By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
A convoy of antique tractors followed the casket of a Stoneboro man on Thursday; Jack L. Kline's hearse was a hay trailer pulled by his vintage Farmall.
Kline, 49, who died Sunday, "was like my brother," said Ken Long of Sandy Lake, one of his pallbearers and a fellow member of the Mercer County Antique Power Association, of which Kline had been vice president.
Long and other friends from the club braved frigid temperatures by leading the funeral parade in their antique tractors from Scott A. Black Funeral Home in Stoneboro to Oak Hill Cemetery in Sandy Lake Township, where Kline was laid to rest.
Conner Powell was at the head of the tractor parade by driving his Uncle Jack's Farmall with the trailer that carried Kline in a wooden casket.
"It's exactly what he wanted," said Judy McQuiston, Kline's mother, of Jackson Center. "A long time ago, he said he wanted to be taken to the cemetery on the back of his tractor that he restored in a wooden casket."
Her son's passion for fixing Farmall tractors resulted in a collection of many showpieces. The men who took part in the procession were "all his buddies," McQuiston added.
According to family members, Kline was also a good mechanic and electrician who enjoyed working on tractors and hit-and-miss engines.
They said the 1983 Lakeview High School graduate found his dream job at Ebbert's Hardware in Sandy Lake months before his death. He went to Ebbert's from Ace Hardware in Grove City; and formerly worked 18 years for the Wal-Mart in Pine Township.
People paid tribute to Kline at the end of an unprecedented stretch of polar vortex weather because of his good nature, the family added.
"As you can see by the turnout, he was spectacular," said his sister, Lesa Kline Reddick, Stoneboro. "My brother never met a stranger but potential friends."
Kline was one of five siblings; surviving are sisters Laurel McLallen, Stoneboro; and Kim McHenry, Knox; and a brother, Scott McQuiston, Conneaut, Ohio.
"He was a very kind person, non-judgmental," their mother shared. "By the time he was in his crib, he was waving to everybody."
"He's definitely a people person. He loves people," Long said.
"Jack lived his life the way he wanted, to give to his church and to helping others. He left a piece of himself wherever he was," said Terry Starrett, an aunt through marriage from Wexford. "He was really an inspiring person."
Besides his four siblings and mother, Kline is also survived by his stepfather, Bruce McQuiston; two brothers-in-law; and eight nieces and nephews. Kline was named after his father, who preceded him in death; his maternal, paternal and step-paternal grandparents had also been deceased.
His death resulted from complications from a prior surgery.
"It was shocking," Reddick said.
"It was ridiculously shocking," McLallen said. "He was absolutely awesome. There's nothing he wouldn't do for anybody."
If it were someone else's funeral, "I know Jack would have been the first one to get people to come out like this," Long said.
Online tribute: www.facebook.com/judy.king.777363/media_set?set=a.494518530657276.1073741828.100002973993446&type=1
Published Feb. 1, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.