daughter Katherine, and their families; ten grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.




Lee Grabel, 96, of Alamo, California, died July 27, 2015. His I.B.M. member number was 16219 and he had been a member since 1988. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years continuous membership). Born in Portland, Oregon, as a boy he saw a performance by an old conjuror called Professor Turtle, who planted a love of magic in Lee which lasted nine decades. When he started earning $5 a show (and giving five shows a week) during the depression years, he made more money than his father. Maybe there was a future in magic, he dreamed. While in the U.S. Army during World War II, he entertained the troops. It was while entertaining on a base in Southern California that he met Helen, and they married in 1944. Later she added an “e” to her name, and Helene became his valuable assistant. For the rest of the 1940s and throughout the 1950s Grabel built one of the most spectacular and successful touring magic shows all all time. In 1954 he was chosen by the Great Dante as his successor. (In turn, he passed the torch to Lance Burton in 1994.) His signature act was his “Floating Piano.” But in 1959, at the height of his popularity, he suddenly retired, announcing that he wanted to raise his family in a normal life. He devoted his time to managing his investments and businesses, primarily real estate. He came out of retirement in 1977 for a twenty-week tour in the Western United States. In 1986, Grabel was the subject of a book, The Magic and Illusions of Lee Grabel. Survivors include his wife of seventy-one years, Helen; daughters Cindy and Katy and their families; three granddaughters; and a great-grandson. An In Memoriam was published in the August issue of The Linking Ring.




Jeffrey Allen Pardue, 22, of Cayce, South Carolina, died July 31, 2015. His I.B.M. member number was 71403, and he had been a member since 2013. He was president of Ring 105 (Columbia, South Carolina). He became interested in magic from his older brother, also a magician. He became well-known throughout the Columbia area from his many performances at parties, festivals, schools and restaurants. He began making balloon sculptures, and learned other performing skills, including stilt-walking and juggling. He loved sharing his experience and knowledge with younger magicians, but was always learning from veteran magicians as well. He also was a talented musician, mostly self-taught, including drums and piano. He composed music as well as played it. Survivors include his father Robert; mother Cheri; brother Shawn (Lonna); brother Jeremy (Kelly); sister Shawdra (Chris) Higley, brother Martin (Brittney); brother Tim (Nicole); sister Maitlyn (Eric) Franks; and many nieces and nephews.  




Dwight R. Powell, 82, of Exeter Township (Reading), Pennsylvania, died May 10, 2015. He held I.B.M. member number 63403 since 2002. He was a member of Ring 57 (Reading, Pennsylvania). Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War, and a graduate of Virginia Tech. He was a civil engineer, owning Powell Engineering Contractors since 1971. He also was trails construction manager for the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, among other memberships. Survivors include his wife of sixty-two years, Barbara; sons Kirby (Debra), and Glen (Tracy); daughter Deborah (Kenneth) Fleischmann; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and brother Bruce (Dorothy). Memorial contributions may be made to the Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Virginia Erwin, 224 Plum Lane, Cumberland, VA 23040.




Alan M. Prince, 85, of Deerfield Beach, Florida, died June 17, 2015. His I.B.M. member number was 50976, and he had been a member since 1994. Born in New Jersey, he earned a B.A. degree in journalism from New York University. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked for a newspaper in New Jersey before going to work at the Miami Herald for twenty-five years. Later he taught journalism, first at the University of Miami, and then at Florida Atlantic University. In addition to magic, his hobbies included attending the opera, traveling, and harness racing. He served in several positions with the United States Harness Writers’ Association. Survivors include sister Carol (Prince) Feltman, brother Martin, and sister-in-law Andrea (Eisenberg) Prince. 




John Joseph Randall (Johnny Aladdin), 96, of Las Vegas Nevada, died July 30, 2015. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1972-2001). He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years continuous membership). Born in Connecticut, his parents were immigrants from Ireland. At age thirteen he learned his first magic trick, fell in love with magic, and found he had a talent for it. While in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to its entertainment division and entertained troops in Hawaii. But when he returned to the U.S. to be discharged, Pearl Harbor was bombed, he joined the U.S. Army and performed for troops overseas during World War II. After the war he began developing his famous Johnny Aladdin persona. He was a student of Tenkai in Hawaii and developed his signature routine of “People Sticking.” He could perform his show in several different languages at the same time. Survivors include his longtime partner, Lani; and daughters Jade Randall of Las Vegas and Kelly Sia of Singapore, and their families. 










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