The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 10, 2013

Tanner man remembered as cutting-edge farmer, tractor-puller, giver

By Jean Cole

— Shirley Haney was known by many as the father of the Tanner tractor pull.

But, he was much more than that in the Jones Crossroads community where he lived south of Athens. His contributions to farming and his dedication to family, friends and raising money for Tanner High School made him well loved.

Haney died Wednesday at Athens Rehabilitation Center in Athens. He was 73.

Born in 1939 in Benton, Ky., he was a lifelong farmer and tractor puller. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1985.

Standout man, farmer

Tanner resident Jimmy Newby, 68, knew Haney as a fellow farmer.

“I was a pretty young fella and I could see he just got the job done,” he said Friday. And when you had something broke down, he’d stop and help you. He was a hard worker. His whole family is like that.