Golden Roll Call: Short Obituaries for Human Engines

Old steam engines can be restored, but the life of every human engine is finite. As a service to our readers, we present these short obituaries.

short obituaries human engine

John Beiler found this steam engine illustration in an 1898 Geiser Manufacturing Co. catalog.

Illustration: John Beiler/Geiser Manufacturing Co

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The human engine can't run forever. These short obituaries were submitted by readers paying their last respects to loved ones who loved old steam engines.


EARNEST LA VERNE (SONNY) CROUT, born March 10, 1933, in Montour Falls, New York, passed away May 19, 2001 in Elmira, New York, at the age of 68.

Verne displayed his traction engines and steam rollers at shows in New York and Pennsylvania. He always enjoyed visiting with friends at other shows.

Submitted by Mark A. Corson.

WILLIAM H. 'BILL' WHITE, passed away April 4, 2001, after a ten-year battle with cancer. He was a retired truck driver and farmer.

He made several trips to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with good friend Perry Charlton. After Perry's death around 1982, my father never felt like going without him. They both loved steam and old gas. My father had gotten IMA since the Fifties.

His father started with steam as a young man in the 1800s; he had a sawmill, did custom threshing and silo, and road grading for the county.

Bill is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Vaughan White; daughter Martha McNeil and husband, Bob; son William Robert White and his wife, Linda; sister Edna Matthews; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He donated his body to the medical school at Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Submitted by his son, William R. White, Rt. 2, Box 295A, Ronceverte, West Virginia 24970.

ARTHUR L. HEILAND, from Anne, Ohio, passed away June 23, 2001 in Fair Haven Nursing Home, Sidney, Ohio. He was 94 years old.

He always got Iron Men Album and was always making steam engines, etc. A lot of people all over the United States knew him, and he did things for so many people.

Submitted by his daughter, Dolores Applegate, 2514 N. Main St., Sidney, Ohio 45365. FC