In Memoriam – March 2019

Joseph Aloy
Joseph Aloy, 81, died Jan. 6, 2019, at his home.
He was born May 18, 1937, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the son of the late Paul Aloy and Mary Verrotti Aloy, owners of Aloy’s Garden Restaurant.

In 1963, he married Katherine Holowczak, moved to Red Hook, N.Y., and started his racing stable, Echo Brook Farms. He owned, trained and drove several outstanding Standardbred racehorses, including Scrooge and Echo Brook Phil. Echo Brook Phil went on to finish third in the first million-dollar purse of the NY OTB Classic at Monticello Raceway.

In 1977, Mr. Aloy and his family moved to Saratoga Springs. He owned and operated Aloy’s Harness & Equipment, located on the grounds of Saratoga Harness Track, for 32 years, retiring in December 2009. He loved the job and the people he saw daily. He ex-panded the original business to include sales to Thoroughbred stables, polo and pleasure horses.

He enjoyed traveling with his family and Ogunquit, Maine, was a favorite destination.

For many years, he was an avid fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants. He also enjoyed following Syracuse football and basketball. More recently, he enjoyed watching old Westerns on TV and spending time with his four grandchildren, whom he adored and doted on.

Mr. Aloy is survived by his wife of 53 years, Katherine; daughters, Annamarie and Mary (Gary) Quirion; son, Paul (Maria); grandchildren, Liam Whitehead, Katie Whitehead, Joseph and Jacob; sister, Mary Ose; and nephews and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Greenfield Center Fire Co. (www.greenfield.org) or the American Heart Association (www.heart.org).

 

Dean W. Beachy
Dean W. Beachy, 62, of Millersburg, Ohio, died Jan. 24, 2019, in State College, Pa., a victim of a random shooting. His son, Steven, also died as a result of the shooting.
Born Jan. 16, 1957, Mr. Beachy was a son of the late Albert J. and Emma Jean Beachy.

He was a renowned auctioneer and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church.

He is survived by his wife, the former Linda Meader, whom he married Sept. 21, 1991; children, Robert Joseph, Benjamin Dean and David Albert; sisters, Wilma Mae (Daniel) Yoder and Diane Sue; and a sister- in-law, Esther. In addition to his parents, he was pre-ceded in death by a brother, Dale Lee.

 

Steven Lee Beachy
Steven Lee Beachy, 19, of Millersburg, Ohio, died Jan. 25, 2019, in Altoona, Pa., a victim of a random shooting in State College, Pa., on Jan. 24. His father, Dean, also died as a result of the shooting.

Born June 22, 1999, in Canton, Ohio, he was a son of Linda Meader and the late Dean W. Beachy. Mr. Beachy was a horseman and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church.
In addition to his mother he is survived by three brothers, Robert Joseph, Benjamin Dean and David Albert; grandfather, Bud Meader; and aunts and uncles, Diane, Esther, Daniel and Wilma Yoder, Dana and Lorraine Rines and Robert and Polly Meader.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Walnut Creek Mennonite Missions Program (wcmenn.org/ministries/mission-service).

 

John J. Celii
John J. Celii Jr., 76, died Dec. 20, 2018, surrounded by his wife and loving family.

Mr. Celii was born in West Chester, Pa., in 1942, to his parents, John Celii Sr. and Mary Sarmento Celii. He grew up in Downingtown, Pa., where he met his high school sweet-heart and life partner of 56 years, Patricia.

He graduated from Bishop Shanahan Catholic High School in 1961 and went on to attend St. Joseph’s University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.

Mr. Celii began his 40-year business career at Hewlett Packard. He held senior management positions at 3COM Corporation, Convergent Technologies, and Convergent Dealership Systems. He was instrumental in the startup Grand Junction Networks that was later acquired by Cisco Systems.

Mr. Celii had a deep passion for horse racing, which he turned into a successful Standardbred racing enterprise. His most successful horse, Badlands Hanover, won the Breeders Crown final at Colonial Downs in 1998, setting a world record of 1:50 at age 2. Badlands Hanover went on to be a successful sire on two continents.

