The Golden Roll

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Doris Lindenmier, 81, of Cherry, Ill., died Aug. 28, 2004. Doris was born May 11, 1923, in Tonica, Ill. She married Lester Lindenmier on April 4, 1945. He died June 26, 1990.

Doris and Lester were one of very few husband and wife steam engineers in the country and many times operated their engines side-by-side. After Lester's death, Doris continued to show both her Port Huron and Lester's Reeves with the help of her grandson, Nick Lord, and friends Neil Drummer and George McCollum.

She was a member of Central States Threshermens at Pontiac, Ill., and the Bureau Valley Antique Club of Ohio.

Three daughters, a son, nine grandchildren and a great-grandson survive her.

Her bright smile, quick wit and sure hand on the throttle will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Submitted by Ray Forrer, Somonauk, Ill.

Raymond Alber, 85, Saline, Mich., passed away Oct. 13, 2004. A lifelong Saline resident, he was born Feb. 14, 1919, in Saline. Ray's long association with steam began early in his life by firing his father's 19-65 HP Port Huron, serial no. 8635, on the sawmill. He was a long time member of the National Thresher's Assn. in Wauseon, Ohio, where he always displayed his 16-50 HP Port Huron. He also owned the Allis-Chalmers Model A tractor his father purchased in 1938.

Ray was an auto mechanic during his adult life and owned Ray's Auto Service in Saline. He was also a Saline fireman for 37 years. He was fire chief for several years before his retirement in 1984. His many friends in the old tractor and steam community will miss him.

Survivors include his wife Sally, three daughters, Ruth Wier of Wilmington, N.C.; Lois Gannon of Ypsilanti, Mich.; Marquetta Williams of Meeker, Okla.; seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two sisters.

Submitted by Stan Alber, Clark Lake, Mich.

Merrill Brown, one of the last steam engineers in our area, passed away on Dec. 15, 2004. Merrill was born March 20, 1906, in Smallwood Township, Jasper County, Ill. He was trained by his father at a young age to run and manage a traction engine. At 17 he went to work for a neighbor as engineer on a Keck-Gonnerman, rear mount, single-cylinder engine, threshing in the summer and sawing in the off season. I was honored to have him run my engine.

After an approximate 10-year employment as an engineer he worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for well over 30 years. He was also well known around the state of Illinois as the owner of several successful racehorses. Merrill was an interesting, fine fellow and I was privileged to know him.

Submitted by Jim and Kim Russell, Oblong, Ill.

Glen J. Brutus, 83, of Pine Village, Ind., died on Jan. 2, 2005. Glen was one of the great collectors of Case steam engines and other steam equipment.

He was born Feb. 24, 1921, and was raised on his father's farm. Glen was a graduate from Pine Village High School and attended Purdue University. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army. During the Battle of the Bulge, he was captured near St. Vith, Belgium, on Dec. 19, 1944. The Allies bombed the camp he was in while he and his fellow prisoners were locked in railroad cars. Glen's gripping account of that night's momentous events was told in "The Steam Engine Collecting of Glen J. Brutus" on pages 22-28 of the January/February 2000 issue of Iron-Men Album. Upon his return to the U.S., Glen completed his service as a military policeman, and was discharged in 1945. Glen was the recipient of two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. In 1952, he married Barbara Howarth and returned to farming.

He began collecting Case steam engines, as well as a few engines built by other manufacturers. For several years, his 110 HP Case was a featured attraction at the Indiana State Fair. Glen was a member of the Antique Motorcycle Assn. of America.

Survivors include: daughter, Susan Brutus, Whitestown, Ind.; sons, Eric and (Patricia) Brutus and Barry Brutus, Pine Village; and two brothers: Richard Brutus of Safety Harbor, Fla.; and Paul Brutus of Columbus, Ind.

Submitted by Robert T. Rhode, Springboro, Ohio.

George William Hedtke, 81, of Davis Junction, Ill., died Feb. 1, 2005, in Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Ill. He was born May 5, 1923, in rural Kings, Ill. He worked as an electrician, but his passion was his Hickory Oaks farm and his collection of antique farm machinery. He graduated from Stillman Valley High School, and was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lindenwood, Ill., and an U.S. Navy veteran of World War II.

George survived by his brother, Howard (Suzette) Hedtke of Lindenwood.

Submitted by Mark Corson, Crown Point, Ind.