LeJay 'Satch' Sottiaux Sr. of Oil City, Pa., passed away Sept. 23, 2003, following a long illness. Satch was a member of the Pioneer Steam & Gas Engine Assn. and enjoyed collecting hit-and-miss engines. Locally, he was known as 'The Economy Man,' a moniker he posted on the front of his well-known Dodge truck.
He loved his family and friends, and was well liked by all who knew him. He enjoyed gatherings that allowed people to visit and laugh, and we will always remember the good times we had with 'The Economy Man.'
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and his three children: LeJay Jr., Carolyn and Wayne Sottiaux. Submitted by Ray and Claudia Shreffter, Oil City, Pa.
Russell S. Meixell, an engine man's engine man, died Oct. 4, 2003.
Russell was born April 29, 1910, and grew up in a farming environment. He recalled that as a child he went to Nazareth, Pa., by horse and wagon with his father to get their first engine, a 3 HP Maynard. The Maynard was taken home and belted to two line shafts, where it ran several farm machines and the family washing machine.
Russell bought his first 'hobby' engine in 1963, a 2 HP hit-and-miss Witte. Eventually, his collection grew to over 100 engines. He was a founder of the Blue Mountain Antique Gas & Steam Engine Assn. He attended meetings regularly, absent only when he was sick. He and his wife, Katherine, were members of the Maine Antique Power Assn. Russell attended every rally at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum except in 1995, the year Katherine passed away.
Russell was interested in tractors, too. In 1957, Russell's father, Charles, bought a Ford 'Golden Jubilee.' When Charles died in 1957, Russell bought the tractor and used it frequently until his final days in 2003. That tractor has been driven by five generations of Meixells and is destined to stay in the family for future generations to enjoy.
Although Russell was always ready to provide help or expert engine advice, his love for old machinery was surpassed by his love for people.
Russell was a man of optimism and few complaints. He was naturally curious and had many interests. He collected coins, cast iron seats, plumb bobs, engine -show buttons and had many admirers. We remember him with fondness and will miss him. Submitted by Ivan Raupp, Morris Plains, NJ.
Robert K. Slicer Henderson, N.C., died Nov. 16, 2003, after a prolonged illness. He was born Feb. 11, 1940. Bob was active in the antique truck and tractor hobbies. He formed the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Antique Truck Club of America in 1998.
Bob filmed and distributed many videos of antique trucks, tractors and museum tours through his RKS Video studio. His work is known worldwide, and his tapes were among the first available in the video industry.
A U.S. Army veteran, Bob worked on Nike missile engineering electronics. Later, he worked for Stauffer Chemical Co.
When he retired to Hendersonville, N.C., he continued his RKS Video business. He and A.B. Wexler, Tom Spencer, Ollie Schaffer, Corky Shaw, Bill Meeker, Lester Brown and Cy Kranick, among several others, made many videos. He especially liked Mack trucks and the Hart-Parr family of tractors. We will sorely miss him. Submitted by Allen C. Smith, Hendersonville, N.C.
Mod West Waynesburg, Pa., passed away Jan. 5, 2004. He was a builder of model engines and enjoyed repairing engines for others. He attended engine shows around the country and received calls from Japan, Canada and all over the U.S. about engines.
Mod is survived by his wife of 57 years, Vaundia; four daughters, Rita, Wendy, Melody and Megan; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was loved by his family and many friends and is greatly missed by all. Submitted by Vaundia West, Waynesburg, Pa.
Bob Shores 73, of Ruskin, Fla., passed away May 18, 2004. Bob was retired from the U.S. Air Force and was a retired electrical-instrument engineer.
Bob was well known for designing and building model gas engines. He was the author of Small Gas Engines and Magnetic Coils, and he recently received the 'Craftsman of the Year' award from Sherline Co.
He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Margaret; his mother, Jewel; two sons, Bobby and Luther; one daughter, Suzanne Hammon; one sister, Ruth Kessler; and four grandchildren. Submitted by Rusty Hopper, Modeler's Corner
We are mourning the loss of Rita Santos, Newcastle, Calif., wife of 57 years to Bill Santos. Rita passed away June 1, 2004, after a valiant battle with cancer.
Rita supported Bill's hobby of antique gas engines and tractors, a hobby that led her to visit many countries through various engine tours. An expert genealogist, Rita had great joy researching her family tree during these trips. Rita is missed by all who knew her. Submitted by William Santos, Newcastle, Calif.