Mr. Celii is survived by wife, Patricia C.; daughters, Stephanie A. and Jacqui M. (Mark P.) Friday; granddaughter, Ashley M. Friday; and sister, Edith.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Chester County Community Foundation (www.chescocf.org), the Celii Foundation (www.chescocf.org/fund/patricia-john-celli), or the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (www.adoptahorse.org).

 

Esther Mae Crownover
Esther Mae Crownover, 93, of McArthur, Ohio, died Jan. 21, 2019, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

She was born Nov. 9, 1925, in Wilmington, Ohio, a daughter of the late Robert and Myrtle Shaw Rutledge. She was the widow of the late Leo L. Crownover.

Along with her husband, she owned and operated Crownover Lumber Company Inc. in McArthur, Ohio.

Mrs. Crownover was a member of the First Christian Church in McArthur, the Red Hat Society and the USTA. She was a former board member of the Vinton County National Bank and the Community Bank Shares.

She is survived by her sons, Lundy (Cheryl) and Reid; grandchildren, Brad and Brody; great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Mikayla; brother, Rodney (Gloria) Rutledge; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and dear friends, Eleanor Benedict, Ruth Will, Mildred “Millie” Kohn and Bette Foster. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two grandsons.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leo and Esther Crownover Endowed Scholarship Fund, Wilmington College at Pyle Center, Box 1307, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington, OH 45177; or the Leo and Esther Crownover Memorial Scholarship Fund, University of Rio Grande, P.O. Box 500, Rio Grande, OH 45674.

 

Edward Dougherty
Edward Dougherty, 95, a longtime Doylestown, Pa., resident, and past president of Liberty Bell Park in Philadelphia, Pa., died Jan. 18, 2019, at an assisted care facility in Brick, N.J.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Upper Darby, Pa., Mr. Dougherty graduated from Upper Darby High School where he developed a lifelong friendship with famed basketball coach Jack Ramsey. He later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania on the GI Bill, following his service in the U.S. Army in World War II.

While behind enemy lines on a reconnaissance mission with the 86th division, monitoring German refueling patterns during the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket, his unit was discovered and he was seriously wounded by an enemy artillery shell. He convalesced for more than a year in France before being shipped back to the U.S., where he was discharged after further treatment in Philadelphia.

After graduating from the Wharton School, Mr. Dougherty moved to San Leandro, Calif., to work with Sun Chemicals, selling printing ink for the newspaper industry.

Mr. Dougherty returned to the Delaware Valley in the early 1960s to help in the building of Liberty Bell Park, a harness racing track in Philadelphia. Liberty Bell Park operated as a harness track and later a Thoroughbred track, from 1963 to 1986.

Mr. Dougherty served two terms as president of the Harness Tracks of America and earned numerous awards for his abilities.

He later worked as a consultant to the coal industry before retiring and devoting his time to a considerable slate of volunteer activities, first in Doylestown, Pa., and later in Bay Head, N.J.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Gloria; nine children; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother, Gerald.

Richard C. Flemming
Richard C. Flemming, 83, died while surrounded by his loving family on Dec. 23, 2018.

Mr. Flemming served in the U.S. Army and worked for Rochester Products, retiring af-ter 35 years of service.
He enjoyed harness racing and working on his small farm. He owned and trained Standardbred racehorses with his partner, Ed Beadle, and occasionally sat behind one in an overnight race.

After retiring, Mr. Flemming and his wife, Dottie, resided in Florida, but came home to Brockport, N.Y., every summer. His smile and quiet spirit will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Dorothy (Dottie); daughters, Rhonda (Rick) Greineder, Renate (John) Rappold and Robin Mansfield; grandchildren, Mark (Melissa) Lowery, Erika (Chad) Glende, Emily (Dan) VanderVen, Rhonda (Donnie) Schofield, Maila Lowery, Ashley (Jonathan) Green, Kyle (Val) Haynes, Mallory (Ryan) Plain and Dustin (Laura) Mansfield; 10 great-grandchildren; siblings, Ron (Judi), Fritz (Marilyn), Virginia O’Keefe and Norma; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Joshua Lowery; sons-in-law, Bill Mansfield and Richard Haynes; and siblings, Pauline, Leona and Henry.

