In Memoriam – December 2018

John Bowers Jr.

John F. Bowers Jr., 87, died at his home in Dublin, Ohio, on Oct. 12, 2018.

Born in Belle Center, Ohio, Mr. Bowers graduated from Lodi High School and then served in the Air Force prior to graduating from The Ohio State University. He was a partner at Kingswood Lumber and Tri Village Investment Company.

Mr. Bowers married Barbara Wolf on April 14, 1956, in Columbus, Ohio, and the couple had five children. He was preceded in death by his wife as well as his sons, John “Buck” III and Peter.

An avid golfer, Mr. Bowers shot par or better on 15 different golf courses and won senior championships at three courses. He was a member of Brookside Country Club for 46 years and a former member of the Boca Raton Golf Club. At Brookside, he won the “Old Pal” and “Member-Member” tournaments with his old pal, “Turk.”

Mr. Bowers’ keen sense of humor served him well as toastmaster for a number of organizations and for writing a weekly bulletin for the Mercator Club, where he was a former president and Man of the Year. He was also a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, member of Rotary Council and a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church for more than 50 years. He was also a past president of the St. Andrew PTA.

Mr. Bowers was a member of the USTA and former owner of 38 trotters. He also bred Standardbreds. All of his horses were trained by his daughter Moira.

Mr. Bowers is survived by his son, Michael (Becky) and their sons, Mark and Jeff; daughter, Moira (Bill) Fahy and their children, Chelsea and Michael; and son, Joseph (Jaana) and their daughters, Riley and Leah; sister, Marge England; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) in memory of his beloved wife Barbara Bowers or the Homeless Families Foundation (www.homelessfamiliesfoundation.org).

 

Joseph Carrubba

Joseph R. Carrubba, 60, of Oakfield, N.Y., died Oct. 24, 2018, at Rochester General Hospital, following a lengthy illness.

He was born June 11, 1958, in Batavia, the son of the late Samuel and Patricia (Geitner) Carrubba.

Mr. Carrubba was born into a harness racing family, as his father, Sam, raced a stable at Batavia Downs. He got his first driver’s license at age 17 and made his first pari-mutuel start in 1977. His brother, Chris, would also start to drive shortly after and it wasn’t long before they both competed on the track regularly.

For 39 years, Mr. Carrubba was a regular on the western New York circuit along with occasionally shipping to race at other tracks in the state. Some of his early driving success and notoriety came while teaming pacers The Butler GB and Slickster, who both had a run of success in the early 1980s. He later went on to own, train or drive such horses as High Sticker, Pelham Midnight, Nialoma, Patty Spencer, Billy Yards, Red Whiz, Wanna Rock N Roll and Sportsmuffler.

Mr. Carrubba drove 223 career winners that earned $471,346 in purses. Turning mostly to training later in his career, he also conditioned another 229 victors who bankrolled $700,178.

Whether at the racetrack or away from racing, Mr. Carrubba always had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of his family.

Surviving are his children, Michael (Amanda Benson), Erik and Tiffany; siblings, Christopher, Mary (Denny) Bucceri, Rose (Steven Kiblin) Campbell and Georgeann; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

Memorial contributions are suggested to be sent to the family. (For more information, please contact Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, LLC at 585.343.7500.)

 

Roy Fissell

Roy D. Fissell, 61, of Mount Gilead, Ohio, died Oct. 4, 2018, at Wexner Ohio State Medical Center.

He was born on April 14, 1957, to the late Richard Fissell and Helen (High) McQueen.

Mr. Fissell was a Standardbred trainer/driver and the owner of Roy Fissell Stables his whole life. He was a member of the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association.

He is survived by his daughter, Mary Alexander (John Downing); grandchildren, Chelsi Votaw, Autin Alexander and Joel Alexander; great-granddaughter, Arianna Hunsucker; sister, Joy Stewart; nieces and nephews and their families, Jaime (Debbie) Morgan, Stephanie Morgan, Michael Stewart and Crystal Stewart; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, Marvin McQueen; and brother, Herb Morgan.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gompf Funeral Home, 440 Center St., Cardington, OH 43315, to help assist the family with funeral expenses.

 

Milo Folley Jr.

Milo D. Folley Jr., 75, of Nicholasville, Ky., died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Oct. 5, 2018.

Mr. Folley was a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. He had returned to Syracuse, N.Y., to study for his master’s when a friend introduced him to Marcia and they never looked back.

Upon moving to Kentucky from Syracuse in 1969, Mr. Folley worked as an associate editor and photographer for The Horseman and Fair World, where he won multiple writing awards. He and his wife were fixtures at Red Mile.

