Columbus, OH — Russell G. Baldwin, 79, of Plain City, Ohio, who trained, drove and judged at the county fairs in Ohio, died unexpectedly Dec. 22, 2018, at his residence.
Born Sept. 28, 1939, in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Baldwin grew up in Richwood, Ohio. His paternal grandfather, Bruce Baldwin, introduced him to harness racing. At age 17 he obtained his racing license. He was a member of the United States Trotting Association.
Mr. Baldwin became a regular at Scioto Downs and the county fair circuits in the summers. During the winter months he raced at Lebanon and Northfield. He even ventured north of the border into Ontario, to race at Windsor Raceway. Mr. Baldwin was often the winningest driver of the Scioto Downs racing season, with wins establishing new track records and national season’s mark.
After a long 50 years in the harness horse business, he semi-retired to the responsibility of presiding judge at various Ohio county and independent fair races.
When he was not busy with his judging duties, he was an active member of the Hilliard Ray Patch and Marysville YMCA. He was a member of Marysville and Delaware Eagles. He loved to travel, taking many group trips to Florida, Branson, Missouri and the Kentucky Horse Park.
Mr. Baldwin loved the Ohio State Buckeyes, going to several football games and was very excited when he was on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer in February 2017. His recent favorite Ohio State Buckeye memory was attending the Ohio State vs. Maryland game where the Buckeyes won a close game in overtime.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Clarabelle (Smith); wife of 52 years, Judy (Latham), in 2010; daughter, Beverly Sullivan, in 2008; and grandson, Joshua Tate Minthorn, in 1980.
He is survived by his loving daughters, Robin (Gary) Smith, Jerri (Roger) Legler, and Nikki (Shawn) Whitt; son-in-law, Jerry Sullivan; grandchildren, Brandon (Becky) Smith, Dustin (Kristin) Minthorn, A.J. (Jenni Wright) Minthorn, Bailey Legler, Nick Legler, Anthony Sullivan, Nathan Sullivan, Davey Boysel, Dylan Boysel, Paige Whitt, Connor Whitt, and Collin Whitt; great-grandchildren, Payton Cotter, Grady Wright, Leland Minthorn, Brynn Minthorn, Stella Minthorn, Marissa Smith, Iivy Smith, and Bryson Smith; special companion, little “Corkey”; brother, Bruce; and sister, Fran.
The family will receive friends from 4–8 p.m. Friday (Dec. 28) at Ferguson Funeral Home, 202 E. Main Street (St. Rt. 161W), Plain City, with Memorial Service at 1 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 29) at New California Presbyterian Church, 10089 Industrial Parkway, Marysville, with burial in Forest Grove Cemetery, 1 p.m. Monday (Dec. 31).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the New California Presbyterian Church.