Thomas Giamanco
Thomas Everett Giamanco, 70, of New Jersey, died Dec. 27, 2018, at Northport VA Medical Center.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Marie Everett and Alfred Giamanco.

An avid Standardbred racehorse trainer and enthusiast, he was the happiest when tending to racehorses and took much pride in his work.

He is survived by his children, Tammy, Bucky, Melissa, Tina, Connie, Ali and Thomas; grandchildren, Kodey, Marshall, Daniel, Paige, Luca, Gioia, Peyton, Talon, James, Charles, Easton and Rose; sister, Joanne Castellano; brothers, Salvatore and Charles; several cousins, nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

Memorial contributions may be made in honor of two of his grandsons, Talon and Easton, to Family Resources Associates at www.frainc.org.


Gregory V. Harmon

Gregory V. Harmon, 47, died Jan. 11, 2019, in New Port Richey, Fla., as a result of injuries sustained after being hit by a vehicle.
Mr. Harmon, who was born May 23, 1971, in Akron, Ohio, was a lifetime member of the USTA and an accomplished driver, trainer, owner and passionate fan of harness racing. A third-generation horseman, he was the son of longtime horseman and racing official Donald L. and grandson of late driver and trainer William Ingham.

Aside from harness racing, Mr. Harmon’s other passion was in the automotive industry, where he had a special gift that allowed him to showcase his extraordinary talents and afforded him the opportunity to do the things he loved so much—meeting new people, traveling and helping others reach their goals.

He is survived by his parents, Donald L. and Margaret (Ingham) and Betty Lamborgese; brothers, Daniel, Donald Jr. (Teresa) and David (Nicole); sisters, Suzanne (Jeffrey Vales) and Kelly; and his loving fiancée and best friend, Heidi Veatch Gambaccini.

He was especially proud to be an uncle to 14 nieces and nephews and loved spending time with them and the rest of his extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his cousin, Alfred “Skip” Rundgren, whom he considered a brother.

Bradley J. Haynes
Bradley J. Haynes, 48, of London, Ohio, died as a result of a helicopter accident on Jan. 29, 2019.

Born July 26, 1970, in London, Ohio, he was a son of Walter and Maxine (King) Haynes. He was a firefighter for Jefferson Township Fire Department, also working for Hamilton Township and Survival Flight.

He loved horse racing and belonged to the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, the USTA and the National Rifle Association.

He is survived by his children, Morgan Lynn (James) Higgins, Nathan, Lindsey, Bradley J. Jr. and Katherine; brother, John (Kathy); sister, Vickie (Richard) Travis; nephews, Chris-topher (Tracy), Dexter (Dee), Jason (Julie) Travis and Rick (Jenn) Travis; 11 great-nieces and -nephews; several cousins; Harry (Cathy) White; BJ’s mom, Brittany Turvy; and his best friend, Mike Cogdill. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Cathy.

Donald Irving
Donald Irving, 68, of Ocala, Fla., died Dec. 28, 2018, from cancer.

A member of the USTA for 52 years, Mr. Irving was a highly successful and respected trainer and driver until 1988 and then continued as an accomplished horse breeder in the state of Florida. He was Breeder of the Year for six consecutive years and was in-ducted into the Florida Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.

Mr. Irving is survived by his beloved wife, Sandy; son, Brandon (Jenna Kolles); grand-children, Beckett and Olivia; brother-in-law, Dr. Denis (Cathy) Rubal; sister-in-law, Cory Rubal (Scott Ovian); nieces, Tina Jo, Katie Ovian, Deborah (Mark) Nicholls, Patricia (Raj) Taneja, Maggie (Shawn) Beatty, Amanda (Matt) Overton and Melissa (Eli) Gould; nephew, Dustin Ovian; and dear lifetime friends, Barry Speakman, John Walsh, Sam McMichael and fellow horseman Ben Stafford. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dana and Jo Anne; and brother, Daniel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).