When their daughter Brooke was born, Mr. Folley took a position at Almahurst Farm, which was expanding its bloodstock operations. Later he joined his wife’s new company, Classic Insurance. While raising their daughter, the Folleys worked together insuring horses, farms and eventually police dogs. Classic Insurance wrote the first, and only, insurance program in the country to protect police, military and service dogs.

The Folley family spent many weekends traveling the country showing their Hall of Fame Vizsla dogs.

Mr. Folley also loved building furniture and working outdoors, and never missed the opportunity to tell a good joke. He basked in each of his roles, from husband, to dad, and finally as papa, when his granddaughter, Lauren, was born.

Mr. Folley was preceded in death by his parents, Milo Folley Sr., a prominent architect, and Ruth Folley of Liverpool, N.Y., and will be remembered and loved by his wife of 49 years, Marcia; daughter, Brooke (Chris) Counts; granddaughter, Lauren Counts; and brothers, Marc (Charlene), Craig (Carole, who preceded him in death), Cris (Kathy) and Erik (Tracie) and their families.

Memorial contributions may be made to Friends and Vets Helping Pets, P.O. Box 910117, Lexington, KY 40591 (www.friendsandvetshelpingpets.org).

 

Stanley Gryniak

Stanley J. Gryniak, 71, of Quakertown, Pa., died peacefully Oct. 3, 2018, with his daughter Lisa by his side. He lost his fight with stage 4 liver cancer.

He was a drywall finisher for many years and in the early 1980s, his daughter Lisa got involved with Standardbreds and soon after he was also hooked.

They had a small stable and raced at Pocono, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Meadowlands and Freehold. He absolutely loved the horses and he loved jogging them. He was always so excited to go race and his favorite horse was Best Life.

He was a friend to all, and everywhere he went people were happy to see him. He will be missed by many.

He is survived by Lisa and his granddaughter, Jessie.

 

Douglas Hamilton

Douglas I. Hamilton, 71, of Momence, Ill., died Oct. 17, 2018, at the Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill.

He was born March 20, 1947, in Port Elgin, Ontario, the son of Irwin and Dorothy Prudy Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton followed his grandfather, Lambert, and father, Irwin, onto the harness racing county fair circuit. At age 17, he moved to Windsor, Ont., to race at Windsor Raceway. After working for Gerry Bookmyer and Ron Feagan, he went on his own. He spent time competing at Northfield Park, but eventually migrated to Chicago, where he made his mark at Sportsman’s Park, Maywood Park, Hawthorne Race Course and Balmoral Park.

Mr. Hamilton captured both the driver and trainer titles at the 1987 and 1988 spring meets at Balmoral Park. Also, for four straight years in the 1980s, he captured the training title at Sportsman’s Park. Among the top performers he trained were Ironstone Al, Great Expectation, Osborne’s First, Baron Lancer, Sand Sailor, Incredible Bret, Prize Penny, Wendy Skipper and Osborne’s Lady. In 1986, he drove Nite Strike to a world record of 1:56.2 for older pacing mares on a half-mile track.

In 2017, Mr. Hamilton trained Itsgoodtobequeen, who won divisions of the Simpson and Pennsylvania Stallion Series, and also started in the Kentucky Filly Futurity.

Mr. Hamilton drove 3,675 winners during his career, with more than $20 million in purse winnings. He was a member of the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association and Harness Horseman’s Hall of Fame in Illinois and Ohio.

He was considered by all to be an excellent horseman who not only developed horses for himself, but was also sought by other trainers when they needed help. He was one of the most well liked and respected horsemen wherever he was based.

He is survived by his son, Mike; life partner, Valorie Sutton; brothers, Peter and Alvin (Sue); sisters, Sherry Tuohy and Peggy (Bill) Black; stepchildren, Sandra (Mike) Brown and Steven (Shelly) Cromwell Jr.; grandchildren, Emily, Casey Jo Cromwell, Devlon Sutton, Samantha Brown and Jake Brown; and two great-grandchildren, Kyler Sutton and Cody Brown. He was preceded in death by his parents.

 

Iris Horowitz

Iris T. Horowitz, 84, died Aug. 10, 2018, in her home, surrounded by her loving family.

She was buried Aug. 12, 2018, in Old Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, N.Y.

She was the wife of Harry Horowitz and a loving mother to the couple’s three children, Dr. Jay B. Horowitz, Dean S. Horowitz (stock trader) and Shari H. Horowitz (associate director of AARP). She was loved by her children immensely.

