Illness and Obituary
for "Gone Racin' " Boat Racers, all Racers & Friends

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Art Evans reports that Bill Murphy passed away.  Bill was a road racer who used Frank Kurtis cars and Buick engines, and road raced in the 50's.050720

Photo Will Scott with Richard Parks.

Obituary notice for Allen Strasburg was in the Deseret Morning News on Sunday posted 05713 Gone Racin Newsletter #79

Jack Mendenhall passed away this morning. July 4, 2005 
 Funeral services information       
photo of Jack   

Norm Grant's wife passed away - he is ill also.  Click here.  #78

Hi Richard, I got three e-mails regarding Mike Demerest passing.  (Picture of the 15 oz   coupe with Mike) Gary Brown I'm mailing you to inform Mike Demerest past
on the morning of June 23, 2005 from a heart attack.  it is no B.S.  please make light to whom- ever might remember Mike.  thanx,   blu

*Tommy R. FRANKHOUSER, Born March 2, 1928, passed away on May 22, 2005. Survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Carolyn, son, Dale and daughter-in-law Ginger, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends. A long-time Mercer Island, Wash. resident, Tommy was crew chief of the "Miss Budweiser" unlimited hydroplane in the 1970's. In recent years the hydroplane racer volunteered on the U-2 Tredwest team and enjoyed his annual trip to Mission Bay to watch the races. He loved cars, especially his restored 1959 El Camino, and was an excellent woodworker.
Predeceased by his twin brother Jerry and brother Earl.  Memorial Service were held Sunday, May 29.  In lieu of flowers, remembrances to American Heart Association or American Cancer Society.   (Owen Blauman)

Drag Racer Jeff Tinsley is ill and undergoing test #74

Bruce F. Barnes, 70,passed away May 23, 2005 #72

Leroy Neumayer's in hospital in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. #72

Roberta Nichols Yakel  Memorial.  Saturday, June 25, 2005, from 11:30 am to 4:30pm  #71

*Jack Early died on April 17; he is survived by his wife, Marilyn. May 12, 2005  #71

Ed Leslie died on March 31. 2005  #71

  Ted Roberts died on March 4.  (Art Evans of the Fabulous 50's ungroup)  #71

Leland F. Kolb, 75, passed away Sunday, May 1, 2005, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.*#70

Vince Conze passed away on May 6th at the age of 91.  *#70

Betty Cook - one of the most successful off shore boat racers of all time- Passed away 12/23/90 at 67

Rosie Rosenloft passed away see here #69

Brandon Keith McCullers, 28, a motorsports public relations representative, passed away on April 1, 2005 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. #68

Gerry Marshall passed away Thursday, April 21, aged 62  #69 also.

I just heard that Paul Baker of Signal Hill, CA. passed away 4/13/05  #66

Roberta Nichols Yakel passes away.4/13/05  #66Roberta Nichols Yakel Passes away.   #44

Former Division 4 champ Shelly Howard dies in accident.   .#65

It is with great sadness that we tell you that our Dad, Jim Lindsley, passed away last night.  Memorial information will be available on Monday evening, 3/28/05.   Lindsley Family - Car 484  Editor's notes: (R.Parks) Jim was an inspiration to us all.  He battled polio as a child, survived the Great Depression, raised a family and helped to create the SCTA.  He will be missed by all.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fellow racers. and taken from the Gone Racin' Newsletter. #64

This just received today, Tuesday.  Services will be on Friday, March 25, in Glendale, California. Barry was a faithful supporter of Hila Sweet's Car Racers Reunion here in Southern California and always took the time to help out.  He will be dearly missed.  Richard Parks

Just wanted to let you know that Barry Knowlton passed away Sunday morning. His service will be on Friday at 12PM at Forest Lawn in Glendale at the Little Church of Flowers.  Barry both owned and drove midgets in the 1950's and 1960's.  He was a member of both the vintage WRA and URA in the later years.  Barry will be missed." 
(Lloyd Hendrickson) 3/23/05
A little more background on Barry Knowlton.  Barry was a real great guy.  He worked with my dad and Zeke at Kurtis-Kraft Engineering right after World War II bulding all of the beautiful Kurtis-Kraft midgets, Indy Roadsters, etc.  His wife was also Frank’s personal secretary for many years. Losing Barry is another significant loss of racing history and again one of the nicest guys I knew.   Edward R. Justice, Jr."