Jack Wesley James
Jack Wesley James, 85, died Jan. 6, 2019, in the presence of his wife and companion of 28 years, Bonnie.

He was a lifelong harness horseman who retired at the age of 84. He bought his first horse, Sailor Kenny, in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1962.

While in Ohio, he become a Mason in 1955. He worked at National Cash Register for 14 years in Dayton, Ohio, and retired from Donnelly’s after 25 years.

He was an avid bowler for Brown’s Auto Sales. He joined the Eagles in 1984, became a lifetime member, and was their treasurer for 20 years.

Mr. James is survived by his wife, Bonnie; children, David (Kobba), Cathy (Ed) Harrell and Jill White (Chris Brown); stepchildren, Kenny Steury, Rick Steury and Pat Steury; and grandchildren, Nathan White, Ally Harrell, Wes Harrell, Lane Harrell, Abigail and Morgan. He was preceded in death by his six older siblings.

Roxie L. Jarrett
Roxie L. Jarrett, 91, died Nov. 23, 2018, in Chico, Calif., after a short illness.

She was born in Escondido, Calif., on May 10, 1927, to Samuel Chafe and Reba Paris Judson.

Her connection to horses began at an early age on her parents’ ranch in Escondido, where she learned to care for their horses. During the late 1940s, she purchased her first trotting mare, whom she took to the Stockton Fairgrounds to race. This was a period when there were very few prominent women in the racing industry. She became a pupil and assistant of Miss Helen Davis, one of the top female drivers of the time in California.
In Stockton, she met her first husband, driver/trainer William (“Toddy”) Landucci. Together they trained and raced a stable of horses that traveled over the California Stand-ardbred racing circuit. They later owned and operated a successful business, the T and R Harness Shop, for many years.

After retiring from the racing circuit in the early 1980s, Mrs. Jarrett continued to be active in the California breeding industry, raising and selling the offspring from her two trotting mares.

In her later years, she enjoyed competitive race walking, usually finishing events with a speed exceeding her age group. She compared her training for the sport to the conditioning and training of her horses. She also enjoyed bicycling with her husband, John, and taking amazing hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her brother, Edwin.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years, John O. Jarrett; daughter, Karen Landucci Pollock; and brother, Edwin Dyer.

Susan “Susie” Jones
Susan “Susie” Jones, 85, of Columbus, Ohio, died Jan. 7, 2019, after a brief battle with cancer.

Mrs. Jones was born Nov. 5, 1933, in Litchfield, Ill., to the late James Bonnet and Anne Bonnet. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1955, where she met the love of her life, Richard (a former assistant editor of Hoof Beats magazine), whom she affectionately called “Jonesy.” They married a year later, on Aug. 18, 1956, in Euclid, Ohio.

Mrs. Jones was a physical education teacher for many years, putting that career on hold to raise her family, first in Euclid, then Massillon, and finally Columbus where she and Richard put down their final roots. She resumed her teaching career in 1979, later getting a credential in special education.

Mrs. Jones was an avid fan of the singing group The Four Freshmen and the Ohio State Buckeyes. She and Richard were members of The Four Freshmen Society and the Buckeye Boosters, and they traveled to many conventions and Buckeye football games. She was also a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in the Columbus suburb of Clintonville.
Mrs. Jones shared Richard’s love of harness racing and they enjoyed attending the Little Brown Jug, which became a yearly tradition for the two.

She also loved working jumble and word-search puzzles to keep her mind sharp, and had recently taken up crochet.

She is survived by her daughter, Laura Jones-Ball (Jonathan Ball); son, Steven (Elizabeth Hoffmann); and grandchildren, James, Rhys and Darin. She was preceded in death by her beloved Richard; their son, David; brother, Dr. John Bonnet; and sister, Patricia Nissen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the following: Gethsemane Lutheran Church (www.gethsemane.org); Buckeye Boosters, 921 Chatham Lane No. 301-F, Columbus, OH 43221 (www.buckeyeboosters.com); Habitat for Humanity, 3140 Westerville Rd., Columbus, OH 43224 (www.restoremidohio.org); or Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Ave., New York, NY 10001 (www.doctorswithoutborders.org).