Mrs. Horowitz was born, raised and lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from NYU.

She owned 437 horses over the course of her career, many of them broodmares and resulting foals that went on to have very productive racing careers. She loved seeing her horses doing well.

In 1993, she owned the 3-year-old Ohio Sire Stakes champion trotter On The Way Up.

Her best horse by far this year was 2-year-old Lane Of Stone, a son of Wishing Stone who won three legs of the Ohio Sire Stakes and was second in the final, taking a mark of 1:58.2 with $144,893 in earnings. Out of eight starts, this colt had six wins and two seconds.

Mrs. Horowitz was also the owner of Shesasmokinlady. This mare over the course of the last four years had 55 starts, with 19 wins, nine seconds and seven thirds with career earnings of $294,115 and a lifetime mark of 1:50.4.

She had been in partnership with such gentlemen as Buddy Gilmour, Eddy Cobb, Lucien Fontaine and Ray Paver. She truly loved them all.

Mrs. Horowitz was a quiet, unassuming credit to the great sport of harness racing and will be missed by the industry.

 

Keith Hough

Keith Emery Hough, 64, of Allegan, Mich., died peacefully with his family by his side at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Oct. 9, 2018.

The son of Clarence (Bud) and Barbara (Bartz) Hough, he graduated from Allegan High School in 1973.

While still in high school, he began his 50-plus year career training and racing Standardbreds. He had many state champions and was known for his knack with trotters. One of the more notable horses was Raceway Willie, who won the 1985 Dygert Memorial at Hawthorne Race Course and was known for helping Mr. Hough purchase his 100-acre farm. Mr. Hough also trained/raced many other quality horses that included Admiral’s Express, Aeropostale, Incredible Child, Mc Guffin, Emery Ho and Kendall Marie, who was also his first sire stake champion. He was also known for helping and teaching many young horse people to become successful at their trade.

He was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting waterfowl, small game and deer, plus fishing on his farm in Allegan. He also loved being outdoors playing golf with friends and just a good old-fashioned barbeque on his custom-built cookers or smokers. He loved projects such as welding and building, or designing new things to help out around his farm or house. He also loved watching football and was an avid Los Angeles Rams fan since he was a kid.

Mr. Hough was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Barbara. He is survived by his sisters, Norma Miller and Sandra Westin; his wife of 22 years, Claudia; stepson, Steve Bowerman; step-grandchildren, Gregory Bowerman and Rickie Bowerman; sons, Brian, Kevin (Ember) and Kelly (Katie); and grandchildren, Kylee, Kendall and Keegan.

 

Carlo Lattinelli

Carlo J. Lattinelli (affectionately known as “Frenchie”), 80, of Todt Hill, Staten Island, died Oct. 1, 2018, at Cornell Hospital.

Mr. Lattinelli served his country by enlisting in the Korean War. He also co-founded and partnered in the revitalization of Barnes & Noble bookstores to help turn it into a global company.

Later as an entrepreneur, he partnered in several successful New York City restaurants, notably Sal Anthony’s in Gramercy Park and SPQR in Little Italy.

He later became an avid harness horse breeder and owner and a discerning wine collector. He was deeply immersed in the harness game. He loved to bet almost as much as he loved to win. He invested in horses starting in the early 1980s and never lost the excitement he had for the game. He owned nearly 200 horses over those years. Most notably, a vast amount of those horses were in partnership with Larry Dumain.

L Dees Lioness probably won the most money, but that was not why he was in the game. For him, it was all about its aspects, from the action itself, to the breeding and raising of a horse, to the ultimate—cashing a ticket on one of his own babies. He supported the game, a number of trainers over the years, and any and all who needed a helping hand. He was a gentleman with an infectious smile.

His most recent trainers included Jeff Gregory and Julie Miller, and just at the end of August, with his constant companion and friend (son Joseph) by his side, his big smile opened up as Andy Miller won a NYSS event at Yonkers Raceway with his Amal Hall.

Mr. Lattinelli married the love of his life, Maryann Cafaro, and that love lasted 54 years. Mary Ann survives along with their three children, Carla, Cristina (Joseph) Laforte and Dr. Joseph (Lauren). Also surviving are his eight grandchildren, Michael Berteletti, Matthew Berteletti, Alyssa Berteletti, Joseph Laforte, Carlo Laforte, Mia Laforte, Emma and Luca.