More bad news, Gary Lynch died yesterday morning.  Sorry I couldn't come up with much about him.  His father was Joe Lynch, who owned many front running midgets with a lot of now big name race drivers that drove for him.  Some 'not so well known'  like yours truly, also drove for him.  Gary followed in his dad's footsteps, but also drove some race cars himself.  He was involved in "dwarf car" racing for about the last 5 years. The services for Gary are Wednesday,  March 23rd, at 3pm, at the Garden Grove Friends Church, 12211 Magnolia Street, Garden Grove, California.  Take care, Billy Cruce 3/22/05

Michelle Gross, daughter of Ken Clapp, retired Vice President of Western Operations for NASCAR and longtime associate of truck series pioneers DJ and Jim Smith, passed away on Thursday at the age of 41. On behalf of the entire NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series community, we send our thoughts and prayers out to Michelle's friends and family during this difficult time.  (Pattie Frost)

Letters: Thank you for your mailings to Rick Styer. Sadly, Rick passed away November 25th losing his 19 month battle to cancer, he was only 53.  I have checked this address occasionally and have taken this opportunity to notify you. I'm sure Rick enjoyed reading the newsletter and staying current on it's event postings.  Thank you again, Sue Styer 3/15/2005 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following message was sent to us by Jessie Hawkins.  She received it from Duff Daily to announce that his father, Del Daily has passed away.  If anyone has a few words about Del, please send them in.  Del passed away this morning at the hospital of natural causes.  He was 83 years old.  No services are planned.  Duff Daily 0503

*Memorial Services in memory of the Colonel, John Hogan,will be held on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2005, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum starting at 11am. The Museum is located at 1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona, California. It is on the L.A. County Fairplex grounds, right next door to the Sheraton Hotel.  The phone number for the Museum is 909-622-2133. John was a hot rodder and supporter of the museum and died from a heart attack. His friendliness and quick Irish wit will be sorely missed. He let no man go by without a greeting and a kind word and it is appropriate that we pay our respects to him on St Patrick's Day, which would have amused him no end. Hogan grew up in the Irish neighborhood of Chicago and hung out at The Greek's, Chris Karamesines'shop in Chicago.He was the first crew chief and mechanic on Don Schumacher's championship Funny Car team. Recently he was a proud member of the Cal-Rods Club and a supporter of the Motorsports Museum. Hogan had just returned from an official tour of the Pentagon where he was working on a project to raise money for the Armed Forces Memorial Fund. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and fellow club members. (From Don Rackemann)Colonel John Hogan passed away due to a heart attack Friday, March 4, 2005.  Funeral

  and memorial services, times and dates, will be forthcoming.  (Don Rackeman)3/5/05
Gear Grinders News courtesy of Hillary Smith.
*Don Smith, son of Phil Smith, and a Gear Grinder member, was killed in a fire on January 24 in 29 Palms.  George Calloway was in an accident on the El Mirage lake bed and was hit by a BLM ranger in the driver's door. He is recovering. 3/5/05

Reno Roth, son of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, passed away Feb 22, 2005.

Editor's notes: The following came from Scrub Hansen and is slightly edited from the original.
Reno Roth, son of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, passed away Feb 22, 2005.  Reno sold Big
  Daddy T-shirts at the Long Beach Swap meet and was a very friendly guy, always with
  a big smile on his face.  Reno wouldn't really want flowers except on your Hawaiian
  shirt. Festive would be his theme, and he really didn't want anyone to wear black.  Reno
  had no insurance (just like a Roth).  There will be a widows fund.   Services are this
  Saturday, February 26, in Redlands at the Oasis Christian Fellowship Church, 11-1pm. 
  The address is 304 North 7th Street, Redlands, California.  (From Scrub Hansen)

Scott Simmons,   The following came from Dave Wallace Jr.

  We lost a(nother!) good one on Jan. 31st:  Scott Simmons, the veteran announcer and son
  of Leonard Simmons (Windjammer Blowers).  The attached images of Scott (with wife,
  Heidi) and his dad (with Scott's stepmom, Sunny) were pulled from my latest Drag Racing
  Once again, let's all give our loved ones a little hug, while they're still with us.--DAVE JR.

