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Joe Black Sr. Passes

Published: October 30, 2018 2:53 pm ET

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Horseman Joe Edward Black Sr., of Pinckney, Michigan, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Saturday, October 27 at the age of 82.

Joe was born in Lawrenceburg, TN on November 18, 1935, to William and Mary Black.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother and is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean and their four sons, Joe, Jr. (Kathy), William (Kathy), Mick (Michelle) and Dale (Lindsey). He will also be missed by his six grandchildren Jessica (Evan) Falzon, Kaitlyn, Tyler, Samantha, Mackenzie and Lauren, and a step-grandchild McKenna.

Growing up in Tennessee, as a young boy he would pick cotton from the fields. Later, Joe joined the Military Police with the U.S. Army. He served four years, being deployed to Washington State, Germany and Italy before being honourably discharged. He also received medals for Good Conduct and Sharpshooter (Pistol) and was part of Desert Rock VII: Atomic Battlefield in 1957. Once home, he worked as a manager for A&P Stores and JIC Electric where he learned how to weld.

Joe married Jean Marie Ulman on December 3, 1956, which was his true love for 62 years. The couple would travel together to Bullhead City, Arizona from November to May and spend their time at the Golden Nugget Casino. Joe was a big winner when he won a Lincoln LS. He just couldn’t believe it!

Joe met Jim Dunn in 1968 and began his career in Standardbred horse racing. Joe trained many of Howard Niles horses before hitting it out on his own. Doctor Keeran was a big part of getting Joe’s stable going. They worked together for many years, helping lame horses with rest and retraining. In 1977 Joe started to drive his own horses and prepping other horse to go to Chicago for Pete Guido. Joe drove at Northville, Jackson, Hazel Park, Wolverine (DRC), Saginaw and Toledo Ohio. Some of the best-known horses he drove were Cadillac Jack, Miss Jean Knox, Massager Pick, Little Humper, Embassy Volo, Wolfman Pete, Blacks Image, and Monas Image. Joe’s training/driving stats are 541 starts, 47 wins, 57 2nds, 59 3rds and $153,008.00 money earned. Joe was a member of the United States Trotting Association and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association.

A gathering of family and friends of Joe’s will be held on Thursday, November 1 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Shelters Funeral Home, 250 Mill Street, Pinckney, MI that will include sharing stories of love and laughter. Joe Black Sr. will forever be in our hearts, and his smart remarks will always ring in our ears. Love you forever Bad Joe Black.

Jean and Joe Richet were very close friends. Jean had written this about their horse:
“The shoes I wore around the track were given to me by Bad Joe Black. The front ones were to take up the slack, but I’m embarrassed by the ones in back. Cadillac Jack.”

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Joe Black.


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