Jay Michael Haning, 40, of Morton, passed away 12:11 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 15, 2017) at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria.
His funeral will be noon Monday at Minier Christian Church. Visitation will be 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the church. Davis-Oswald Mortuary, Hopedale, is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Jay Haning Memorial Fund.
Private interment will be at a later date.
Jay was born March 10, 1977, in Bloomington, a son of Duane and Joyce Ruwe Haning. His mother preceded him in death on June 26, 1996.
Surviving are his father, Duane Haning, Minier; one brother, Brad (Julie) Haning, Mackinaw; one sister, Jill (Mike) Leahy, St. Croix Falls, Wis.; and three nephews, Brady, Nolan, and Calan Leahy, all of St. Croix Falls.
Jay graduated from Olympia High School, Stanford, in 1995. In August 1995, he entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He majored in agronomy and joined Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity, where he lived during his college years. He also worked for Ken and Barb Dalenberg on their grain farm during this time, which he enjoyed thoroughly. Jay graduated in 1999, earning a bachelor’s degree.
After graduation, he went to work with John Deere Company in the Hay and Forage Equipment Division. He tested a prototype and new introduction baling equipment. He traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and lived in Australia for a short time, testing machines there. From there, he went to Davenport Training Center where he was an ag service training instructor. He taught dealer service training for dealer techs and personnel. He developed an extensive background for John Deere Ag machines.
After some years at the training center, he went to the customer support division, where he was a territory customer support manager in western Illinois. He supported dealers in several territories throughout Illinois. He gained many wonderful friends throughout his career with John Deere. He wore no other hat.
Besides Jay’s time with Deere, he maintained his absolute passion for farming and continuing the family farm. He was very adamant about keeping up with the latest technologies introduced in agriculture and he applied his experience from one career to the next. He was first and foremost an Illinois farmer.
Jay’s hobby was tractor pulling. He started at age 14. His first pulling tractor was a 1934 Hart Parr. He then expanded his hobby with Paul, Bill, Joe, and Herb of Friedrich Farms Pulling Team. They spent the last 12 years pulling throughout the Midwest. They ran in the 10,000-pound pro-stock class, most recently running a new component tractor named Buck with No Doe. This was Jay’s biggest thrill and he spent many hours working on the tractor with the guys. The team received ITPA Sportsmanship of the Year Award in 2015 and received Friedrich-Haning pulling team family of the year 2017.
Jay will be greatly missed by his family and thousands of friends. He will be remembered for his “off the wall” sense of humor, his infectious laugh, and his engaging smile. Godspeed Driver!