Clinton Detweiler Building Dummies In The Heavens

clinton d

It is with great sadness that I am writing this blog. One of the pioneers in the ventriloquist world for over 5 decades has passed on and gone to be with his maker, Clinton Detweiler.

I find this very sad indeed as he was a prince of a man and was a cornerstone of our ventriloquist community.

Steve and I send all our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Adelia and Clinton’s family in this most grievous of times. May the Lord walk with all of you.



Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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24 Responses to Clinton Detweiler Building Dummies In The Heavens

  1. Tony Davis says:

    So very saddened to hear of Mr. Detweilers passing. Many vent he has encouraged over the years, of which I am one.

  2. Mark Wade says:

    I got the telephone call yesterday from Joy, Clinton’s daughter, telling me of his passing. Adelia wanted me to deliver the unfortunate news to the vent world..which I did. It saddens me that my good personal friend is now gone. We shared a lot of good moments, a lot of good laughs, and worked on many projects together. I have a huge hole right in the center of me…

    Let’s all keep Adelia and family in our prayers.

  3. Steve Hurst says:

    As Dan stated above, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers do go out to Adelia and Clinton’s family in this most grievous of times. As I drink my morning coffee I’m still stunned and in shock over the news. It reminded me of a blog I wrote for my own website and shared here on Ventriloquist Central. The subject was my thoughts on why ventriloquism is alive today, due mainly to Clinton and Adelia… in remembrance:

    RIP Clinton….

  4. Ben and MJ says:

    I’ll miss reading Clinton’s blog and exchanging ideas with him via email. He was a real gentleman in the vent community and it’s a sad loss to us all.

  5. bob abdou says:

    My relationship with Clinton goes back to 1990. He was with me at my start and still with me in 2013. We had a special relationship, he called me personally and told me not to quit the business when I was alone, struggling and had no direction in 1998. I’m glad I listened. When I moved to Ohio in 2011, I was alone, struggling and had no direction and it was Clinton who still gave me the right advice to keep going. I have letters, photos and special memorabilia saved for 23 years and I will cherish them now than ever before. I am a student of the Great Johnny Main, Bill Boley and now Clinton Detweiler. I don’t like to use the word “blessed” in knowing these great men however in this case I was,

  6. Keith Suranna says:

    I am so sad to hear this news. I began corresponding with Mr. Detweiler back in 1982, and my last correspondence with him was just a few weeks ago. He was always helpful and gracious. His passing is a great loss to the vent world. My heartfelt condolences go out to Mrs. Detweiler and the entire Detweiler family. Rest in peace, Mr. D. You have truly earned it.

  7. I found out about the loss of our dear friend Clinton earlier this evening and was, like all of you, knocked breathless.

    Here was a sweet, kind, gentle, dear man, who upon meeting him 33 years ago, made me feel as if I’d known him forever.

    I always called him “Dad” an Adelia “Mom” whenever we were together at Vent Haven.

    Stacey and I are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of not only our friend, but a friend to ALL of Ventriloquists around the world.

    Our prayers go out to Adelia and the rest of the Detweiler family.

    Knowing Clinton, he’s teaching the angels how to make talking harps.

    God bless you my friend. We love you and will miss you.

  8. LeeDean says:

    His last post: 1/19/13
    I purchased a circle cutter from Wal-mart and spent some time today trying to cut a neat circle of the proper size to display a coin (front and back) in a piece of mat board. Not happy with the results. I’ll try again tomorrow. If I ever do get it, it may be the last one I try to do.

  9. Bob Isaacson says:

    It was my pleasure to know Clinton & Adelia for almost 50 years. Both very sweet & kind folks. Clinton was always the most caring & helpful man. His devotion not only to his family but to his Worldwide Ventriloquist World was amazing. Always helpful, that was Clinton. He will be missed by countless people. He & his family are in our prayers.

