Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Fred D. Pfening Jr.

I received a note from Fred Pfening III last night telling of his father passing away at about 8:20 last evening. He'll let us know about the arrangements later.

Mr. Pfening's love of the circus brought him into ownership in 1955 when he took out the Fred J. Mack Circus. His primary business has been operating in Columbus, Ohio and is still run by his son Fred III.

Mr. Pfening as many of you know had been the Editor of the Circus Historical Society's incredible journal, the Bandwagon. This was a position he cherished for nearly 50 years. He took the CHS from the days of a small 5 x 7 mimeographed paper to the folds that it has become today. Mr. Pfening had a slight heart attack back in May then fell at his home and broke his hip. He went in for surgery and remained in rehab up until just recently.

I have had the great priviledge to have served on the Board of Trustees of the Circus Historical Society with him for the last three years. He was a true scholar and a gentleman. He was working on the last issue of the Bandwagon that was sent out when he became ill and his son, Fred III finished the Bandwagon amongst everything else and had it published and mailed.

We have lost one of the leading Circus Historians of our times. Farewell Good man, Farewell!


Harry Kingston said...

Yes we have lost a great man who loved the circus and I know his Bandwagon will live on as a great memory of him.
Please keep us posted on Fred.
Bob you are doing a great job on your blog and really like reading it.
Harry Kingston

Dave Price said...

I met Fred in a very historic place: in Ringling-Barnum ticket wagon # 123 on the Milwaukee parade grounds.

I had corresponded with him for years and used to buy posters from his "Circusiana Mart" lists, often for two dollars. But had never met him face-to-face until I went to my first Milwaukee parade, which in those days was always on July Fourth.

What a great friend he was to me all these years. This is a real loss to all who knew and loved him. Truly the end of an era.

Jack Ryan said...

My sincere condolences to the Pfening family.

He was such a huge figure in the hearts and minds of all of us who love the circus. His contributions to circus history are enormous.

As Buckles mentioned this morning, it is truly the end of an era.