WPI/NTPA regrets to report the passing on Friday, February 26 of Donald E. Flowers, 83, of Wharton, Ohio. Mr. Flowers was among the earliest competitors in the Pro Stock class and contended for NTPA Grand National titles through the mid-1980s with his "Red Knight" and "Black Knight" Massey Fergusons.
A farmer and truck driver by occupation, Mr. Flowers was victorious in the first appearance of the single-charger tractor division at Bowling Green, Ohio in 1980. That same year, he was the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association's champion in 12,000-lb. Field Stock.
In 1981, with the Pro Stocks having been recognized as an NTPA-sanctioned division, he scored runner-up finishes at both the 10,000-lb. and 12,000-lb. weights in BG with his original "Red Knight" MF 1150. Another second in the 10 the following week at the Ohio State Fair earned him that same placing in the final Grand National standings, while he took third in the 12.
Flowers' "Red Knight" became a 2805 for 1982 and beyond, while he introduced the "Black Knight" 1150 in 1984. He had his best remaining season in 1983 when "Red" finished third and fourth in the light and heavy classes, respectively.
There will be no funeral service, per Mr. Flowers' wishes. His full obituary may be found here, and online condolences may be expressed to the family.
Mr. Flowers is survived by his wife Belva; daughters Cheryl Pfeiffer, Karen Frey, and Lisa Butler; five grandchildren, Ashley Walters, Brandy Clay, David Butler, Kylie Blakely and Jessica Mukherjee; eight great-grandchildren; and a brother Dennis.
We are heartened to note that Mr. Flowers' legacy of Pro Stock Massey Fergusons survives in the form of Ashley's husband Ryan and "Chasin' Tail," which sports the same painted smile on its grille that Mr. Flowers made famous.
Our thoughts are with Belva, Ryan and Ashley, and the entire Flowers family.