Lynn George Wilfong



Lynn George Wilfong, 84, of Kentland, IN, died unexpectedly on September 9, 2023, at Iroquois Memorial Hospital, Watseka, IL. Lynn was born on April 24, 1939, in Willow Branch, IN, to George Smith Wilfong and Florence Eileen Trees Wilfong. Growing up in that small town gave Lynn great joy. He graduated from Wilkinson High School (IN) in 1957; Lynn played basketball and baseball for the Wilkinson Bulldogs. On August 21, 1960, Lynn married Barbara Janice (Hughes) in Greenfield, IN. They recently celebrated their 63rd anniversary.

At the age of 12, Lynn’s father entrusted him to care for three harness horses at the KY State Fairgrounds during the summer. Lynn jogged and cared for the horses and slept in the stalls next to the horses. As a young man, Lynn was actively engaged in the gasoline, tire, and battery business in Willow Branch and Greenfield, IN, with his father, under the logos of Sun-Glo Gasoline and Royal Tire & Battery.

Lynn and Barbara are the parents of three children (Brett, Grant, and Jennifer). They lived and all worked on a horse farm in northwest Rush County (IN). In the early 1960’s, Lynn won his first harness race, driving his father’s horse, “Sunny Thunderbolt”, at the Fayette County (IN) fair. Since 1965, Lynn has bred, raised, trained, and raced harness horses. Sunny Hills Stock Farm, near Carthage, IN, was one of the leading producers of harness horses in Indiana during 1970’s-1980’s. Lynn was happiest when he was working alongside his family on the farm. Summer was a fun time to take the family to race on the Indiana county fair circuit. Four basketball goals and a full court in the hip-roof barn that Lynn designed and built on the farm allowed for more good times.

He served as the President of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Horse Association from 1965-1978. He was actively involved and worked tirelessly with many other horse people and legislators to bring pari-mutuel betting and horse racing to Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs.

In 1980s, the family expanded their operation to include a new farm, Iroquois River Stables, between Kentland, IN and Iroquois, IL. In 1994, Lynn and Barbara relocated their residence to Kentland, near the Newton County Punkin Vine Fair, where Lynn announced the harness races for over forty years. Many winters were spent training horses in Ocala, FL, along with his father, his son (Brett) and his family.

In 1993, Lynn was the first recipient of the breeder’s award given by the Standardbred Owner’s & Breeder’s of Indiana (now known as Indiana Standardbred Association). Studying pedigrees and upgrading his breeding stock was always a high priority for Lynn. So many champions have been produced as a result of his persistence .

Lynn was inducted into the Indiana Horse Racing Association Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2019, Lynn was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame. Lynn enjoyed being there for his grandkids’ and great grandkids’ various activities. And, he was so proud of the fact that both of his sons, grandson, Kyle, and granddaughter Erika are continuing his harness racing legacy into the fourth generation.

He loved his family, 50’s music, and food; reminiscing, telling stories, and watching his horses race. From an early age, Lynn was a very curious and creative individual, always thinking outside of the box. He once said, “I’m not normal…I don’t want to be normal!” And he shared with his family this quote: “Happiness is: something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to!”

Lynn is survived by his wife, Barbara (Hughes) Wilfong; brothers, Dennis Von Wilfong and Jay Robert Wilfong; sons, Brett (Candice) Wilfong, Grant (Tracy) Wilfong; and daughter, Jennifer Wilfong (Michele); grandchildren, Erika Lynn Wilfong, Brittany Leigh Wilfong, Kelly Wilfong Donoho, Blake Hughes Wilfong, Kyle Jordan Wilfong, Katelyn Wilfong McGinnis and Allicia Nicole Wilfong; and great-grandchildren, Elliana Scott Bryant, Londyn Elizabeth Kaye Bryant, and Rowan Michael Bryant and Sophia Grace Cross.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Condo & St. Pierre Funeral Service and Crematory, 130 S. Main St., Wilkinson, IN. Service begins at 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow immediately at Simmons Cemetery, 7428 E. County Road 500 N., Wilkinson, IN.

Memorial donations can be made to: Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 2711 Friar Tuck Road, Anderson, IN 46013; Simmons Cemetery, PO Box 181, Maxwell, IN 46154; Punkin Vine Fair, 9120 W 400 N, Earl Park, IN 47942.