William E. “Bill” Kirwan

William E. “Bill” Kirwan, 80, died Jan. 18, 2019, in Johnstown, Pa.

Mr. Kirwan was a 1956 graduate of St. Agnes High School in Towanda, Pa. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y.

He moved to Johnstown in 1960 and was employed by Penelec as an engineer. He co-founded KirCon Inc. with his wife, Maureen, and later merged the company with Richard Yeager to form KirCon-Breco, Inc.

He was involved in harness racing for many years, as both an owner and a past director of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. He was a member of the USTA.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Maureen (Quinn) in 2010; son, James E. in 2015; and brother-in-law, Edward Kany. He is survived by his children, Kathleen and John; daughter-in-law, Renee (Young); grandchildren, Michael Larkin, Quinn Larkin, James E. Jr. and Delana; sister-in-law, Beverly Graham; brother-in-law, Michael Kany; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Local Chapter of the American Cancer Society, c/o Frank Duca Funeral Home, 1622 Menoher Blvd., Johnstown, PA 15905; or through a donation online to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).


George A. Knackmuhs

George A. Knackmuhs, 76, of West Salem, Ill., died Jan. 11, 2019, at Lawrence County Me-morial Hospital in Lawrenceville, Ill.

He was born May 27, 1942, in Olney, Ill., the son of Anna (Read) and Richard Knackmuhs. He married Judith Dickerson on Aug. 2, 1986, at Little Wabash Church, and she preceded him in death on Aug. 21, 1990.

He was a U.S. Army veteran, having served during the Vietnam War. He was a farmer and a Standardbred owner. He was very involved in racing. In fact, it was his life.

Mr. Knackmuhs is survived by a sister, Sharon Gardner; a niece; and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife and his parents.


Dale L. McConnell

Dale L. McConnell, 75, of Meadow Lands, Pa., died at his home on Jan. 2, 2019.

He was born Dec. 14, 1943, in Cameron, Ohio, a son of the late Edwin and Vera Ault McConnell.

Mr. McConnell was a graduate of Woodfield High School and served with the U.S. Army as a sergeant SP4 in Germany and received a National Defense Service medal as an expert rifleman. He was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ who enjoyed hunting in the area and out West. He especially enjoyed his fishing trips to Canada.

Mr. McConnell lived in the Meadow Lands area for more than 40 years. He was a well-known horseman, as he was a trainer and driver of Standardbreds, and was known as “Mr. Trot.” He was part of one of The Meadows’ track records with his all-time best trotter, Photo Maker.

A quiet and kind man, he had countless friends.

Left behind to cherish his memory is a sister, Sharon “Shay” Harris and her husband; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Willard “Bid” and Wayne; and a sister, Darlene Warner.

Howard McCullough
Howard McCullough, 85, died Dec. 21, 2018.
He was a very successful trainer-
driver in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, having driven Midnite Hardy to back-to-back Illinois Horse of the Year honors in the early 1960s.

After his successful run as a driver and trainer, Mr. McCullough became a well-respected racing official, presiding over several tracks in the various states.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Eilleen McCullough, 7100 Archery Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

Amzy D. Miller
Amzy D. Miller, 78, of Sullivan, Ill., died Jan. 21, 2019.
Mr. Miller, known for his skill in prepping and presenting yearlings at public auction, worked with his son, Darrell, in partnership with Fair Meadow Farm and Bonnie Becker of Altamont, Ill.

The Millers offered a few select yearlings each year at venues including the Illini Classic, Hoosier Classic, Blooded Horse Sale and, recently, the Lexington Selected Sale. Among the yearlings prepped and sold by Amzy and Darrell were 21-time winner Native Dream p,1:50.1f ($314,791) and Illinois Super Night champion Big Bill Breeze 1:54f ($291,347).

