Illinois man honors wife’s memory by restoring, selling tractor for Alzheimer’s research

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Don Emmon's has been waiting for this day for nearly a year. It was the moment his hard work finally paid off and his wife was remembered in a big way.

"We are donating this tractor for Alzheimer's research," Don said.

Don auctioned off an old Allis-Chalmers WD45 tractor that he restored himself. He spent months of labor sanding and repainting and replacing parts to get the tractor just right. It finally sold on Nov. 10.

All the proceeds are going to the Alzheimer's Association in Davenport in memory of his wife, Loretta.

Several years ago, he picked up restoring tractors as a hobby. When Loretta was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he stopped to take care of her. She died of complications on Christmas, 2017.

"It's been tough. It's been a tough year," Don said. "Hopefully this helps."

In January 2018, he started on this tractor with a new purpose - honoring Loretta's legacy. He did that with the help of Gone Farmin', an antique tractor auction held by Mecum Auctions in Davenport.

This auction started in Wisconsin, where the company is based, in 2010, Dan Mecum said. The Davenport auctions began in 2012, and the company now holds two auctions at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds each year.

"The first auction had about 100 tractors... this one had about 500," Mecum said.

Suzy Weeks, marketing director for Gone Farmin', said some people came from as far as New Zealand.

Don's tractor sold for $4,250 dollars.

"I'm happy with it," he said.

The proceeds will be sent directly to the Alzheimer's Association in Davenport.