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IN MEMORIAM

Author Photo
By Staff | Feb 1, 1990

It’s tough writing an obituary for a friend, and for ye olde
Reflector, it was always with great pride that I could count him in
this category. RICHARD WIGIM was one of the very first people to
exhibit engines at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion at Mt.
Pleasant. We’re not exactly sure when he started taking a few
engines to this show, but it was in the late 1950s or early 1960s
at a time when gas engines were something that only a very few
people tinkered with. Dick was one of this writer’s first
contacts with enginedom, and his enthusiasm for the hobby had a
great deal to do with this writer’s development as a collector
of vintage engines.

Richard Wigim was born March 26, ,1920 at Ardon, Iowa, the son
of Robert and Nellie Rice Wigim. On September 29, 1950 he was
married to Florence Small at Springdale, Iowa. Dick farmed until
1964 when he took a job with H. D. Cline & Company of West
Liberty, Iowa, remaining with this IHC dealership until 1976. From
that time until his retirement in 1982, Dick was a small engine
mechanic.

A veteran of World War Two, Dick served in the U. S. Air Force.
He was a member of First Church United, the American Legion, Mt.
Calvary Masonic Lodge, and a charter member of Midwest Gas Engine
& Tractor Association.

Survivors include a daughter, Jeanette Wigim of Coralville; a
son, Michael of West Liberty; a sister, Ruthann Cooper of Pueblo,
Colorado; and three grandchildren. His wife died in 1987. Dick
passed away on November 6, 1989 and services were held on November
8, with burial at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Submitted by C. H. Wendel, Atkins, IA 52206.

ROBERT W. VALUKIS, a dear friend of mine passed away August 30,
1989. Struggling with the perils of bone cancer, he fought to the
very end.

A class machinist by trade, Bob was in a partnership business
and later employed by Zymark Corporation of Hopkinton, Mass, as an
experimental model machinist.

Bob was well known in our unique hobby of gas engines and
tractors, and shared a wealth of interesting knowledge with
everyone he knew.

Bob started collecting engines long before the shows started to
be popping all around us, but began to display some of his
treasured collection in Massachusetts during the early
1970’s,to the present. Bob was very well known and well
represented at the ‘Orange Airport’ engine meet each
year.

Bob introduced me to this hobby of antique engines and taught me
the historic significance of these old one lungers. The friendship
that we shared year round will remain with me forever.

Bob’s helping hand will surely be missed in my personal
restoration projects, but his presence will be felt with all my
hobby endeavors.

Submitted by James Tomasetti, 91 Cedar Street, Holtiston, MA
01746.

MRS. DOROTHY WEBSTER of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed away
suddenly, November 25, 1989.

She and her husband Stewart belonged to five engine clubs. They
have been membership chairmen of the Kalamazoo Valley Antique
Engine Club for many years. Stew has been a contributor of articles
to this magazine.

The Websters made many friends as they traveled to different
shows. In addition to her husband, she leaves 1 son, 2 daughters,
10 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, a sister and brother.

Submitted by friends Al and Ginny Branson, Otsego, MI.

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines