Friday, March 5, 2010

Tom Honecker: Obituary, funeral services


Tom Honecker of Findlay, Ohio, a long-time field trialer and AFTCA Region 4 trustee, died Thursday, March 4, 2010, after suffering a heart attack. He was 61.

AFTCA Region 1 trustee Elias Richardson was deeply saddened by Tom's death, saying that the field trial world has "suffered a great loss.''

Tom was born March 25, 1948 to Ken and Ethel (Beltz) Honecker. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ethel (Beltz) Honecker, and an infant brother Danny.

Tom leaves behind his wife, Mary (Schelby) Honecker, son Curt (Stephanie) Honecker of New Philadelphia, OH, daughter Nicole (Jeff) Beach of Norton, OH and four grandchildren, Cole and Nolan Honecker and Schelby and Gavin Beach; his father, Ken and a sister Debra (Tom) Poole and numerous friends.

Tom was a 1966 graduate of Arlington High School and a 1970 graduate of The Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelors of Animal Science degree. Tom owned and operated his primary business K-T Equipment Rental in Findlay, OH which was established in 1970, with his father Ken. He was also a member of the Ohio Equipment Dealers Association and The American Rental Association. Tom was an avid outdoorsman and had a lifelong love of field trials. Tom served as a past-president and trustee of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America.

Tom was the current president of the Associated Bird Dog Clubs of Ohio and The International Pheasant Championship Club.

Because of Tom's love for training his birddogs, in 1995 he established CedarOak Plantation in Holly Springs, MS, fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning enough land to host his own field trials. Tom served as president of the CedarOak Field Trial Club in Holly Springs, MS.

Involved in wildlife conservation in Ohio and especially in Mississippi, Tom diligently worked for the propagation of Bobwhite Quail. Tom worked hand in hand with The State of Ohio Wildlife Committee in an effort to preserve and sustain field trials at Killdeer Plains Conservation Area. Tom's love for Killdeer Plains was so deep that in 1993 he purchased a farm now known as CedarOak Farm adjacent to Killdeer Plains, in Wyandot County, Ohio. This purchase opened additional training grounds to support the sport he loved.

Tom participated in field trials throughout his entire life winning his first event at 9 years of age. Tom went on to win over 60 major championships including the "superbowl" of field trials, The National Championship, in 1998 with his beloved dog CedarOak Kate.

In 2002, Tom partnered with his son Dr. Curt Honecker and Dr. Rodney Tienarend to establish Valley View Animal Hospital in Dover, OH. Tom served as a sheriff deputy in Holly Springs, MS under his friend Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.

Tom also loved the sport of open-wheeled sprint car racing. With that love he co-owned and sponsored Honecker Jacobs Motorsports for several years.

Tom's latest endeavor was the opening of The LaRue Horse Sale which is held the last Saturday of every month at the CedarOak Equestrian Center in LaRue, Ohio.

Tom was a son, husband, father, grandfather, loyal friend and a larger than life personality. His absence has created a large vacuum in many of our lives. He has always been an excellent advisor and mentor to many in times of crisis and could be counted on to deliver when he had committed to accomplish any task. He was undeniably an impeccable businessman, entrepreneur and field trialer. There is no question that Tom will be missed by all who loved him.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, March 8, 2010 at COLDREN-CRATES FUNERAL HOME, Findlay, where visitation will be held from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Pastor Harry W. Scott will officiate and burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery. Memorials can be made in his memory to the Amateur Field Trial Club of America designated Century 21 Fund. Online condolences can be made via

The following is a posting from The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal

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