Mr. Miller is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary; son, Darrell; daughter, Carol (Paul) Stutzman; grandchildren, Jared, Jaden and Janae; and eight brothers and sisters.


Edward “Fuzzy” Morgan

Edward “Fuzzy” Morgan, 74, died Jan. 13, 2019, at the Oneida Center in Utica, N.Y.

He was born Aug. 25, 1944, in Utica to the late Ralph W. and Marjorie Boland Morgan and was a graduate of Sauquoit Valley Central School.

He proudly served his country during the Vietnam conflict with the U.S. Army and was self employed as a contractor.

He raced Standardbreds at Vernon Downs for many years.
He is survived by his daughter, Jessica (Mark) Rogan; son, Ryan; granddaughter, Naomi; and cousin, Al. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Nancy Griffiths and Donna.

Anthony L. Romano
Anthony L. Romano, 82, of Barnegat, N.J., died Jan. 9, 2019, at Southern Ocean Medical Center, Manahawkin, N.J.
Born in Mamaroneck, N.Y., Mr. Romano lived in North Brunswick for 36 years before moving to Barnegat 18 years ago.
He was a superintendent and vice president at Napp-Grecco, Newark, for 60 years be-fore retiring in 2015.

A horse racing enthusiast, he enjoyed many racetracks, but was especially fond of Saratoga. For many years, he owned Standardbreds, including TW Troubles, RU Trouble, Popular Arrival, Winning Hitter and Kash Cordial.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nicol and Carmella; grandson, Anthony M.; and siblings, Theresa Pannorfi, Philip and Nicholas. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elsie; children, Anthony Jr. (Margaret), Bill (Donna), Bob (Pam), Linda (Beehearts) Cassidy (Tom) and Lauren; grandchildren, Nick (Tara), Robert (Courtney), Thomas (Audrey) Cassidy, Jackie Cassidy, Eric Cassidy, Daniella Boyer and Alyssa Boyer; great-granddaughters, Adelaide and Antonia; and sister, Mary Geletto.

Michael P. Senter
Michael P. “Buck” Senter, 66, of Ludlow Falls, Ohio, died Jan. 27, 2019. He graduated from Northridge High School in 1970.
Mr. Senter was a bar owner for more than 20 years, sold real estate and insurance, and had a passion for training Standardbreds. He was a member of the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and the USTA.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Nellie Hillard; and brother, Robbie. He is survived by his beloved wife of 32 years, Gina; sons, Shawn (Starr) and Jeff (Carey Silcox);

grandchildren, Cole, Corbin, Jaxon, Cameron and Kilar; sister-in-law, Colleen Lawhorn; nephews, Luke and Wyatt; brother-in-law, Billy (Anne) Llewellyn; nieces, Rachel and Lauren; his canine companion, Tucker; and countless good friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society (www.humanesociety.org) or No Kid Hungry (www.nokidhungry.org).

James C. Shipley
James C. Shipley, 79, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, died Jan. 3, 2019, at Knox Community Hospital.

He was born May 27, 1939, in Mount Vernon, the son of Kenneth and Leota Mae (Deakins) Shipley. He was a 1958 graduate of Fredericktown High School.

Mr. Shipley was a family farmer first, but he later served as a representative for Pioneer Seed before establishing Shipley Seed Service with his family for more than 42 years. He also served as the Mount Vernon city treasurer for more than 10 years, was a representative for MoorMan’s in Illinois and retired in 2001 after 15 years of employment with Mount Vernon Farmers Exchange.

He was also active in his community, either serving on various boards or volunteering his time to organizations and functions. He served on the Knox County Fair Board for more than 40 years, 4-H club for more than 28 years, was a co-founder and charter member of the Fredericktown Tomato Show, president of Home Talent Stakes, officer on the Fredericktown Athletic Boosters and member of the Knox County Farm Bureau. He was also recognized as the Knox County Young Farmer of the Year in 1973 and hosted three Heart of Ohio Farm Tours over the years.

