In Memoriam

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David Robert "Bob" Christian, 76, 9874 Klipstine Road, Versailles, Ohio, died on Monday, March 7, 2005, in Okeechobee, Fla., after a brief illness.

He was born on Sept. 12, 1928, in Darke County, Ohio, the son of the late Ralph David and Esther (Brandon) Christian.

David had worked at Poultry Producers in Versailles for 32 years. In 1977 he established Christian's Body Shop. He served on the Versailles Fire Department for 30 years and was fire chief of Versailles for 14 years.

He was a member of the National Guard and was called to active services in the U.S. Army in 1951 and 1952 as a Staff Sergeant in New Mexico. He was a member of the Versailles United Church of Christ; attended the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church in Gettysburg, Ohio; Versailles Masonic Lodge #290 F&AM; Scottish Rite Valley of Dayton, Ohio; Versailles "32" Club; State and Darke County Plowing Organization. He was a charter member of the Greenville, Ohio, Farm Power of the Past, a lifetime member of the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Assn. (30 years), and the Wayne Grange of Webster, Ohio.

Submitted by Art Gaier.

Verl "Jack" M. Maple, 86, of Rushville, Ind., died Friday, April 8, 2005, at Rush Memorial Hospital.

Born July 19, 1918, in Rush County, Ind., he was the son of Walter H. and Winniferd (Stevens) Maple. He married Hazel Lewis Sept. 20, 1941; she survives.

Walter was a lifelong Rush County resident. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the destroyer escort. Following the war, he continued the family business as a thresherman. He later farmed and eventually retired from the Dana Corp.

He was a founding member of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana. He also held lifetime memberships with the National Threshers Assn. and the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn., among others. He was also a founding member of the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville, Ind. Known to many antique tractor buffs as the "Rumely Man," he was known for restoring Rumely tractors to showroom condition. He provided antique tractor enthusiasts around the world with the finishing touches for not only Rumelys, but for many other makes of tractors as well.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Andersonville, Ind., and the Scottish Rite in Indianapolis. He was also a member of New Salem United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Judy (Richard) Douglass of Rushville and Donna (John) Hunter of Terre Haute, Ind.; five grandchildren, including Steve Douglass of Arlington; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Submitted by the Jack Maple family.

Nathan Douglas Lillibridge, 70, of Griswold, Conn., died April 4, 2005, at The William W. Backus Hospital, after a brief illness with cancer.

He was the son of the late George B. and Odelle (Viollette) Lillibridge. He was united in marriage to Carol Burnett on April 15, 1967, in Groton, Conn. She survives. Besides his wife of 38 years, he is survived by three daughters and their families, Stacey Rae and her husband, Richard, and grandson, Richie, Christy Lillibridge Socha and husband, Stephen, and Aimee Lillibridge and John Reed and granddaughter, Patricia; four sisters, Patricia Gray and Linda Lillibridge, of Lisbon, Priscilla Chinigo, of Garner, N.C., and Natalie Disco, of East Killingly; and several nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family and many life long friends.

Nathan graduated from Griswold High School class of 1953. After high school he enrolled as a welding apprentice at Electric Boat in Groton, retiring after 45 years in welding engineering. In 1963 he was honored by welding his initials in the keel of the submarine Sturgeon.

He was a member of the Army Reserves, receiving his basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. Nathan was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping. He was a member of many local fish and game clubs.

Nate achieved numerous awards and trophies at local and state fairs in wood-chopping, log rolling, ax throwing and crosscut and chain saw competitions. In 1964-65, he was featured as one of the main exhibitors at the World's Fair in New York City.

Nate was a collector-preserver of old one-lunger engines. Many of his restored engines can be found on display at various museums. He was a member of the Coolspring Power Museum, Coolspring, Pa.; Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn., Kinzers, Pa.; and Central Massachusetts Steam, Gas and Machinery Assn., Orange, Mass.

Submitted by Craig Prucha.