We unfortunately did not hear for quite some time that Mike Albright died on 31 March 2013 in Sugar Land, Texas, after a struggle with cancer. One friend commented, "Being Mike, he was really interested in the proton therapy system and the treatment process."
After getting a Ph.D. in chemistry from Wayne State University, Mike worked in research and medical imaging. He devoted his life to his family as well as his work, and is survived by his wife Irene and two daughters Laura and Christa. He enjoyed traveling with his family, and made friends wherever he went.
Mike loved his Sahara YJ Wrangler, and Sahara Wrangler Toys was among the many articles he wrote in the early days of the "Toy Jeeps Pages" of CJ3B.info. He also wrote Coke Jeep Toys, although his own beverage of choice was a craft beer. We hope he's enjoying a nice dark ale now.
Bruce Agan, a gracious contributor to CJ3B.info, died in June 2016 after a short battle with cancer. Bruce, who lived in Iowa, was a devoted family man, a very nice guy, and a font of information on Jeeps, particularly the DJ-3A Dispatcher and Surrey Jeeps. As Glenn Byron once put it, "Bruce has forgotten more than most of us know about the little Surreys." He generously provided material from his collection for our pages on Surrey Gala Jeeps.
He was born January 28th, 1957. Like a number of other members of his family, he served in the military (U.S.Army), and later worked as a locomotive engineer for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad until an injury in 1988 ended his career.
CJ3B.info has featured the stories behind Bruce's own DJ-3A Surrey and M38. The M38 restoration was dedicated to two cousins who died in the Korean War, and Bruce later restored a CJ-2A in memory of his son Bradley who was murdered in 2008. Bruce is survived and greatly missed by his wife Linda and his children Sara, Abbie and Blayne, as well as many other family members.
Morris Ratner, The Jeepsterman, was a helpful friend to many collectors of Willys and Willys-related vehicles. His expertise in finding and providing parts for the vehicles was unsurpassed. Glenn Byron recalled, "For many years he was the sole source for things Jeep no longer produced. His ability to convince suppliers to tool up and market delisted items was uncanny. He knew our vehicles inside and out and his advice has guided so many of us through difficult projects. Other Willys suppliers have followed his lead and we can only hope our prized vehicles can continue in his memory. Morris's daughter has been working hard to fill his shoes at the store in Howell NJ."
The Asbury Park Press in September 2009 noted that Mr. Ratner was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 31, 1921, where he was raised until he moved to Howell, New Jersey. He was a proud veteran who served his country during World War II and volunteered as a local firefighter. Morris and his wife Mildred started a family and ran a successful poultry farm for 10 years on their property in Howell. After 25 years of holding various positions at McGuire Air Force Base, he retired in 1981. Mr. Ratner was predeceased by his wife Mildred in 2006.
Steve Duke told us about the 2008 death of Guadalupe "Lupe" Gutierrez, owner of Lupe's Parts Co. in Houston, Texas. Steve says, "He was a neat old guy to talk with, a vet, and a wealth of knowledge about Jeeps. He conducted business in a casual, knowing way that made the drive into Houston well worth it every time."
A farewell in the Austin American-Statesman in September 2008 mentioned that Guadalupe G. Gutierrez was born in 1919 in Bastrop, Texas, and drafted in 1942 into the U.S. Army to fight in World War II. After desert training in North Africa, he went to Naples and fought combat with the 5th Army in Italy. In June 1945, he was honorably discharged. He was the recipient of 2 Bronze Stars, the Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, and Good Conduct Medal.
Lupe returned to Bastrop, Texas and later moved to Houston where he married his wife, Lupita. They were married for over 60 years. He started working for Woody's Jeep Company in 1945 and retired as Parts Manager in 1984. Shortly after retirement, he opened his own Jeep parts company, Lupe's Parts Company. He served many customers from all over the United States until his recent admission to the hospital. The greatest joys in his life were his family, his love for God and his Church. Guadalupe was preceded in death by his beloved wife Lupita.
Let me know of anyone else we should mention on this page. Thanks. -- Derek Redmond
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