Cindy Lael

Cindy Lael passed away Sunday July 7, 2019. Cindy was an NTA Member for 28 years.  She owned Atlantic Tattoo Shop in Port Orange, Florida where she was a host shop for many tattoo artists during Bike Week. Later she owned Dragonfly Tattoos in Bunnell, Florida. She retired about 6 years ago in Palm Coast, Florida. Cindy had many interests and hobbies...feeding crows in her yard, taking care of her plants, and going for long walks with her dog. But her favorite pastime was attending and getting work from some of her favorite tattooists at the National Tattoo Association Conventions. 

James Michael Martin

Fondly remembered as Chairman Mike, APT President Mike  Martin  passed from natural causes while visiting his family after attending the Rolling Thunder ride to the Wall as he did every Memorial Day for many years. He would ride cross country on his motorcycle from San Diego to our nation’s capItal and pay his respects to comrades lost during the Vietnam conflict. He departed peacefully in his sleep on May 30, 2019. Mike was 70 years old. 

NTA Cruisers will be having a Memorial for Mike on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at the New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta. Time and location to be announced. Check back with us for updates during the Memorial.

Henry "Hank" Savini

Born September 7, 1926, Pittsburgh, PA. Passed April 30, 2019. Henry was the oldest living tattoo Artist in America at the time of his passing. 

Look for a tribute on Henry by Ron Beckman.    

Lyle Tuttle

Lyle Tuttle, born in Ukiah, CA October 7, 1932. Passed March 25, 2019. See below for the announcement and links to the memorial. 

Ernie Carafa

Ernie passed away on September 29, 2018. Our apologies for omission and the length of time it took to post this obituary. Born February 12, 1946 in Brooklyn, NY. Ernie was residing in Melbourne FL at the time of his demise. 

Earlier Obituaries - 2019

Bill Salmon

Bill  Salmon  passed  January  18,  2019.

Bill Salmon Memorial Fund can be located here:

The San Francisco Chronicler‘s write up for Bill can be found here:

Don Nolan

Member, Tanika Nolan lost her husband, Don Nolan on January 7, 2019 due to medical conditions at the age of 80. Don was a member for 12 years before becoming one of our Honorary Bob Shaw Golden Age Award winners in 1996. 

Memorials can be posted here:

Acme Tattoo Company’s website has a wonderful bio on Don.

Destiny Emrys

Daughter of Beth Lovold, aka Sister Bear, passed on January 15, 2019. Destiny was 46-years old and was residing in Tucson, AZ. 

Debbie Gibson

April 6, 1955 - January 4, 2019. 

Wife of Dave Gibson. Debbie passed on from a very long illness. Dave shares, "I take comfort knowing her suffering has ended. We plan a small family memorial of her life this summer.  She'll likely be remembered for her non-filtered observations that Mike Malone described as 'crabby, sarcastic and so deadly accurate'. She's among good company still."

Dick Warsocki

Dick Warsocki of Omaha, Nebraska and Garden Grove, California, succumbed from liver disease on July 18, 2018. Dick was a follower of the Native spiritual path. Raised as a Catholic, his Mass was said at the Sacred Heart Church, Omaha in a native ceremony of Lakotan songs and celebration.

In addition to being an excellent tattooer of native imagery in the  black and gray style, he was a painter and sculptor. A Marine Corps VietNam veteran,  Dick was also a serious bass fisherman who won numerous awards, including the title, "Mr. Bass." A former welder, Dick took keen interest in hot rods and car culture. He was a man who kept his hands busy with his many skills and talents.

Our heart goes out to his wife of 43 years, Tess Warsocki, and their daughters. His passing is deeply felt.

Memorials are requested to be sent to Pine Ridge Toy Drive Propane Fund,

Be sure to indicate Propane Fund. 


We should not mourn the loss of those we love, but instead rejoice in all the memories and great times we shared with them. May they ALL Rest in Peace.

Don nolan

By Peggi Hurley

It was 1983 & I lived in Ft. Myers, Florida. Don Nolan was also living there on his sailboat "Shearwater". He was tattooing at a friend’s house because there were no tattoo shops in Ft. Myers back then. Growing up around art, I was immediately fascinated by the way he drew his design on with a toothpick and then made it come to life with brilliant colors like a piece of fine art! Every time he took a break, we talked and discovered a lot of things in common. I was the last one tattooed that night, and by 3 or 4 AM, a friendship had begun that would change my life!  

Nolan talked about sailing around the world. He loved being on his boat. He drew a large phoenix bird on my thigh with his toothpicks dipped in tattoo ink and proceeded to dazzle me completely with his fine lines and exquisite colors. He sailed from Ft. Myers Beach to Key West and I drove down a couple of times to add to my leg. Thankfully, my truck had an air horn!  There were no cell phones, so I had to make a lot of noise from the shore and he would come and pick me up in the dinghy. 

With admiration, we all waited to hear that he safely made the trip sailing from Key West, Florida to Nassau, in the Bahama Islands!   Now, I wanted my left side completely tattooed. Sitting on an upside down paint can in the cockpit of Shearwater, Nolan started the tiger on my arm & shoulder. After six months or so, he sailed back to Fort Lauderdale.  We continued my beautiful side piece in many locations, each time adding to our friendship and repertoire of crazy stories! It took two years. We went to the 1986 New Orleans National Tattoo Convention & I was voted best tattooed female. Being very proud to wear Nolan’s work, I decided to make a poster. Not such a "lady like" thing to do, putting one’s body on public display! LOL! 

Nolan always said that you learn something new every day with tattooing. Many tattoo artists have helped me through the years, and for that I am eternally grateful, but, my mentor, hero and dear friend, Don Nolan will always have a very special place in my heart.  He was a gentle, humble genius & made so many people happy. One favorite story was when we were out to dinner on a New Year's Eve in St. Paul. Some younger kid mistook him for Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead. He signed the napkin Jerry Garcia & smiled!  I loved that Nolan made this young man happy & I honor his memory. He taught us all so much. He made the world a better place. He changed tattooing.  He enriched our tattoo history. I feel so blessed to have known him and send comfort and love to all who grieve his passing.


lyle tuttle

The passing of a Legend

As we prepare to put this issue to bed, we are again saddened to announce we lost yet another tattoo great, Lyle Tuttle. The legendary tattooer passed on March 25, 2019. He was 87 years young. Eternally youthful and full of stories, Lyle filled our lives and hearts. A memorial service was held in Ukiah on March 30th.  Read the full story here.

Photograph of Lyle Tuttle by Richard Todd Photography

Photograph of Lyle Tuttle by Richard Todd Photography