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| February/March 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.


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