The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

13 Jul

Six Magicians Honored in July 2015 Broken Wand

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK





Recently the I.B.M. Headquarters learned that Harry Davies, 89, of Nantwich, England, died September 8, 2014 after a long illness. He was a former member of the I.B.M., and Ring 25 (London, England). He was a member of the Mahatma Magic Circle in Liverpool. He was president and a founder of the Exclusive Magicians Club, a small group of magicians who met regularly to discuss and talk magic. He always had a deck of cards with him, and frequently performed his favorite effect, “Endless Chain.”




Jeffrey Robert Jonathan, 58, of Guilford, Connecticut, died March 16, 2015. He was a former member of the I.B.M. Born in Glen Cove, New York, he graduated from Middlebury College and Columbia University. Early in life he developed a love for the outdoors -- hiking, backpacking, camping, etc. He taught at Hamden Hall School, and was Headmaster at Cold Springs School in New Haven. He also served for many years as Director of Camp Programs at Camp Treetops in Lake Placid, New York. In addition to the outdoors, other hobbies included magic, puzzles, cheese, fine food, and his two dogs. Survivors include his three daughters and their families: Eliza, Sarah and AJ; sister Cythia Bunker, and brother William. Memorial contributions may be made to Cold Springs School, 263 Chapel St., New Haven, CT 06513, or to North County School/Camp Treetops, 4382 Cascade Rd., Lake Placid, NY 12946.




The I.B.M. headquarters recently was notified that Robert M. Lilly, 72, of Narrows, Virginia, and Sun City Center, Florida, died July 8, 2014. His I.B.M. member number was 37325, and he had been a member since 1981. He was a member of the Order of Merlin (twenty-five years a continuous member). Born in West Virginia, upon graduating from Concord College, he began his teaching career in Gap Mills, West Virginia, and continued for almost forty years as a teacher, coach, and administrator with Giles County Public Schools. In addition to learning and magic, another life-long passion was music. Survivors include his wife of fifty-two years, Carol; son Robert (Bobby) Jr. (Tia); daughter Terri (Patton) Lowe; three granddaughters; and two sisters, Linda Vernon and Dreama (Cleve) Settle. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 398, Narrows, VA 24124.




Thomas (Tom) Schmitt, 78, of New London, Wisconsin, died May 10, 2015. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1981-2004). He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin/Oshkosh, and then spent forty years in education. He started as an eighth grade teacher at St. Joe’s in Appleton, and then served as a guidance counselor in New London, Oconto, and Montello. During his life Tom enjoyed many hobbies, including owning Schmitt Bikes, hunting, fishing, gardening, purple martins, and magic. Survivors include his wife, Joan; children Mark (Gwen), Bryan (Jill), Mike, and Anne (Jeff); ten grandchildren; sisters Ginny (Donny) and Carol (Nick); and brother, Lee. Memorial contributions may be made to: Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047, or contact




Nancy Spencer, 94, of England, died recently. She and her late husband, Ron, for many years performed a well-known mental telepathy act called “Minds in Harmony” throughout the world. She regularly attended magic conventions, especially those of the British Ring and the Northern Magic Circle. According to her longtime friend, Paul Guy, her maiden name was “Smiles,” and she earned and personified that name her entire life. 




James (Jim) Vincent Whiting, 88, of Los Angeles, California, died March 30, 2015. He had lived with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for fifteen years. His I.B.M. member number was 44387, and he had been a member since 2002. He was a member of Ring 76 (San Diego). Born in Canton, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Watkins Glen, New York. He served in the U.S. Navy. He studied cartooning in Chicago and New York City before returning to Watkins Glen to raise his family. He had cartoons published in The Saturday Evening Post, Look, and many other magazines. Beginning in 1956, he hosted the “Morning Show” for KFLR radio for twenty-eight years. He moved to San Diego in 1984 where, at age 58 he refocused on cartooning, drawing illustrations for books, manuals, newsletters, advertisements, and websites. He founded the Southern California Cartoonists Society, and started the annual “Cartoonists Day” at the San Diego Blood Bank. In 2005 he published a memoir, “Analecta: Selected Reflections of a Cartoonist’s Life.” He loved playing tennis, playing until age 86. He drew cartoons for the Ring 76’s newsletter, and designed the artwork for their annual convention (complete with a playing card). He donated his extensive magic book collection to Ring 76. Survivors include his wife of sixty-nine years, Bernita; five children: Jim (Patricia), Donna (Harry) Orlyk, John (Mary), Andi (Frank) Osborne, and David (Susan); eleven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; and three sisters-in-law, Ruth, Mila, and Joan.





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