Joe Whitney, Father of the Ground Force Team, Has Passed

With sadness, we must report the death on Monday, May 6 of Joseph Whitney, 83, of Spencerville, Ohio. Mr. Whitney was the father of David and Mike Whitney and Cameron Aller, all of the St. Marys-based "Ground Force" John Deere 5020 Pro Stock pulling team.

A lifelong farmer, Mr. Whitney and his wife of 46 years, Linda, attended Kossuth Zion Methodist Church. He also was an inventor and a proprietor of businesses including Spencerville Implements, S.I. Distributing, and Holland Grill in western Ohio. His involvement in the life of his community and support for its youth was manifested in service on the Spencerville School and Auglaize County Fair Boards and membership in the Ohio Young Farmers Association.

His leisurely pursuits revolved around his family: watching his sons pull and his kids and grandkids show animals at the fair. He also enjoyed restoring antique tractors in Ohio and at his and Linda's Florida winter home, and he was a member of the Buckeye Antique Tractor Club. Mr. Whitney's complete obituary may be found here, and notes of condolence may be left for the family.

In addition to Linda, David and his wife Bobbi, Mike and his wife Robin, and Cam and his wife Ericka, Mr. Whitney is survived by children Mary (Toby) Strayer, and Brenda (Tim) Jones, 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and siblings Neal (Renee) and Sheryl (Mark) Henschen.

Visitation for Mr. Whitney's family and friends is scheduled for 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at the Thomas E. Bayliff Funeral Home, 728 East Fourth Street, Spencerville, Ohio 45887 (419.647.4205). His funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Spencerville Trinity United Methodist Church, 119 North Main Street, Spencerville (419.647.4451).

Our thoughts are with the Whitneys in their time of sorrow.

Contact Info

National Tractor Pullers Association
6155-B Huntley Road,
Columbus, OH 43229

PHONE: (614) 436-1761

FAX: (614) 436-0964