CHARLES (FRED) ZERKLE of Casstown, Ohio, age 59, passed away
January 17th. He is survived by his wife Elnora, two children and
six grandchildren. He was retired from Hobart Corp. in Troy in 1981
and was a member of the Tri State Gas Engine Club and also many
He and his family attended Portland, Indiana, Findlay, Bluffton,
Urbana, West Liberty, London, Clifton, and Greenville to name just
a few places. He was a John Deere and Bolens fan and restored a
John Deere L and started on a John Deere MC. He and the family also
collected antique fire equipment. The smallest, a hoze nozzle, and
the largest a hook and ladder truck.
He will be greatly missed by many friends as he knew no
strangers. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Elnora Zerkle, 3760
Burton Road, Troy, OH.
Submitted by Lee Wm Alexander.
‘Big’ JOHN TOTH, 68, of Ukiah, CA passed away on January
30th. A club member for the past ten years or so, and a bona fide
engine ‘nut’ for most of his life, he worked as a mechanic
for the Masonite Corporation for 30 years.
John would get excited about any engine he came across, no
matter what kind it was or shape it was in. Sometimes I really
believe he liked the rusty ones best. He gave every one his best
shot, and the majority came back to life. His ability to accomplish
a lot with very little isn’t seen much anymore. Some of his
engines became his creations, for anyone interested to enjoy, which
is what he did. Often, he would fire up his favorite 3 HP Fairbanks
Morse, then sit down and listen to her sing that beautiful song of
the past, that all of us love so much.
Submitted by Joe Olsen, 301 Jefferson Lane, Ukiah, CA
KENNETH E. DOKTER of Weeping Water, Nebraska died December 25th,
1987, at the age of 75, after a brief illness.
He worked for the Martin Bomber Plant in Ft. Crook, and moved to
Weeping Water in 1947, when he started working for the Olson
Quarry. He liked working outdoors, so acquired several big trucks
and hauled across Nebraska. In 1980 he retired, and in his
retirement years had a hobby of making parts and fixing antique
Ken was one of the founding fathers of Mid-States Antique Show,
Past President and Board Member. He is survived by his wife, Judy,
three sons and a daughter, and three grandchildren. Buried in the
town of his birth, Andover, SD, his death will be remembered by the
word of Rev. Gottberg: ‘If the Lord owns a Cadillac, a Packard
or a Hupmobile, he has someone to fix them now.’
Remembered by his many friends as ‘Doc’, his death
brings much sadness and sorrow.
Submitted by Beth Love, Secretary, Mid-States Antique Show,
RR 1, Box 115A, Ashland, NE 68003.
ALLAN RILEY, featured in the February, 1988 issue of GEM, pages
12 and 13, passed away on December 14, 1987 at the age of 102 years
and 5 months. As an active member of the Western Antique Power
Associates, (WAPA), he and his son Don regularly participated in
engine shows and club meetings. At the age of 101 years, he and Don
exhibited their models at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Country Fair
Days as part of a working display of early farm engines and
equipment presented by WAPA. Allan could laugh and joke with young
children, as well as provide detailed discussions on model building
to adults. He was an inspiration to us all and his memory will not
Submitted by Ken Evans, Membership Chairman, Western Antique