A Tribute to Our Owner and Editor

May 5, 1971. Each day brings its own fulfillment! Today was
Elmer’s! Yes, my good friends, our Elmer died this morning!
Died, you say but what is Death but to Live? For now, the body that
encircled Elmer for his nearly 82 years is dead, but the Spirit
that was within that body is now living, I’m sure in complete
happiness with our Creator.

But we that are left behind still nurture our selfish desires we
cannot be joyful that he is gone because you see, we wanted another
day, another time to hear his witticisms, to absorb his wise
statements and he had many. Elmer was an individualist, a
philosopher and a humanitarian. He loved everyone and lived his
faith.

To know what you want to do with your life is a wonderful thing
Elmer had his convictions. He knew he wanted to be a preacher, he
knew he loved people; and he knew he loved steam. And he did
something about it! He became a preacher and administered to many
people throughout his lifetime. He gathered innumerable friends
throughout his lifetime. He gathered innumerable friends throughout
his ministry and from just being ‘Elmer.’ I said he loved
steam and he did something about it. With this issue, the
Iron-Men Album completes 25 years of publishing. In doing
this, just ponder on the enjoyment he has brought to so many people
for the subscription lists over 9,000 now taking his magazine. And,
as many of you know, in 1966 at the age of 76 he started the
Gas Engine Magazine. How many of us have that courage or
inspiration at a much younger age? Not only did he offer a medium
for folks of same interests to get together, but he has preserved
the past for the future. What a wonderful credit to a man’s
life! Think of the participants at the Reunions and the fun and
friendships they share. Elmer was also instrumental in helping
organize these first shows over 25 years ago.

Elmer was a sentimentalist, but also a realist! He would always
welcome and appreciate a favor, be it a card, a few words, a visit
or a flower. But he also knew our ultimate end and two years ago,
without Earlene knowing, he made arrangements to go to a
photographer and have his picture taken the one you see on the
cover. He told Earlene he had it taken so we would have a good
picture of him for the magazine and for the Ministerium Paper after
he was gone. This is why he made the appointment he thought it
would be needed before too long. He startled Earlene, but he just
chuckled and got a kick out of startling us all. When we admonished
him as to his motive, he had exactly the same grin you see. It is
an excellent picture, capturing the innermost of Elmer L. Ritzman
the top ‘Iron-Man’ of them all.

I said we can’t be joyful, but we are truly thankful and
have a blessed happiness in knowing that Elmer is now gone on to
better things and that he didn’t have to remain a long while in
a bed of suffering or inactivity. We are all better for having
known such a remarkable person and don’t be surprised if you
glimpse his spirit at the Reunions he’ll be there, I’m sure
unless he’s too busy taking care of such like matters in a more
wonderful place.

In Appreciation ….

Earlene and her family wish to extend their deepest appreciation
for the many cards, flowers, and expressions of sympathy they
received in the passing of Elmer.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment