In Memoriam

By Staff

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.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines