William J. Cooper, 55, Spencer, N.Y. died Jan.
21, 2002. Bill started collecting gas engines in the 1970s and soon
got into the business of locating engines and parts. He was
especially interested in obscure engine manufacturers.
Bill could remember engine names, but often not their owners –
he’d remember them by a personal trait or their profession. He
was especially taken by young people who showed an interest and
tenacity in getting their iron working. Bill helped countless
engine enthusiasts in parts searches and generously gave his
A friend to many, he wanted to help the hobby survive and
thrive. For this, we all owe Bill a debt of gratitude. He is
survived by his wife, Kathy, a daughter, Amy, and many, many
Submitted by B.C. Cushing
Cleo John Darby, 86, Akron, Colo., passed away
Friday, January 25, 2002.
In his early years he went to the ‘Three C’s Camp’
(known as the ‘CCC’ or the ‘Civilian Conservation
Corp’) in the mountains for two years. Upon returning, Cleo
farmed and ranched with his older brother, Frank, for several
Cleo enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was
awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II
Medal and the Pacific Theater Medal.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret; a son, Delmar Darby;
daughters Shirley Shaw and Mary Anne Antener and husband Ed, all of
Sterling; two sisters, Alice Lindsey of Brisbane, Calif., and
Margaret Finney of Walla Walla, Wa.; a brother, Robert Darby of
Blandensburg, Md.; and three grandchildren and four
great-grandchildren who were the light of his life.
Submitted by Joyce King
Harold R. ‘Skeet’ Massey, 70,
Donnellson, Iowa, passed away July 30, 2001.
Skeet was the founder of the Southeast Iowa Antique Gas Engine
Club show, which started in his backyard in Franklin, Iowa, 35
years ago. He was especially known for his rare Little Wonder sheep
shearing engines, including a water-cooled and an air-cooled
His hobbies were engines, small tractors and cars, and he worked
on other people’s equipment at home to the point he could
hardly find time to work on his own toys.
Skeet played a great part in our engine club and shows, and he
will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Erma; one son;
five daughters; and 14 grandchildren.
Submitted by Paul Gorrell