John L. Hileman, 77, of Rockford, Ohio passed away Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at Mercer Health in Coldwater, Ohio, where he had been a patient. John was born on February 2, 1941, in Van Wert County, Ohio, the son of Isaac R. and Wilma (Swoveland) Hileman, both of whom preceded him in death. John graduated from Rockford High School and on June 11, 1960, he married the love of his life, Ann Myers Hileman, who survives in Rockford. John lived his entire life in the Rockford area, where he farmed his land; he also worked at International Harvester for 17 years. He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, and served many roles in the life of the church. John was driven to succeed in whatever he has done, and he was always there to help people, no matter whom it was. For nearly a quarter of a century, John competed with the National Tractor Pulling Association, and was well known to many both for winning National Championships as well as for his sportsmanship and showmanship. He enjoyed traveling and did so extensively with Ann and his family visiting a wide range of places in the United States and Canada. He became a goodwill ambassador for the NTPA in Holland where he competed with his tractor and represented the sport overseas. He was especially proud and humbled as he stood there on the podium, holding an American Flag, as they raised the Flag of the United States overhead. So many wonderful things were shared with him and his family through his tractor pulling career.
Surviving in addition to his wife, Ann, are two daughters and three sons: Debbie (Jay) Julow of Northville, Michigan; Janice (Michael) Stephenson of Fort Wayne, Indiana; John (Tammy) Hileman II of Celina, Ohio; Rick Hileman of Battle Creek, Michigan; and Jim (Elena De La Rosa Blanco) Hileman of Washington, D.C. John loved the time he spent with his grandchildren: Scott Bowman, Jr., Steve (Maya) Bowman, Anna (Doug) Roolf, Jacquee Eicher, Ray Julow, Nathan Hileman, Nicholas Hileman, Alyssa Hileman, Santiago Hileman, and Marina Hileman, along with one great grandchild, Melia Olry. Also surviving is his brother, David (Barb) Hileman and a sister-in-law, Cindy Hileman Alspaugh, and her husband Ed of Decatur, Indiana. Deceased is a brother, Dean Hileman.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Rockford United Methodist Church with Pastor Chip Steffy officiating. Burial will follow at the Mt. Tabor Cemetery, located at 3666 N. Piqua Rd., Decatur, Indiana. Friends may call at the Rockford United Methodist Church, located at 202 S. Franklin St. in Rockford, on Friday from 2-8 p.m., and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Memorials may be directed to the Rockford Methodist Church Kids’ Club, the Youth Group, the Henderson Project, the Memorial Fund, or to the Building Project. Condolences may be expressed at ketchamripley.com.