IN MEMORIAM


| April/May 2000

  • Memoriam


  • Memoriam

JOHN 'JACK' EDWARD VERSTEEG, JR. passed away January 5, 2000, in Bend, Oregon, after a short illness. Born October 20, 1934 and raised in Salem, Oregon, he had lived in Bend since 1996. Survivors include his wife Barbara, son Steve, daughter Connie Smith, and three grandchildren. He owned and operated the Salem Tire Service Store for over 20 years. He was a veteran, having served in the United States Air Force. He also served as a fireman and member of the Board of Directors with the Cloverdale Fire District. He owned and operated an antique store in Salem and was widely known for his collections and restoration of toys.

Jack was a charter member of Branch 15, at Brooks, Oregon, and Branch 9, at Grants Pass, Oregon. He served in Branch Officer positions for six years. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western Antique Power, Incorporated, Great Oregon Steam-Up, for five years and also served on the Board of Directors for an additional three years.

Jack was elected President of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Incorporated, in 1976, a position he held, except for one year, until February 1998. Jack worked to build a creditable organization from one that was in serious decline. Under his guidance the number of Branches rose to 98 with nearly 10,000 members nationwide. The members, and their families, of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association will forever be indebted to him for his dedication and hard work in building an organization that has enriched so many lives.

This tribute to jack was written by Ruth Warnock, and was posted on the EDGE&TA website (www.ave.net/~edgeta/). It is reprinted here with permission.



Last Monday night (January 3, 2000), Jim Triechler called to tell me that Asa Burton Sr. had died. I met Asa, a life member and chief engineer, at the New York Steam Engine Association in Canandaigua, New York. Asa, after 31 years' service, retired from the Lehigh Valley Railroad, had worked around steam engines and steam powered equipment, as well as been foreman of a track crew.

Tuesday night, Jim called to tell me about the funeral arrangements that included a request by the family to have a Lehigh Valley steam whistle blowing the signal for crossing and the signal for stop at the end of the burial service. Jim agreed to make it happen. I was to be the fireman; another friend picked up the whistle from a collector in the western part of the state. Wednesday, Jim and I unwinterized his 20 HP rated vertical (teakettle boiler). Thursday, Jim fired the boiler to check for leaks, and friend Tom Gannon arrived with the whistle and polished it.



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