Art Galbraith,  *Editor's notes: I posted a notice last year, but found this letter recently and thought the racing  community would like to read it in its entirety.  Art and Marian were supporters of the Car, Dry  Lakes and Boat Racers Reunion for many years, and Art will be remembered and missed by us all.  Anyone wishing to send their belated respects to the family may send them to the editor and I will forward them on to the family.
  "Richard, just wanted to let you know that my husband of 46 years, Art Galbraith, passed
  away on 4/17/04.  He had a massive stroke and died at age 77.  Still riding motorcycles and
  Bonneville Salt Flats.  He and our son, Alan, set land speed records as Team Galbraith on
  vintage motorcycles!  He was proud of his early association with racing at Carrell
  Speedway (#47) and boat racing (Crackerbox) at Marine Stadium.  He had a good run-
  drive on Art-catch you later!  Sincerely, Marian Galbraith"

John S. Zink, the Tulsa, Oklahoma industrialist whose cars won the Indianapolis 500 in 1955 with driver Bob Sweikert and 1956 with driver Pat Flaherty, died Feb. 5 in a Tulsa hospital. 

Marsh Pivirotto passed away February 2, 2005 - Age 68 - Pittsburgh, PA.

Don Francisco, born August 27, 1917.  Passed away January 29, 2005.  Memorial Service will
  be on February 26, 2005, 2pm, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, 1101 West
  McKinley Avenue, Pomona, CA.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to   Save the Salt Committee, as Don was an avid land speeder.

"Cactus Jack " Jack Turner October 2004
Pappy Hart
Big Roger Ward    Farewell to Roger Ward
Bill Keifer
Bill Sterett Jr

July 11,04
July 14, 04 - Andy Conze, Carl Heap, Ed Sarkisian, Sam Kurtovich

Jan 2005 Charlie Brockman by Dick Jordan

Stephanie Sharp, wife of Greg Sharp, passed away last week after a long struggle with cancer.
  Greg is the Curator for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, in Pomona, CA, and
  a lifelong hot rodder and historian.  Our condolences go out to the Sharp family at this sad time.  1/29/2005

Get well soon Walt.  Walt James is the founder of the CRA Reunion and is responsible for keeping the CRA group alive and well.  Our best wishes go out to Walt and Dottie and family at this stressful time.  see more  1/20/05

*Edward Helfrich, 76, passed away Dec 29, from a heart attack. Helfrich was the owner of
  Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana.  He and his wife, Irma, acquired Tri-State Speedway in 1958 and ran the facility for 30 years.

*We are sad to report that our friend and colleague, Milt Minter, passed away on Dec 23, 
  A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 14835 East
  Olive Street, Sanger, California.  The contact there is Ken Franck at 559-696-5307.
  Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in the name of the Milt Minter Memorial Fund
  or to the Hinds Hospice and should be sent to: 1104 North McCall, Sanger, CA  93657.
  There are some great (vintage to last year) photos of Milt Minter at:
*Post, join or add to Who's Who on   Ron Hill
Diamond Jim Annin:  The following two emails were received from Steve Gibbs, Former Director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Pomona, California, and former dragstrip track manager and NHRA race director.  Jim Annin:   December 22, 2004 Photos of funeral held at the NHRA Motorsports Museum.
   I just received a call from Betty Annin....we lost "Diamond" this evening.  He passed
   away peacefully in his sleep, at his home in Acton, California.  He was 65.  Jim was
   plenty tough and lasted much longer than anyone had ever expected.  According to his own wishes, there will be no funeral.  A memorial gathering, in celebration of Jim's life, will be held at the NHRA Museum on Sunday, January 16th, at 2 p.m. Everyone is
   invited to perhaps you can help get the word to the boat racer contingent.  Cards can be sent to: The Annin Family, 3965 Sourdough Road, Acton, CA  93510.   There's a lot going through my mind right now, but I think the reality of this loss is yet to come.  Jim was as good a friend as anyone could ever hope to have.  Thanks for the memories DJ.  Regards to all, Steve 
Editor's notes: Just received another letter from Steve Gibbs.  Dress is Hot Rod
casual or Hawaiian style.
  A memorial gathering for "Diamond" Jim Annin will be held at the Wally Parks
   NHRA Motorsport Museum on Sunday, January 16th, at 2 p.m. Jim's friends and fans
   are invited to join in this celebration. You all knew can bet this get together
   will have more laughs than tears, so bring your best stories to share.  Dress code?
   T-shirts 'n jeans to Hawaiian shirts 'n short pants....just like he would want it. 
   Anyone with a street rod is asked to bring it along.  Please feel free to pass this
   information along.  Remember the good times,  Steve
Editor's Notes: Diamond Jim Annin was also involved in boat racing and attended our
reunions at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  "Diamond" Jim raced the Lil
Dragon, while his brother, John Annin, raced Ondalay, Ondalay's Ghost, and Whisker Biscuit.   The address is: The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, 1101 W.
McKinley Avenue, Pomona, California.  Call 909-622-2133 or go on-line to  The Museum is located between White Avenue and Fairplex
Drive, on McKinley Avenue, right next door to the Sheraton Hotel, on the Los Angeles
County Fairplex grounds. Use Gate #1. 

