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Family And Friends Honor Tractor Buff With A Final Procession
Friends and family of Jimmy Haenning, who died last summer at age 24 in a non-farming accident, gave him a fitting farewell by carrying him to his final resting place on a flatbed trailer that also carried his favorite antique tractor.
Jimmy's father, Jim, led the procession of 28 tractors which made the trip from the church to the cemetery. Jim drove a semi pulling a flatbed trailer which carried his son's casket as well as his Farmall Super M. Jimmy's other two tractors, driven by two of his three sisters, led a procession of 28 tractors behind the semi.
Jimmy grew up on a farm and also worked in the family's excavating business. He had planned to eventually take over the farm. He was well liked by the entire community and was a member of the Franklin County Antique Tractor Association. "He was always smiling and would do anything to help anybody. His death came as a big shock to us and to the entire community," says Jim.
The night before the funeral, a few friends asked the family if they could load Jimmy's pulling tractor onto a semi trailer and park it outside the funeral home in the morning. By the next morning, 28 tractors were waiting to escort Jimmy's body from the funeral home to the church. All the pall bearers were on tractors. After the service at the cemetery was over, all the tractors made a circle and passed Jimmy again. Then they went on home.
"We never dreamed there would be so many tractors, and we also couldn't believe the turnout. At least 800 people stood in line. Some people even videotaped the entire procession," says Jim.
Bumper stickers were made up that said "Pulling For Jimmy", and everyone put them on their tractors. The profits from the sale of the stickers, as well as from T-shirts, went to a scholarship fund started in Jimmy's name.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Haenning, 3161 George Road, Okeana, Ohio 45053 (ph 513 738-5659).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2