Joel Sharp Black

April 23, 1937 ‒ August 27, 2018

Mansfield, Ohio

By Joel Sharp Black

I was Joel Sharp Black.  I was born April 23, 1937 to Clare Louise Conklin Black and Donald Spencer Black in Mansfield Ohio.  I reluctantly departed this world on August 27, 2018.  I succumbed to leukemia, but not to its complications (those I beat).  I was preceded in death by my mother, father, brother Terrence Charles Black, and sister Ellen Cave Black.

I am survived by my incredible wife of 57 years, Margaret Scott Black, without whose support I would have passed long ago!  Also surviving me are my two sons Stephen Spencer Black and John Blymyer Black of whom I am incredibly proud (see, wonderful daughters-in-law Anne Malinak Black and Karyn Wright, and three unbelievable granddaughters Catherine, Madeline, and Caroline Black.   These three young ladies are destined to make a real difference in this world.

I began my education at the Country Day School and Johnny Appleseed Jr High School in Mansfield.  I graduated with the class of 1956 from the Salisbury School in Connecticut.  In 1960 I received a Bachelors of Science and Engineering from Princeton.  My thesis was on Paleo-magnetics—a forerunner to the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics, which is pretty cool.  My MBA is from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.   After a number of years I returned to the classroom at The Ohio State University, for continuing education in organic chemistry and many agronomy courses.

My professional life started with the Ohio Brass Company, where I worked as a Mining and Transit Engineer, and Factory Budget Manager.  After a short time with Revest Corp., a real estate investment company, I moved into farming.  In 1970 I started Killydonnell Farm, a standardbred race horse breeding operation.  I retired from raising horses in 1996.

I succeeded in failing to fully retire from farming when I joined in the establishment and operation of Raemelton Farm, Adamstown, MD.  When not at the farm I served on the pit crew of my four time national champion son, John, as he raced his car at tracks around the country.

I participated on the boards of several organizations through the years which included Friendly House, Richland County Historical Society, Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and the Ohio Standardbred Breeders Assoc.

Several days before my death my Pastor Bruce Haapalainen stopped by to meet the entire family.  He asked me if I would like to say a few words at my memorial service.  This seemed at the time to be a pretty good idea.  After careful review I realized it would probably mean keeping my friends parked in the Chapel for hours so I finally declined his offer.

Bruce will lead a memorial service on Friday August 31st at 11 a.m. in the First Congregational Church, 640 Millsboro Rd., Mansfield, Ohio (due to construction, please use the front doors). Private interment will be in Mansfield Cemetery.

Joel spent an enormous amount of time through the years mowing and maintaining, and behind-the-scenes support of Discovery School and the Art Center. So in lieu of flowers or cards, memorial donations can be made to Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Discovery School, or the Mansfield Art Center, and these may be made at the memorial service or through Snyder Funeral Home, 350 Marion Avenue, 44903.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Black family, and encourage you to share a word of support with them online at:

  • Margret, John and Steve,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Many wonderful memories of my childhood with the boys and you and Joel. Growing up knowing you all was a privilege that I’m honored to be able to tell the stories of the mischief and projects that John and I got into (while you and Joel patiently watched) a kind, thoughtful and patient man whos presence and action in and for the community will be missed by many.

  • Am I allowed to say I enjoyed reading this obituary? How original. It was written with a twinkle in his eye. I can see why he will be missed by family and friends.

  • Joel will be missed. Especially seeing him ride by on his tractor to go mow discovery school soccer field. My condolences to all his family. His obituary is reflective of how unique he was.

  • Margaret & Family,
    You have my deepest sympathy in the loss of Joel.
    The obituary was one of a kind ~ just like Joel. Such an intelligent down to earth fellow.
    Thinking of you and remembering you in prayer,
    Cindy Van Wagner- Alt
    (Your former travel agent)

  • Margaret, John, Steve & Family:

    Thank you for allowing us to care for Joel in your home. You welcomed each of us and treated us like family. We were honored to get to know Joel, his sense of humor and hear him tell stories of childhood days. We learned to know the family through his bragging about each one of you. In our line of work loss is never easy, but this loss just seems greater. It has hit us hard. Joel will impact our lives for a long time. We will continue to pray for each of you, and look forward to the day we see Joel again.

    Rhonda Wicker &
    Servant’s Heart Caregivers