HARTWICK _ Duane C. Hotaling, a man devoted to his family and well-known in the arena of tractor pulling, died Monday evening, Jan. 9, 2012, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 66. Born Dec. 6, 1945, in Cooperstown, he was the son of the late Howard and Margaret (Sullivan) Hotaling. After graduating from Cherry Valley Central School, Duane attended the Milwaukee Institute of Technology. After receiving his degree he stayed in the Milwaukee area and worked for Allis-Chalmers.
He later moved back to Westville to run the family farm as well as his own construction company. After moving to a farm in Mount Vision, he met Donna L. Phillips and they were married Oct. 18, 1986, and made their home in Hartwick. Throughout his life, Duane had a love for tractors, and retired from farming to have more time for tractor pulling.
He pulled in events throughout the northeast, New England and Canada, and won many awards, including at the New York State Fair, and was the undefeated champion for 10 years. As the Northern Eagle Pulling Team, he wasgrateful for the many years of sponsorship provided by Lou Hager and Budweiser.
Duane’s family meant the world to him and they always accompanied him on his many tractor pulling trips.
He eventually retired, again, so that he could spend more time with his family as well as working in his machine shop, Hemlock Hill Repair, building racing engines. In a way, Duane never fully retired.
Devoted to the Hartwick community, Duane was active in many organizations, including Hartwick Fire Department Company No. 1, Hartwick Rod and Gun Club and the Hartwick United Methodist Church. He was also a member of Westville Grange No. 540 and the New York Tractor Pulling Association. An avid fan of NASCAR, Duane always enjoyed riding snowmobiles and four wheelers with his kids and grandkids. He will be greatly missed by his beloved family and the Hartwick community.
Duane is survived by his wife of 25 years, Donna Hotaling of Hartwick; his son, David Hotaling of Kortright and his children, Cody and Kyle Hotaling; his daughter, Christine Watson and her husband, Rodney of Mount Vision and their children, Brandon, Kaitlyn and Connor Watson; a stepson, David Sellick and his wife, Katie of Hartwick and their children, David and McKenna Sellick; and one sister, Judy Harris and her friend, Lew of New Berlin and children, Heather, John and David.
Duane is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, Ina and Donald C. Phillips of Hartwick; and his former daughter-in-law, Deborah Trask and her husband, Howard.
Family and friends may call and pay their respects at the Hartwick United Methodist Church from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. A funeral service will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at the Hartwick United Methodist Church with the Rev. Fred Albrecht, pastor, officiating. The service of committal and burial will follow in Hartwick Cemetery.
As an alternative to flowers, please consider making a donation to the following organizations, Hartwick Fire Department Company No. 1, P.O. Box 86, Hartwick, NY 13348, Hartwick Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 208, Hartwick, NY 13348, Hartwick United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 576, Mount Vision, NY 13810 or the Hartwick and Mount Vision Food Bank, 2998 County Highway 11, Hartwick, NY 13348.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.