  10. Marcelo Melison says:

    I’m sad beyond words… I always considered Clinton a dear friend, always sincerely interested in my progress as a ventriloquist, as a human being and as a christian. I received his last message on December 8th, in which he answers my message commenting about our friendship which started back in 1995 when I was still living in Argentina… He wrote “Yes, I remember that you were living in Argentina when we first connected with you. In fact, it was quite a surprise when you wrote saying that you have moved to Canada. But what I remember best is your email when you first told us that you had accepted Christ as Savior- now THAT was exciting!”…
    Ten years ago when my marriage collapsed and I was desperate and I had NO ONE to talk to, I wrote him and he wrote me back the sweetest, nicest, most encouraging message ever ( as well as another christian gentleman, Bruce “Charlie” Johnson, a clown I sincerely love).
    We christians know that this life is but a preparation for the eternal life, and now Clinton is in Heaven, enjoying the presence of God for ever and ever; he is home now.
    Thank you, Clinton, from the depths of my heart. You did touch my life in more ways I can tell you; I’m happy for you, you got your heavenly reward! We all love you.

  11. Cal says:

    It’s sad day in the vent community! My heart and prayers goes out to the Detweiler family.
    I ordered my first vent figure from Maher back in the early 80’s. Clinton was a true ambassador to the art and always generous on sharing his time and expertise to the art.
    I’m sure there will be some form of a memorial at this year’s VentConvention to celebrate his life achievements.


  12. Phil McConkey says:

    My condolences to the Detweiler family at this time of sorrow.I too like many of you I’m sure took the Maher Vent course…..I remember Clinton giving me pointers on a cassette tape regarding the proper vent voice….I talked with him a few times on the phone…he always had time to listen and was truly a inspiration for me…rest in peace Clinton.

  13. George Boosey says:

    Rest in Peace, Clinton. Your work with the ventriloquist community, keeping the Maher Ventriloquism Course updated and alive and your work with all of us will stay with us for years to come. My work with Clinton over the last few years helped clean out boxes of Vent memorabilia — some of it dating back to the 1920s — from my closet and putting it in the hands of appreciative vents through his blog giveaways and occasional eBay sales. Clinton was always a gentleman and looked for ways to “give back” to the community, most recently through his Vent Coins. Clinton, you will be missed.

  14. Shannan Knight says:

    A good way to say a posthumous “thank you” to Clinton would be to keep his family and friends in your prayers, and to continue his generous giving attitude in our own interactions with others. Be just as quick and generous as he was to share your knowledge and skills in the encouragement and enrichment of others, especially in spreading his love of Jesus and ventriloquism. He would like knowing the ripples created whenever he tossed his pebbles in the pond will continue on creating more and more ripples that keep right on blessing more and more people. Let the blessings he was so constantly overflowing onto others, keep right on spreading and overflowing, And continue to encourage and bless those who he left behind who are suffering from the shock and loss.

  15. Steve Barry says:

    Clinton Detweiler, one of Gods finest creations, has left this world to move on to his just rewards. His kindness, helpfulness and honesty will be missed by all who have ever had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a man of God and family and treated everyone he came in contact with, with the utmost respect. He was there for new vents to help guide them and make their journey in to ventriloquism an enjoyable one. That is visible through all of us who grieve for him and his family.
    I consider myself honored and “blessed” to have known him. He helped me in alot of aspects through the years in both skills, humility and professionalism. He was more than just the owner of Maher studios he was a teacher, a friend and mentor to many.
    We all looked forward to seeing what would be posted in his blog and what new creations he had come up with. He would answer any and all questions given him and if he didn’t have the answer, he would point you in the right direction. Clinton was happy when he was in his shop or doing anything that had to do with Ventriloquism. As the saying goes and as he said himself, “when you are doing something you love to do, you will never have worked a day in your life. In one of his final posts his wife Adelia asked him ” Isn’t there something you would like to do other than ventriloquism?” His answer: I’d have to think about that one. We will miss you Mr Detweiler. I hope I can be half the man that you were. Hopefully then, I will be able to meet you in person in Gods great Heaven.

    • Peter B says:

      Hi Steve,
      Enjoyed your blog site. How can one contact you to order a vent figure from Gepettos workshop?
      My son is practicing to be a vent performer for our church teen group and also for parties and a second income for him and would like to order a professional vent figure that we can afford to purchase.
      What are your costs to build a vent figure that has moving eyes, moving mouth, eyes blinking/winking, eye brows lifts /lowers.
      I want my son to start off on the right foot in his endeavor and he has been saving his money to get a pro vent figure. He has been using the regular puppets, but wants to offer more to his performances.
      I look forward to your reply.