He had a lust for life and was famous for saying, “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, you only get one go around.” He told his doctors he had “no regrets and he had lived eight lives and fulfilled all his hopes and dreams for himself and his family.”

The industry lost a great supporter and a true friend with a big smile and an offering, helping hand.

Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Hospital, 1740 Eastchester Rd., Bronx, NY 10461.

 

James Murray

James “Jimmy” Scott Murray, 60, of Chesterfield, N.J., died Sept. 29, 2018, at his home.

Mr. Murray was born in Lewiston, Maine, to Elizabeth “Betty” and John Murray on July 14, 1958. He went to high school at East Bridgewater High School in East Bridgewater, Mass.

He worked most recently as second trainer for Ron Coyne Harness Racing Stable, along with various others throughout the years.

He loved harness racing, watching his beloved New England Patriots, cooking, watching the Three Stooges, music, and mostly being with family and friends. He had an incredible sense of humor and the ability to make everyone around him laugh and feel loved.

He was an amazing horseman and an all-around animal lover.

There is no doubt he is still raising trouble with his brothers, Greg and John, carrying out practical jokes and bringing laughs to everyone.

He is survived by his mother, Elizabeth; George Bartlett, Susan and Valerie; children, Julie Dimakis, Jamie Lendon, Chris Lendon, Sarah Rogers, Stephanie and Shawn Herrick; and brothers, Dan, Joe and Jason. He was preceded in death by his father, John; brothers, Greg and John Jr.; and many friends and family that loved him dearly.

Memorial contributions may be made to either the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (www.adoptahorse.org) or the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey—Horsemen’s Benevolent Fund (www.sboanj.com/golf-outing.html).

 

Frederick Polk

Frederick Charles Polk, 88, of Zanesville, Ohio, died Oct. 12, 2018, at The James Cancer Center, Columbus, Ohio.

He was born July 15, 1930, in Zanesville, a son of the late Charles and Helen Olenchuk Polk. He was the owner and operator of Polk Scrap Iron, and a U.S. Marine. He served in the Korean conflict and was one of the first marines that landed in Korea. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, making him a member of the chosen few who did.

He enjoyed raising and racing horses and was a member of the USTA.

Mr. Polk loved nothing more than his family and was most happy bailing hay on the family farm that he loved so dearly. He went out of this world on his own terms and never lost his sense of humor, joking until the end.

Surviving are his loving wife of 56 years, Linda Butryn Polk, whom he married Feb. 3, 1962; daughters, Melinda, Jo (Daniel) Quillia and Laura (Guy) Hastings; son, Frederick C. II; grandchildren, Courtney, Mackenzie, Lynzie, Beau, Sloan, Erin, Austin, Lydia, Hunter and Dillon; great-grandsons, Jaxon and Holden; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Pete; daughter, Dorothy; great-grandson, Greyson Walker; brothers, Carl, John and Joe; and sisters, Mary Smith, Roseann Cochran and Carolyn.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice in his name.

 

Robert Sewell

Robert Duane Sewell, 77, husband of Mary Margaret Deiter Sewell, died Oct. 15, 2018.

Mr. Sewell was born in Bloomdale, Ohio, on Nov. 5, 1940, to the late Earl Cecil and Helen Leota Cline Sewell. Mr. Sewell was a stallion manager for Almahurst Farm, a night watchman for Overbrook Farm, and retired as farm manager at Lane’s End Farm.

In addition to his wife, who has been a longtime member of the staff at Brittany Farms, he is survived by his sons, Dean (Peggy) and David; granddaughters, Heather (Jake) Gardner and Emily Ann Sewell Messner; and four great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Larry and Jim.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Bluegrass (www.bgcarenav.org).

 

Steven Williams

Steven F. Williams, 60, died suddenly Oct. 21, 2018, while attending the Breeders Crown eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Born May 2, 1958, in Fairfield, Iowa, he is survived by his sons, Joseph D. and Steven J.; brother, Jim; and sister, JoAnn Wray. He also leaves behind hundreds of friends in the Standardbred community and beyond.

Mr. Williams caught the harness racing bug and started his career at age 18. Through the years he grew from a groom to a trainer developing top horses.

At White Birch Farm, as the farm manager, he found a true passion bringing young horses into the world and overseeing their development.

After the passing of his friend and farm owner, Mike Parisi, Mr. Williams took on the responsibility of keeping the farm moving forward and did just that. These past two years have been amazing for the farm and Mr. Williams had just returned home from the best sale in the farm’s history.

Although he was always most proud of his own boys, his equine children were something he could share with the hundreds of true friends he made along his journey. HB

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