Founding of The Evansville Military Collectors Club
The Evansville Military Collectors Club was founded in late 1990 when a local collector and former advertising manager for Evansville’s Sterling Brewery named Roy Pelz went to meet with a friend and WWII Marine Corp veteran Arie Paxson. Arie, who owned a local antique store which had become a meeting place for others interested in WWII military items agreed to Roy’s idea. Roy and Arie then went about finding 2other individuals who shared their interest and would be willing to throw in $150.00 each to fund a military collector’s show in Evansville.
Seems Roy knew quite a bit about collecting military items including patches. He co-authored with Richard Smith, the “Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the US Army, 1946 – 1976” book which became an instant hit with military collectors globally. This book, published by the University of Evansville Press in 1978 was the organizations largest selling title and is still in demand today.
Arie, with his background as a WWII USMC tanker having fought in the Pacific campaigns knew many of the local veterans and soon Roy and Arie had enough people interested to hold a meeting. Roy created the flyer and when Arie asked “who was the Evansville Military Association”? Roy simply replied, “ I had to put something on the flyer”. Out of this meeting of twelve individuals, the Club which has brought so many interested in military history together was born.
We remember Arie Paxson today with a brick in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. Roy is still with us and we enjoy the opportunity when he can make it out to a meeting and share his love of collecting with those who he inspires.
The First Twelve Members were:
1) Arie Paxson
2) Roy Pelz
3) Ernest Wood
4) George Rehnquist
5) Bill Junker
6) Dick Winterman
We thank them for their passion and vision!