Andy Detwiler was an Ohio man known as the “Harmless Farmer” on YouTube. Detwiler died at 52 after a battle with cancer he documented on social media, his family said in his obituary. Detwiler, who died September 21, 2022, is survived by his wife and daughter, along with his parents and several other family members, his obituary says.
“Andy was a lifelong farmer, farming alongside his father Tom and his uncle John. He is supported worldwide on his YouTube channel, Harmless Farmer, and was able to travel and share his message to ‘Never Give Up’ through motivational speaking,” the obituary said. “He was active in the community as a Champaign County Fair Board member, belonged to the Champaign County Farm Bureau and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana. Andy enjoyed collecting lots of things, including Oliver Tractors but what he enjoyed most of all is spending time with family and friends.”
Along with his wife, Corkey Wallace Detwiler, and daughter, Kylie Detwiler, and parents, Thomas and Patricia Detwiler, he is also survived by his sister, brother, several nieces and nephews, his mother-and-father-in-law, his brother-in-law and his mother-in-law, his family said in the obituary. Detwiler’s funeral was held on Sunday, September 25, at his farm in West Liberty, Ohio. Detwiler was born Thomas Andrew Detwiler on November 24, 1969, in Urbana, Ohio.
Andy Detwiler Revealed He Had Been Diagnosed With Esophageal Cancer in April 2020 & He Chronicled His Battle With Cancer Up Until
Detwiler had been battling cancer for more than two years. He said in an April 2020 video, “I have been having trouble swallowing for the 9 months or so, went and got it checked out. Started this process in January and was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.” Detwiler documented his surgery and cancer treatments alongside his work at the farm on his YouTube channel.
In May 2021, Detwiler posted a video letting his fans know his cancer had reoccured and he was undergoing chemotherapy treatments again. He said in a video, “It sucks. But, it’s just the way it is. It happened and we’re going to get through this just the way we did the last time. I don’t plan on missing any work or anything like that.”
Detwiler posted his final video on September 14, featuring a ride in his truck alongside his daughter.
Detwiler Lost Both His Arms When He Was Working on the Farm as a Child
Detwiler had to overcome many challenges in his life. He wrote on his website, “On July 18, 1972, as a young boy, my life was changed forever. While helping my grandpa on the farm, as I loved to do, I happened to fall into a grain auger. I lost both of my arms, however, that hasn’t stopped me.”
He started his YouTube channel to share his message with the world. He said on his website, “In November of 2018, we decided to start a YouTube channel where I became known as the Harmless Farmer. There, I take you along with me to show how I conquer day to day tasks doing what I love with who I love, farming and family.” Detwiler said on his website, “When you want to do something, you’re going to figure it out, and that’s what I’ve done all my life is figure stuff out.”
Detwiler’s family farms corn, soybeans and livestock. Detwiler told the Ohio Country Journal in 2019, “It takes me a little longer to do a few things but no, I don’t let it slow me down. Auto steer is great, especially for me. I’ve got time to do other things and pay attention and I don’t have to be steering the steering wheel while I’m doing it. I’m doing everything with one foot here so it works out very well for me.”
Detwiler added, “We make YouTube videos just showing people the way I do things — just everyday farming things, working on equipment, driving tractors — whatever comes up. We try to put up one a week, maybe two every now and then. People want to know how long it’s taken to learn to do this. I’m still learning every day different ways to do things — handier ways to do thing. People tell me its inspirational and I never really thought of it that way. I’m just going about doing things like I always have. People are just they can’t believe what I do. To hear that I’ve changed people’s lives and stuff, that’s really pretty powerful. They give reasons that they lost a hand and broke a finger or something, then they see me and see my videos and it inspires them.”