Longtime Standardbred owner Jack R.Shearer died Wednesday, Jan. 29. He was 86.
Mr. Shearer was born in Canton on Aug. 13, 1927, to the late Nelson and Ester (Roth) Shearer. He attended Avondale Elementary and was a member of the class of 1945 at Lehman High School.
After serving two years in the Navy and attending Ohio University, he joined his three-generation family grocery business (Shearer's Market). Mr. Shearer and his wife,Rosemary, owned and operated the market up through the late 1970s.
In 1974 he co-founded Brookside Distributing which became Shearer's Foods. Potato chips were first sold under the 'Kettle-Cook'd' label. Today Shearer's brand products are sold nationwide.
In the early 1990s, heturned the leadership of Shearer's Foods over to his sons, Thomas and Robert, and focused his attention on the Standardbred business. His six-horse stable raced in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Every fall, Mr. Shearer purchased an Ohio-eligible yearling or two to compete in the following year's Ohio Sires Stakes races. His most famous horse was Crisp Sahbra, who won many Ohio Sires Stakes races and was twice named Horse of the Year in Ohio.
Mr. Shearer donated his leadership skills to several organizations. He served 18 years on the Board of Directors for the East Ohio Food Dealers Association, was voted Treasurer of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association and he served as president of the Massillon Club.
Northfield Park honored him in 2005 with the Distinguished Owner's Award, and he is amember of their Wall of Fame. In January 2006, the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association recognized himwith a Special Appreciation Award for his many years of outstanding service and support of the Standardbred racing industry.
He is survived by his children, Robert (Melissa), Susan (Roger) Shearer-Self and Thomas (Kathleen);grandchildren, Roger, Stacey, Rodney, Karey, Ryan and Katie; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother, William (Marcia). He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary (McMahon).
Friends and family may call at the Paquelet Funeral Home on Friday (Jan. 31) from 4–8 p.m. and Saturday (Feb. 1) from 1-2 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Paquelet Funeral Home. Entombment will follow at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Hospice of Green. (USTA)