1) Thank you, Richard for all the prayers. I am doing as I can at this time and
relying on the Good Lord...That is why I have not been on the POBB for a while, the stress I get from off-the-wall comments of some...have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. And I will be talking to you next year (I love saying that at this time of year).  It sounds like I won't be talking to you for a long time, but in fact, it is short.  MLCC
Dear MLCC: Get well and hurry back to the POBB when you can.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Don't forget to forgive all those OFF THE WALLERS in your prayers.  They're God's children too. POBB or BLOG is here....

*Some bad news to report. Ann Adam called today, Hans passed away yesterday. He had
  another seizure, and had started therapy again. Ann said his heart wasn't in it this time,
  as if he had given up.  Davey Jordan
*Hans Adam was the fellow who built the PAM group 7, the PAM Porsche Spl, and the
  Platypus race cars. He was a partner in PAM Automotive and later managed the Jim
  Garner race team. The Garner team ran Lola T-70 Mk III coupes and big block Corvettes
  at Sebring and Daytona. The team also participated in Formula 5000 racing.  Hans had
  been suffering for a long time from the results of a brain tumor.  (Ron Cummings)12/22/04

*Mike Regalia, Director for the Jack Nethercutt Museum, wrote that Mr Nethercutt passed away this past Monday at the age of 91.  Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec 10, at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica. Our best wishes and condolences to the family and staff at the Museum.  Jack Nethercutt loved cars all of his life and put together one of the best car collections to be found anywhere in the world, and then opened it up to the public free of charge. 12/9/04

Nov 24, 2004   Joe Ondo Jr 1917-2004.
Joe served in WWII in the United States Army as a heavy equipment
mechanic.  He opened Joe Ondo's Auto Repair in
Wilmington, California, at 503 W. Anaheim Street, and was a member of the
International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers Union, on the docks of Wilmington and Long Beach
Harbors.  Joe was a charter member of the
CRA - California Racing Association, building and racing Sprint cars
since 1956.  Before that, he was a member of the
CJA - California Jalopy Association. The men who drove the Ondo Chevy
included Al Unser, Parnelli Jones, Stan McElrath,
Max Sweeney and David Joe Ondo Jr.  Memorial Services will be held at 11
am, Saturday,
November 27, 2004, in La Habra,
California.  The address is Green Hills Baptist Church, Imperial Highway
at Beach Blvd.  Call 562-943-7291 for more
information.  (From Dave Ondo)

October 28, 04 information: 
Mark Richter
passed away recently.  His funeral services were held at the La Verne, CA, cemetary, Tuesday, Oct 26th.

