I would like to take time to salute a great guy, GEORGE ERBE of
George and his wife Mary came to the Rock River Thresheree for
some thirty years. If you never ran across George you missed
talking to a great guy! George had his own welding, machine shop
and was very good at his trade. Over the years he started making
scale model tractors and a scale model tractor and trailer. As his
collection grew he had to have someone haul it to shows. He asked
his daughter Connie and son-in-law Jim to do the hauling as they
own a trucking business.
George came through an operation well but his body was worn out.
He passed away May 30, 1996, age 75 years and 6 days.
Submitted by Donald B. Lux, 2444 County Highway J, Janesville,
A. L. ‘SPEED’ ROE, a lifetime member of the Farmers’
Antique Tractor and Engine Association of Adrian, Michigan,
attended his last show at the age of 81. This was one month prior
to his death at his Tecumseh, Michigan, home on June 15, 1996.
Speed showed his prized 13 HP double-drum riding lawn roller
that was completed in 1995. He liked to say, ‘I engineered it
and my wife, family and friends built it.’
In his retirement years, Speed enjoyed restoring antique cars,
gas and steam engines and tractors, and other projects engineered
from ‘the blueprints in my head.’ Many people considered
Speed a mechanical genius.
Over the years, when his failing health would allow, Speed
enjoyed attending many of the antique tractor and steam shows in
the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana tri-state area. Many people will
recall one of his favorite quotes: ‘Our friends are the best
friends in the world.’
Speed is survived by his beloved wife, ‘Tommie’
(Blanche), three daughters and numerous other descendants. He was
preceded in death by his son in 1978.
The rich legacy of treasured memories Speed left for all who
knew him will keep him alive in our hearts for years to come.
Submitted by his family and many friends.
STEVEN A. WELCH, 80, of West-field, Massachusetts, known by many
as ‘Hacksaw’ for his unique way of making ‘hit and
miss’ engines from Briggs and Stratton model FH and FI’s,
passed away June 4, 1996.
Steve will be sadly missed at engine shows from New England to
Submitted by friend and fellow Fly-wheeler Bob Gardner, 20
Chestnut Street, Westfield, Massachusetts and 201 Stephens Road,
LARRY (BUD) KEILY passed away on May 23, 1996 at his home in
Larry worked for Marquip, Inc. in Phillips, Wisconsin, for
He only started collecting and restoring gas engines 13 years
ago when he went to his first show in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Shortly
after the show he bought his first engine, a 1 HP Economy. Then he
had the ‘bug’ to find more.
Larry also had a collection of air cooled engines and had
restored a 1926 Star car engine from which he had hoped to make a
scale size tractor.
Larry was a founding member of the Eagle River Gas and Steam
Engine Club in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
He enjoyed working with his engines and always had a smiling
face and helping hands for anyone who needed help.
Larry is survived and deeply missed by his wife Jean and
daughter Heather, who have promised to continue on in his memory.
He has also left behind some wonderful and lasting friendships
which resulted from his love of ‘old iron.’
Submitted by Jean Keily, PO Box 231, Butternut, Wisconsin
RONALD W. HANEY SR., age 62 of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, passed
away April 29, 1996. He is survived by his wife Janet, son Ronald
and grandson Luke.
He retired last November, having been better known as
‘Haney’s Junk.’ Ronald was instrumental in forming the
Pocono Old-Tyme Farm Equipment Association.
As a boy growing up he worked on farms, and he himself was a
part-time farmer for 25 years. He was a gas engine expert and
through several articles in GEM he received calls and mail from all
over the USA and European countries. He consequently became very
close friends with private collectors in Holland, Huub and Nell v.
d. Ven, who came to America to visit when Mr. Haney took ill.
At local fairs and shows he was always busy grinding fresh
roasted corn meal. Ronald was interested in showing the younger
generation how things were done on the farm years ago, and nothing
was too much work for him.
He is sadly missed at the shows, but vividly remembered in his
plaid shirt and bib overalls.
Submitted by family and friends.