April 13, 1952 - May 7, 2015.
March 15, 1945 - Sept. 10, 2015
Nov. 20, 1942 - Sept. 2, 2015
Honoring our Friends Who Passed Away
On Saturday night, March 14, 2016 before the auction, tributes were made in honor of three long-time ODCCA members Ky Kraus, Jim Schmiedlin, and Jim Wilson who passed away since the last show. Not a dry eye could be found as dear friends, family members, collectors and carvers shared their memories.
Ky Kraus was remembered as always having a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eyes, and could easily be heard saying, “Hey, I got something to show you,” concerning his latest decoy acquisition. He was the ultimate sportsman, collector, adviser and friend. Ky was a CPA and was remembered to never hesitate to “walk across the street and freely give advice” on a variety of topics. He had a good business sense and a great passion for collecting. Weeks before the ODCCA shows, he would begin to call his friends to see what they had for sale. His enthusiasm was contagious. Ky will be remembered as a loving family man and loyal friend to many, many people.
As a tribute to his many years of support, the ODCCA Board voted to name the show auction in honor of Ky. A beautiful custom-made, pin-striped, gold-leafed sign with the wording “Ky Memorial Auction” was presented by Ken and Ann Yacavone and will be used at future auctions.
Jim Schmiedlin, age 70, of Bradfordwoods, Pennsylvania, passed away on Sept. 10, 2015, after a battle with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was remembered as not only a master carver, but as being kind and polite, and the ultimate gentleman who loved his family and friends. His hunting decoys were stunning and considered to be world-class. Collectors would line up outside of his hotel room at the shows to buy his latest carvings. His wife, Debbie, thanked the many “wonderful people at the decoy show” for their friendship throughout the years and for appreciating Jim for the man he was.
"During the past summer a small group of us were able to visit with Jim and share some of our thoughts and revisit the article I had written in the ODCCA newsletter some 10 years ago," said Bob Lund, ODCCA president. I asked Jim to describe his passion when he was carving.
He said, “I envision whatever species I carve. I do not use the actual duck or pictures to make my decoys. They are out of proportion. That decoy is a vessel and it is not be be carved in the shape or size of a real duck. There are certain proportions that should be larger than life size. I make my bodies larger than the real bird.”
At the 2006 ODCCA Show and Sale one of the categories of the Vintage Collectors Decoy Contest was Jim’s decoys, as many people had started to collect them at that time. Two of Jim's decoys were recently accepted into the Ward Museum's permanent collection in Salisbury, Maryland.
Jim Wilson was remembered as an accomplished carver having won at the Ward World Competition, and as a mentor and teacher to many beginning carvers. He loved the outdoors and always looked forward to the opening day of deer hunting season and fishing on the Maumee River. He was a keen observer of nature and this was reflected in his many carvings throughout his lifetime. Jim loved his family and friends, and had a gentle sense of humor. His creative legacy lives on today through the many people he taught and inspired to carve decoys.
Robert "Bob" Sutton passed away on June 6, 2016 peacefully in his sleep. For years Bob served as the first IWCA president and then chairman. He was interested in having rules for decoys and then the youth program. He will be missed by the decoy world but not forgotten. May you rest in peace Bob.
Others that have passed away and contributed to the organization over the years...
Charlie Hall was a strong supporter of the youth contests and contributed to a youth fund for the ODCCA. He was an accomplished carver and was always available to anyone who had a question. He made eye hole drills and painting combs that were considered by most of the carvers as the best.
Wayne Collier was a past president and contributed in many ways to make the early transition of the organization.
David and Carol Ames David was past president and a strong supporter of early carving events. Carol served for years as the historian for the organization and contributed in many ways during the early years of ODCCA.
Gordon Stiller passes away Feb. 11, 2017
Dear friend and colleague Gordon Stiller passed away Feb. 11, 2017. He and his wife, Marsha, started their business, the Gordon Stiller Carving Patterns, in 1982 in Wisconsin. They traveled for 33 years to carving shows selling their wildlife patterns and making many good friends along the way.
Frank Floyd worked the front door and welcomed members and guests to the show. He would show up in his green pants that had mallards on the them. He was a member of Winous Point and we learned a lot about the shooting club from him.
John Purvis served for many years as the voice of the vintage collectors. He was instrumental in moving the collectors from the ballroom to poolside. He was a positive voice and always contributed to the show in any way he could.
Darlene Vitt was the membership chair and also did the newsletter for many years. The newsletters she published were high quality and well thought out. There were many great interviews during her time.
Dave White served as Vice President of Collecting for many years. He contributed many interesting articles for the newsletter. He would always donate a collectible decoy for the auction. He was a proud member of the ODCCA and even when he was unable to attend the show, he purchased the latest sweat shirt to wear. He had a fine collection of Davey Nichol decoys.
Scott and Carolyn Wodrich were instrumental during the early years of the ODCCA. Scott served as the Show Chair and took over handling all of the hotel matters. He contributed to all matters of the ODCCA and faithfully attended the meetings. Carolyn, known for her beautiful cocktail birds, always had a table featuring her many carvings. Her goal each year was to make enough cocktail birds for the show. Many collected her popular birds, and ladies attending the show can still be seen wearing necklaces made by Carolyn featuring her carvings.
Judy and Bob Ryland were among the early life blood of the ODCCA. Judy was the treasurer and watched over the first amendment of the bylaws. She understood the importance of maintaining a budget and always contributed at every meeting she attended. Bob served as an officer in the early days and was always available for questions and provided many positive comments.
"Buckeye" Joe Wooster is regarded to be among the finest carvers and artists. He specialized in Loon decoys and he and his carvings were featured in a pamphlet. In his early days he attended the world competition events, and learned many carving and painting techniques directly from the Ward Brothers. He also is remembered for carrying his yellow legal pad and listing his many ideas and comments. He would contribute his thoughts during meetings which would often inspire spirited discussions. He was well known in the contemporary world during the early 1980s. Today, his great decoys are somewhat under-appreciated, but are fine examples of his artistry holding true to the American Decoy tradition.
Robert "Bob"Franta instructed many of the current and past carvers. Rick Johannson, Dick Rhode, Jim Manning, Jim Frankowski, Jim Frankowski, Junior, Scott Wodrich, Bob Batchman, Rick Adams, and Bob Lund attended the first seminar conducted by Bob at that the Common Space, Toledo, Oh carving and painting a drake canvasback for eight weeks. Bob had a table at the show each year. His goal each week was to carve a decoy that he would ship to collectors around the country. There are many stories that can be told about him and also his friendship with Buckeye Joe.