  Mark was only 50 years old at his passing.  Notables from NHRA, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, and representatives from many magazines such as DRIVE, were on hand to say goodbye to this special man and colleague.
  He was the official photographer for the museum, and caught much of the local racing scene through the lens of his camera.
  Mark was famous for his quiet smile, for the service that he gave to others and for never complaining, no matter how serious
  his physical condition was.  He provided candy bars and cold drinks to the other photographers at the track, even though
  they were competing with him for that "Career making Shot."  He gave the editor of this newsletter a ride on the back of his
  electric wheelchair when my feet simply couldn't take the pavement any longer.  He would take personal photos of people,
  develop them and then give them out to us whenever he saw us again, and never asked for reimbursement, donating all of
  his photos to individuals or to the museum.  Mark is gone, and he leaves a great void in our racing world, which can never
  be filled.  Although it rained on those gathered for his services, not one person among the throng that attended ever left the
  graveside farewell.  Rest in peace, Mark, and pack your camera for those great racing events on the other side of the veil,
  and those great racers who have preceded you.
*Walt James called to let us know that long time Gardena, CA, racer and original CRA member, Nick Brajevich passed
  away.  Nick raced Chevy Inline engines in the 50's.  He also worked on Crossley racing engines for boat racing, and KMC
  engines for cars. October, 04 , newsletter Gone Racin'.  

Chuck Abbott was in the Pomona, CA hospital. 
Chuck is a Gold Coast Racer Member - racing back in the 1940's and on.
Update: Chuck is home and recovering.  8/04/2004

The following email was sent in by Lawren Bale:7/23/04
  Sam Kurtovich, BFH World Record at 203 mph in 1975, and NDBA BFH National Champion - 1975.   Sam has been struck with...cancer....I'm sure he could use our support, his e-mail address is:
Update for : Ermie Immerso 7/24/04  I went to the hospital today to see the Ermie guy. He got moved out of ICU last night at 9:00pm. He was sorta "in and out" dozing. His color looks very good and I even got a smile out of him. He is in room 701-A. Tayna and Steve will be picking up the Star from Peterson Musium tomorrow, to bring it "home". 
Obviously all of our prayers worked!!!!!!!!       Scrub Hansen  (See below)
Editor's note: Just received the following email from Bobbi Ellis.  If anyone has any memories of George Hendrix, please send them on in and I will put them in the newsletter.
Hello Richard Parks,   I just wanted you to know and pass it on... George Hendrix passed away last nite after a long illness.  He was a driver for Marion Beaver for many years and a well liked individual.  I won't know anything about the services until probably this weekend.  He was a great friend and I shall miss him greatly.  Bobbi Ellis 8/01/2004
Sam Kurtovich passed away 8-11-04. Many thanks for all the E-Mail support from many nice race people-Again many thanks from his brother George Kurtovich
I was so sorry to about George Hendrix's passing.  I knew the man both personally and in the boat racing profession.  He will be greatly missed by the Parker, Arizona community. Regards, Bill Fauntleroy Lifeline Marine Safety Owner 8/13/04
Ermie ImmersoI just got a call from Tayna's husband Steve. 11:00pm. Ermie passed away tonight. When plans are made, I'll let everyone know that is on my e-mail.  In the intrem, call everyone you each know, to get the word out.                        I sure loved that guy,   Scrub Hansen Monday August 16, 2004. (see below)
8/16/04 Just received two important messages to pass on to friends of Ermie Immerso and Al Sharp.
1) ...I just got a call from Tayna's husband Steve. 11:00pm. Ermie (Immerso) passed away tonight. When plans are made, I'll let everyone know that is on my e-mail.  In the interim, call everyone you each know, to get the word out...(For more details contact Scrub Hansen at
2) ...Just to let you and the Oilstick web site know,
Ermie Immerso I talked to Tayna minutes ago.  Viewing Friday 27  1:00p to 7:00p at McNearneys funeral home San Pedro on 6th st south of Gaffey Funeral---sat 28 11:00 green hills cemetary in San Pedro. 8/19/04

Well, all is final. Went to Ermie's funeral yesterday. The casket blew everyone away. It was painted candy orange. The Ermie was wearing his bib coveralls with a orange shirt. I was a little dissapointed at the attendance, but we all said our final goodbys to Ermie.      Scrub Hansen 8/28/04

Al Sharp passed away today after a brief illness.  Ruth and his children were with him at the end.  A grave side service will be held at the National Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Riverside at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, 2004.  The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Heart Association.  Thanks-- Patrick McGuire (contact
Wilcap Company, P.O. Box 763, Pismo Beach, CA 93448  (805) 481-7639, FAX (805) 343-5000