Red Tractor 08

Jack Baumgardner

July 2, 1937 ~ January 1, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Jack Baumgardner Obituary

Jack Baumgardner, of rural Mansfield, passed away unexpectedly early New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2024. He was 86 and the youngest of 11 children.

He was born to Claude and Ida Baumgardner in New Bedford, Ohio, on July 2, 1937.  Raised on a farm and living amongst the Amish, Jack learned to do many things at an early age. He worked the fields on a Fordson tractor, and loved anything with an engine, which led to his life-long love of cars and racing.

Jack began his working career as a Nickles bread man. He then spent 30 years as a Pepsi Cola distributor and at the same time, running Foreign Car Parts of Mid-Ohio with friend and partner, Dave McClenathan. When the parts store closed, he continued farming, and drove truck for Lexington Concrete, and later, for Younkin Trucking in Ashland until 2006.

Jack raised beef cattle on his farm, as well as making hay, cutting firewood (lots of it), and was a beekeeper. He took great pride in his 1953 Ford Jubilee and was in the process of re-building a Fordson and a 62 Ford Galaxie. He showed his tractors at Malabar Farm and the Bellville Street Fair.

He also showed his Mini Cooper collection at the Bellville Street Fair. If you knew Jack, you knew how much he loved his Mini Coopers. He began racing at Mid-Ohio in the early 60’s, and soon became an icon. The red 1964 Mini with the checkered top, was a fan favorite. He held the track record at Mid-Ohio for years, in the GT-5 class, but his greatest joy was heading to Asheville, NC, each April, for 30 consecutive years, to the “Chimney Rock Hillclimb”, a 1.8 mile “thrill ride”, up the side of the mountain, “as fast as you can go.” He won there, many times, and sadly, 1995 was the last year for the event that he and five other area drivers enjoyed so much.

Jack was “aptly named,” as he was the original “Jack-of-all-trades.” He could build anything, fix anything, and do anything. He and good friend, Jim Besenti, built the first “rear-wheel drive” Mini for racing. That car was his pride and joy, as was his Pennsylvania Panzer yard tractor with a Mini Cooper engine, and his “half-fast” golf cart that he built, also with a Mini Cooper engine.  He had a lot of fun with that golf cart! 

Jack is survived by his four girls, Lori (Don Miller) of Louisville, Ohio, Lisa (Dan Mace) of Bellville, Liby (Terry Baughman) of Holt, MO, and Lee Ann Geary of Mansfield; six grandkids; 3 great-grandkids, and one on the way. He is also survived by Norene Marietta of Bellville, and Jane Hamilton of Mason, Ohio.

Jack would want us to recognize his beloved nephew, Mike Baumgardner, of Bellville, as his best friend in the world. Mike is a clone of Jack’s many talents and interests, including racing.  Two of a kind, indeed.

Jack was a patriot who fiercely loved this country and the “No Bullshit” ways of Donald Trump. Memorial contributions may be made to Tunnel of Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306, or the World Central Kitchen, ATTN: Donor Services Team, 200 Massachusetts Ave NW, 7th Floor, Washington DC 20001.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held when the weather warms up.

Werner-Gompf Funeral Services, ltd., 1106 Park Avenue East, Mansfield, assisted the family with the arrangements.

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