Death was an unwelcome guest at the Gordon Centennial celebration Saturday. A long-time resident of the community, Ray F. Lockman, 66, an active member of the Centennial committee, died of a heart attack when the old-time steam tractor he was driving in the parade broke down shortly after the parade got underway.
A retired machinist whose hobby was restoring old steam tractors, the huffing, puffing antiques of early farming and logging, Lockman died pursuing his favorite pastime, trying to get his machine operating.
Dramatically the old tractor huffed to a halt just after it lumbered across the railroad tracks and reached Gordon's main intersection. Lockman tooted the whistle a few times to give the crowd a thrill, then signalled for the rest of the parade to continue on around the disabled giant.
Shortly afterward Lockman collapsed, and although medical attention was given almost at once, he had died almost instantly. His death added a sombre note to the community's big centennial event, a celebration in which Lockman himself had helped with much of the planning. It was somehow symbolic, too, that death should make its appearance at such an event, as those of the present gathered to honor the accomplishments and memory of those who have gone ahead.
Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Gordon Presbyterian church, Rev. David Stensvold officiating, with interment in the Gordon cemetery. Military rites were accorded by the Lockman-Jensen Post 499 of the American Legion. The post is named for Frank Lockman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lockman, who was killed in World War II.
Ray Lockman was an active member of the Legion post, and of the Gordon Civic club, and a member of the fire department. Survivors include his wife, Olivia, of Gordon; a son, Robert, Anoka, Minn.; a daughter, Mrs. Robert (Ruth) Jester, Kansas city, Kas.; a sister, Mrs. Albert (Susan) Shaker, Bonners Ferry, Ida.; two brothers, Lester, Bonners Ferry, Ida., and Roy, Whitehall, and three grandchildren.
(The above article from The Spooner Advocate, Thurs., July 28, 1960, was sent to us by Gilmar Johnson, Frederic, Wisconsin.)
As we were assembling the Album for Nov.-Dec. 1960, which gave mention of the 25th Anniversary and a picture of Tom and Mary Lou Smith of Joliet, Illinois, we received word that Tom has passed to the Great Beyond on the 24th of Sept., 1960. It was too late for an announcement in that issue.
From the Herald-News, Joliet, Ill., we take these facts of his life . . .
'Thurold H. Smith, 52, of 611 D'Arcy Ave., died Saturday at Hines Veterans Hospital following an illness of several months.
'Born in Streator on May 12, 1909, he entered the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers on August 27, 1943. His parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Tracy Smith, were pioneer settlers in the Morris area.
'Mr. Smith was editor and publisher of a hobby magazine known as 'Engineers and Engines,' which had wide circulation. He had a print shop in his home as a hobby. He was a member of the National Association of Power Engineers.
'Survivors include his widow, Mary Louise; a brother, Charles M. Smith of Tinley Park; and two nieces.'
Thurold H. Smith was his name but thousands knew him as 'Tom'. We have been happy to have known him for some 16 years. We worked together and got along very well in the publishing business. He had a remarkable memory and could name many after meeting them once or twice. This is a faculty few possess. He was a good conversationalist. You loved to visit and talk with him. Tom had a mechanical turn of mind and knew the steam and gas engine field well. The fact is he was an authority on them.
The Magazine, Engines and Engineers, is a monument to him. It is of a technical character that not everyone could edit.
Mr. Smith had been seriously sick for about a year, and for the past six months he suffered much, caused by the failure of his kidneys.
Our Hobby World has lost a very good man in promoting our interests. However, it is the road of life and the only road 'Back Home'.
The ALBUM wishes to extend to Mrs. Smith and the relatives our sympathy. We also wish to extend our good wishes to Mary Lou as she carries on the work of editing and publishing ENGINES AND ENGINEERS. We feel that with her experience in working with her husband she is well able for this task.