  16. Andrew says:

    I never met Clinton in person, but we corresponded via email several times over the years. I was a relatively young puppeteer interested in learning more about the mechanical aspects of constructing Vent Figures and he was very generous with his knowledge. My deepest condolences to the entire Detweiler family.

  17. Stephen and Other Dummies says:

    What a man….knew him since I was 12..and kept in contact to just a few months ago…miss you CD…

  18. Tony Garcia says:

    I was very sad and blown-away to hear of Clinton’s passing. He was always great to talk to and over the years, I have bought many ventriloquist items from him and corresponded with him as well. I got my Maher Course as a teenager in 1985 and with life getting in the way, I was never able to complete the course. I talked to Clinton late last year about finally completing the course, and even after all these years, Clinton said “No problem, just send in the exams…” Sadly, it’ll never be completed now that this wonderful man has passed on. I will miss not being able to ask him a question on the phone or emailing him, or reading his blog. I thank him and Maher Studios for perpetuating my love of ventriloquism, and for being my resource when there was no other place to turn to. Rest in peace; you will be missed.

  19. Lee Cannon says:

    Lee Cannon
    So sorry about my dear friend C. D. The world’s lost, but HEAVEN’S GAIN Rest in peace Mr. D. We will see you in HEAVEN.


  20. Ron Lighty says:

    I was saddened to learn of the passing Clinton Detweiler. He was such a dear friend to me and helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine. His testimony for The Lord Jesus was radiant to everyone he met.His encouragement to me as I purchased many items especially for Gospel ventriloquism in those early days were so helpful. My heart goes out to Adelia his wife and children and loved ones in their family. I feel so fortunate to have known my very dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Ron & Diane Lighty. Psalm 121

  21. Dave and Karen Winchell says:

    Joy D.
    it is 6.13.13. While checking the up-coming Vent Haven Convention tonight, Karen and I have only now learned of Clinton’s passing. How terribly saddened and shocked we are to have lost such a dear friend of many, many years.! So long have I failed to try to communicate with him and your mother. How regretful I am for not doing so and telling them what great people I consider them to be. We shared so many laughs and good times together! It will be some time before I can get over such a loss, and passed my guilt for not keeping in touch. We love your parents very much!

    I am praying our great God is helping you find comfort, peace and wonderful memories of such wonderful people and great Christian heroes who have meant so much to Karen and me (and so many others). However, our blessed hope through Christ Jesus, is to be reunited one day in Paradise.

  22. Beth Schwabauer says:

    Clinton was my cousin and I just happened across this page. Thank you for your kind words. He was an amazing man. He is loved and missed.

  23. It’s been four years and I just found out. Clinton and Adelia welcomed me into their hearts when I was a young ventriloquist attending my first FCM and SAV conventions back in the 1980s on my first airplane flight and trip away from home. After I won the Senior Division for Ventriloquism (age 18), I talked with Clinton about updating my little store-bought dummy, a Juro Celebrity doll, a Danny O’Day figure. I sent “Ronnie” off to Littleton, CO where Clinton and his family worked their magic, turning “Ronnie” into a semi-professional figure with moving eyes, wiggling eyebrows, hair, and hand-painted face. Upon returning to my parent’s home, “Ronnie” joked at church and school appearances about his “plastic surgery.” I performed with my Clinton-improved “Ronnie” for years, and still bring him out for special events.

    I treasure the memories I have of talking with Clinton and Adelia and their daughter Joy at each of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians conventions I attended, spending time at their magic and vent booth and over dinner tables. This followed by years of exchanging Christmas cards and letters after I married and began raising my own family in the Pacific NW.

    I will forever treasure my “Ronnie,” knowing the loving hands that crafted my comedic partner, in addition to the caring encouragement and shining example of Christ’s love that both Clinton and Adelia share with a young girl far from home.

    Until we meet again, Clint!

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