Mr. Shipley was loved by many and will be missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years, Debra (Cockerill); children, Wid (Lori), Tanya Jo (Gary) Knapp, Sonya (Mark) Overholt and Jamie (Terri); stepchildren, Amber (Rob) Fowler, Traci (Jason) Vela and Ryan (Lee Anne) Pentz; seven grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a step-great-grandson; and sisters, Betty Grant, Joyce Pence, Vonda (Fred) Turner and Terry (Delmis) Gaddis. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Phyllis Brown and Annie Fearn.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox County 4-H Youth Development Program (knox.osu.edu) or to the attention of Erik Hall (corresponding officer for the Knox County Fair), 6465 Sharp Rd., Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

Lester Tourville
Lester Tourville, 87, of Hamburg, N.Y., died Jan. 12, 2019, at Hospice Buffalo.

Mr. Tourville was born Aug. 28, 1931, to the late Eugene and Lucy (Nichols) Tourville in Ellenburg, N.Y. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War in 1952.

He was a driver and trainer at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs until he retired in 2004.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Tourville worked for Mar Con Farms, training their top Open pacer Mar Con Cash p,4,1:59.4q ($151,554). Later he trained and drove for the powerful Theodora Brown and Sportacular Stables. Some of their top trotters he conditioned in-clude Fly Rod 4,2:00.2h ($133,775) and Noble Grant 5,2:01.3q ($107,497).

Prior to starting his career in the horse business, he was a milkman and delivered to homes in the Rochester area in the 1960s.

He is survived by his longtime companion of 39 years, Shirley Mitchell; his children, Fr. David, Dennis, Deborah, Diane, Donna (Fred) Kabel, Darlene (Dan) Bailey, Jeremy (KC) and Sarah; 14 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Raymond Lagasse, Leo, Earl, Carl and Norman; sisters, Evangeline Whalen, Leona Dupuis, Jeannette Van Slyke, Doritha Fisher and Ada Zangari; and Mil-dred, the mother of his six older children.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice Foundation of WNY (www.hospicebuffalo.com).

Sal S. Villante
Sal S. Villante, 58, of East Windsor, N.J., died Jan. 3, 2019, in Princeton, N.J.

He was a past member of the USTA and the Standardbred owners associations of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Villante was a truly dedicated horseman. He was a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather.
If you knew Mr. Villante, you knew his love of a great meal, time with his family, a long night of poker playing accompanied by a good cigar and a glass of Glenlivet.

He is survived by his father, Vincenzo; wife of 33 years, Linda; daughters, Nicole, Kristin (Tiago) Lucas, Danielle and Anna Marie; grandsons, Jaxson and baby boy Lucas due this March; brother, Thomas (Diane); sister, Rosalia (Jake) Huff; sisters- and brothers-in-law, Josephine Mede, Nicholas Mitaritonna (Susan Scialabba), Michele (Jeff) Lechmanick, Barbara (Tom) Avellino and Josephine Mitaritonna; and nieces and nephews, Ronnie Huff, Ryan Huff, John Villante, Gia Villante, Kristina Villante, Vincenza Villante, Justin Mitaritonna, Sara Mitaritonna, Michael Mitaritonna, Gina Mitaritonna, Natalie Mitaritonna, Nicholas Mitaritonna, Kyle Lechmanick, Ryan Lechmanick, Daniel Lechmanick and James Lechmanick. He was preceded in death by his mother, Rosemarie; brother, Peter; father in-law, Micheal Mitaritonna; and goddaughter, Sabrina Avellino.

 

Thomas “Tom” White
Thomas Wayne White, 84, who kept harness racing in the headlines, and helped put fans in the stands for many years as publicist at Red Mile, Scioto Downs and the Little Brown Jug/Delaware County Fair, died Feb. 4, 2019, at Sayre Christian Village in Lexington, Ky. He had been in poor health since suffering a major stroke four years ago.

In death, Mr. White joined his sweetheart of 60 years, Frankie (Frances Thornbury White), where they are surely cheering the University of Kentucky Wildcats at center court or the 50-yard line.

