Iron History

[Previous entry: "Apollon 1"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Apollon 2"]

01/16/2003 Entry: "Necrology 2002"

I apologize for the sketchy information which follows- during 2003 I will be writing the necrology for 2003 and present it in January 2004, but for 2002, the idea came to me late, so this listing will be missing some details. Please feel welcome to supply them if you have them. Some references are offered for those who may have collected the older issues of magazines.

More information can be obtained from the 2002 editions of for some of the following, but my current schedule prevents me from more investigation at this time. But, feeling you would rather have some information rather than none, here are some of the iron personalities that left us in 2002:

Deaths during 2002:

Joe Ponder, born Jun 7, 1923, died 2002.
See Ironman Mar 1979, Muscular Development Aug 1981, Muscle-Up Dec 1980 and Aug 1984 for more info

Al Berger, died 2002

Rick �Grizzly� Brown died Jan 6, 2002 at age 41
See Muscular Development Dec 1985, and Muscle Training Illustrated Sep 1991

George Eiferman born Nov 3, 1925, died Feb 12, 2002
I interviewed George on Jun 29, 1999- heartwarming, wonderful man, with a lifetime of physical culture memories, including being crowned Mr. America 1948 and IFBB Mr. Universe on Sep 15, 1962.

Anthony Ditillo died; born 1947
He began writing for Ironman in Jan 1968 and wrote nearly five dozen articles, ending in Nov 1986. Also 8 pieces in PLUSA from Jul 1979 thru May 1980, In Milo, Oct 1993 thru
Sep 1999 (I have not filed Milo in quite some time, so more may be there)

Hans Hopstaken born Jan 12, 1957, died Apr 12, 2002

Lou Thesz born Apr 24, 1916, died Apr 28, 2002
A wrestler, more than an iron guy, but from all accounts, he deserves a mention.

Dave Mayor, born Aug 1916, died May 27, 2002
See S&H May 1936, Sep 1964, Sep 1970; Ironman Nov 1977 p 70 for ref to his reverse curl with 175 lbs for 3 reps

Dr. John Gourgott, died Jul 19, 2002 at age 61
Wrote the Ask The Doctor column for S&H from Jan 1969 thru May 1971. Dr. John Pulskamp then resumed writing it. In Aug 1966 Gourgott and Starr wrote �Improving Your Olympic Press�.

Roland Essmaker, born Mar 24, 1916, died Oct 3, 2002
AAU Mr. America 1939, former radio announcer, splendid person.

Dr. Russell Wright, born Jun 9, 1904, died Oct 18, 2002
I have three articles as written by him in S&H: Mar 1968, May 1968, and Apr 1972.

Vic Boff, born Oct 22, 1915/1917, died Nov 9, 2002
Wonderful human being, and founder of the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen which held an annual dinner to honor the pioneers in our sport. The next dinner on Jun 28, 2003 will honor Vic- which would have made him feel uncomfortable in the way that only a truly humble man can. And he was that. So, Vic, sit back and smile as your friends sing your praises!

Armand Damon �Babe� Stansbury, born Oct 11, 1925?, died Nov 12, 2002
Stricken with polio as a teenager, Babe went on to develop a great upper body in spite of his legs being paralyzed. Later became a gym owner.

Johnny Perry died Nov 21, 2002
Up and coming strongman performer.

Abe Goldberg, died Dec 4, 2002
Won Mr. Eastern North America on May 28, 1948 as well as best arms, back, chest, and most muscular. My files show only four competitions.

Ron Orlick, died Dec 22, 2002
Son of E.M. Orlick

Ron Teufel, born 1947, died Dec 22, 2002
Bodybuilder who began by competing in nine contests in 1975, and trying several times for the AAU Mr. America, then switching to the IFBB pro circuit. Here are his IFBB placings:
Apr 4, 1981 5th at the Washington DC, Grand Prix
Apr 11, 1981 5th at the Lafayette, Louisiana, Grand Prix
May 8, 1982 7th at the Night of Champions
Aug 20, 1988 14th at the Chicago Pro

During 2003, please notify me if you hear of the passing of an iron personality, and I will try to follow-up on the information. Please do not assume that I have already heard of a person�s passing, especially if it is a regional news item, rather than a national one. Thanks!

Replies: Comments(2)

I have not heard of his passing, so as far as I know he is alive. Can anyone help with this info?

Hinds was age 31 when he competed in the Jun 2, 1956 Mr. America, so
would be about 78 these days.

Posted by Roark @ 01/29/2003 07:59 PM CST

Joe I remember seeing John Gourgott, Bob Hinds and Abe Goldberg together in an old Iron mag. My question is: IS Bob still living?

Posted by
ed @ 01/29/2003 10:58 AM CST