Announcement: John Rohner

Roger Bleile

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It is with sadness that inform my engraving colleagues of the passing of John R. Rohner of Boulder, Colorado at the age of 97.

John was a FEGA Charter Member who developed an interest in gun engraving in the 1940s after his service with the USMC where he earned two Purple Heart medals during the battle of Saipan.

John was one of the earliest to write articles about engraving for gun magazines during the 1950s and 1960s. This included two of the guns he engraved featured on the cover of the June 1955 edition of American Rifleman.

John is also remembered as the R in GRS Tools. Along with his brother-in-law, Don Glaser, he was instrumental in the development, promotion, and sales of the original GraverMeister pneumatic assisted engraving system.

John held degrees in both natural history and museum techniques which led to his primary occupation as a professor of museum technology.

John led an adventurous life with too many activities to recount here. He was personal friends with many outdoor writers and artists who have predeceased him. Above all John's heart was devoted to engraving and his fellow engravers. As a result, he amassed an extraordinary collection of engraved chasing hammer heads crafted for him by the foremost names in our field.

You can read more about John and see images of his work in The Art of Engraving by John's friend James B. Meek as well as American Engravers (1980), and American Engravers-The 21st Century (2010), as well as a recent article in The Engraver magazine.

On a personal level, I will greatly miss John and the many stories he passed on about the people and events of his life.

Rest in honored peace my friend.
 

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Big-Un

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John sent me a hammer head to engrave and stated "don't do like everyone else and take too long to engrave it" which, of course, I'm still in the process of doing. I won't go into detail but it is still "on the block."
I met him at the Colt Collector's Show in Charlotte, NC, quite a few years ago and when the hammer head is complete I'll send a written expose (excuse) for publication or for the proverbial round file.
I'll miss him. Although I only had a brief moment with him, it was a momentous occasion for me.
 

Andrew Biggs

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Very sad news indeed.

I remember fondly John and his family coming to the FEGA show when it was in Reno all those years ago. It was a pleasure meeting him and his family. And we had a few phone calls and engraving a hammer for his collection felt very special. We even had one of his grandsons stay with us a while back.
 
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monk

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indeed, very sad. i credit john with really getting me "into" the world of engraving. without the gravermeister and him giving me advice, i doubt i'd ever become serious about the art we all love. he spent a lot of time with me on the phone, giving advice and general information. friendly, cheerful, and above all, quite inspirational. i can only wonder what sort of direction my life may have taken without him.
 

jerrywh

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It is sad that so many of the old-timers have passed on. They had so much knowledge to teach us. What impresses me the most about John Rohner was his service in the marine corp and in the battle of Saipan. I had friends that fought in the pacific and believe me when I say few people know what those marines went through in places like Saipan and Iwo Jima. No movie can tell the whole story no matter how graphic they get. He has my eternal respect and gratitude.
 

Roger Bleile

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It is sad that so many of the old-timers have passed on. They had so much knowledge to teach us.
I have noted that about half of the engravers featured in my first book (1980) have now passed on. One of the reasons that I wrote my books is so that one day, when they are gone, they can be remembered by gun collectors and engravers of the future.
 

Jhon Goes In Center

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A great inspiration; i first met John Rohner in 1972, i was accepted into his Museum Techniques Program at CU then. Not only being a student, i became a friend. John taught me the principals of engraving and learned to use an early Gravermeister which is the same machine i engrave with today. I too was honored to engrave a hammer for his collection. I will miss him dearly as he did call on many occasions to see what i was up to. He is a great engraver and a great generous man to not only me, my family and other Native students that were in his Museum Techniques Course. Thank you all for your comments, he touched us all in profound ways. May he rest i peace.
 

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LRohnerSchafer

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A great inspiration; i first met John Rohner in 1972, i was accepted into his Museum Techniques Program at CU then. Not only being a student, i became a friend. John taught me the principals of engraving and learned to use an early Gravermeister which is the same machine i engrave with today. I too was honored to engrave a hammer for his collection. I will miss him dearly as he did call on many occasions to see what i was up to. He is a great engraver and a great generous man to not only me, my family and other Native students that were in his Museum Techniques Course. Thank you all for your comments, he touched us all in profound ways. May he rest i peace.
Thank you, Jhon.
 

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