He will be missed dearly by his children, Scott (Susan) and Marianne (Gary) Mosley; and four grandchildren, Caroline, Nathanael, Emily Mosley and Elizabeth Mosley. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Jon and Mary (Bloxham) White.

A native of Plymouth, Ind., near South Bend, he grew up rooting for Notre Dame and the Chicago White Sox. However, following a Bear Bryant-led University of Kentucky Sug-ar Bowl championship in 1951, he traveled south to attend the University of Kentucky.

He made the most of his matriculation even though Bear Bryant left, pledging Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, writing for the Kentucky Kernel—he was sports editor his senior year—and meeting the love of his life. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

After graduation, he became a sports writer for the Lexington Leader, covering high school sports, Transylvania University basketball, backup UK football and basketball, and harness racing. He had a regular high school sports column called “The White Line.”

While covering harness racing for the Lexington Leader, he fell in love with the sport. He left the newspaper to become a writer and reporter for The Horseman and Fair World and Hoof Beats magazines.

In 1974, he took a job as director of publicity and public relations at Red Mile and Tattersalls horse sales. He was a regular fixture on local TV and radio, wrote regular features in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and instituted a Memorial Day Chili Cook-Off and Concerts promotion at Red Mile. He wrote two books, Harness Racing History in Kentucky and A Century of Speed, a compendium of stories, photographs and interviews celebrating the centennial of Red Mile.

After almost 15 years, he left Red Mile to direct publicity and public relations at Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio. He returned to Lexington and continued writing for Standard-bred trade magazines as well as coordinating publicity for the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio.

In 2005, he was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.

He mentored many college students and young harness racing colleagues and taught a course in sports writing at Eastern Kentucky University. He was an avid reader, loved history, and took classes through UK’s Donovan Scholars program. He was a lifelong learner who was nevertheless somewhat perplexed by technology. Colleagues will remember him pounding on his laptop keys with the same enthusiasm he employed on the manual typewriter he used in college.

He was an active member of Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. He was active in Men of Maxwell and spent many years as an usher, greeting members and visitors with his trademark friendliness, kindness, sense of humor and gift of gab.

Donald H. Zich
Donald H. Zich, 76, of Akron, N.Y., died Jan. 22, 2019, at the Gates Vascular Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Born Sept. 11, 1942, Mr. Zich was introduced to harness racing at a very early age, as his uncle Herb Schweitzer raced a stable of horses at Vernon Downs. After working with his uncle and learning the business during the summer while still in school, he entered the military after graduation and served his country during the Vietnam conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, Mr. Zich went right back to the track and started his lifelong participation in the sport he loved.

During his active years of training and driving at Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway, Mr. Zich oversaw his own stable while also catch driving for many years. Horses he steered and conditioned include Tarzan Direct, Southcote Irish, Gemarillo, Win Jon, Laredo LST, Columbia Stone, Surginski, Hatchet Almahurst, Dovers Dolittle, Quality Wins, Fan Can Do, Flower Time, Two Smart, Cosmic Jolt and his pride and joy, Fanny’s Filly, whom he guided into being the Trotter of the Year in western New York in 1982.

Mr. Zich was also a 30-year employee of General Motors at the Buffalo Engine Plant where he earned an associate’s degree as a skilled tradesman and worked as a tinsmith.

In his spare time, Mr. Zich was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved to spend time with his family. He was a friend to everyone at the track and he will be missed by all who knew him.

Mr. Zich was the beloved husband of Elizabeth P. (nee Ralston) for 53 years; devoted father of Tina M. (Timothy L.) Bojarski, Deborah A. (Darrin M.) Monti and Donald; cher-ished grandfather of Dana, Lauren, Andrew, Donnie and Taylor; loving son of the late Fred and Mildred; dear stepbrother of Beverly; and is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins. HB

Please send obituaries to In Memoriam, Hoof Beats, 6130 S. Sunbury Rd., Westerville, OH 43081-9309. You can also send them by email to news@ustrotting.com, or by fax to 844.229.1338 (toll free U.S. and Canada) or 614.224.4575 (outside the U.S. and Canada). Obituaries are subject to editing for clarity and space.

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