Obit: Hartman, George Francis (1917 – 2010)
Surnames: Hartman, Kress, Hagen, McIntyre, Gersch, Sisk, Athens, Bachhueber, Driessen, Patwell, Kelley, Rose, Holzheuter, Healy
----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) January 13, 2010
Hartman, George Francis (29 August 1917 – 6 January 2010) With Flag
George F. Hartman completed his journey Jan. 6, 2010.
George Francis Hartman was born Aug. 29, 1917, to Anton (T. A.) and Mary (nee Kress) Hartman in Athens. The fourth of five children, he received his elementary and secondary school education in Athens and at St. Norbert’s College in De Pere. Entering university at 17, he studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan. A pupil of legendary environmental pioneer, Aldo Leopold, George earned bachelors and master’s degrees in forestry from Michigan and then joined Wisconsin’s Conservation Department as a forester in 1940.
After his country called in 1942, George served in the Pacific Theater, stationed in New Britain, New Guinea and the Philippines as a pharmacy technician with the Army Hospital unit. Discharged in 1946, he resumed his work with the Conservation Department. While stationed in Black River Falls, he met his precious Margie Hagen; the two were married in Athens, Aug. 17, 1948, and were inseparable for more than 61 years.
After a few years “on the road” while George did wildlife project studies and purchased land for wildlife areas, the couple settled in Black River Falls, where their children were born and where George was the district’s wildlife biologist. A promotion in 1964 led the family to Madison and Cross Plains. George gave up life in the field fro the responsibilities of coordinating the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s big game program, including the annual deer hunt. He was later coordinator of Federal Aid, Fish and Wildlife Funds before retiring in 1977.
Active in St. Francis Xavier Parish from the start, George served on the building and grounds committee for many years. He also sat on the Cross Plains Library Board and Police Commission.
Writer, poet, outdoorsman and lifelong learner, George’s retirement was active and long, highlighted by many Canadian fishing t rips, visits to his widespread children, hunting, gardening and living a joy-filled life with his Margie. Even after his advancing years prevented the trips up north, rare was the local pond or stream that didn’t taste his fishing line. The trove of his articles and stories, many published, will keep George close to us always.
He is mourned by his wife, Margie, Cross Plains; children, Paul (Martha McIntyre), Regina, Canada, Christine, Houston, TX, John (Michelle Gersch), Minneapolis, and Mary (David Sisk); and George’s grandchildren, Milo and Nathan Sisk, Richland, WA; brothers Lawrence and William (Jean), Athens; and many nephews, nieces and friends.
He was predeceased by his parents and sisters, Marie (Hartman) Bachhueber and Margaret (Hartman) Driessen.
The family thanks the nurses and staff at Heartland Country Village, Black Earth, Terri Patwell of the Dean Clinic and Father Thomas Kelley and Sister John Rose of St. Francis Xavier Parish; also special appreciation to niece Kathryn Harman and husband Allen Holzheuter for their affection and care over so many years.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Francis Xavier Church, 2947 Thinnes St. Cross Plains, at 11:30 a.m. Monday Jan. 11, 2010, with Msgr. Gerard Healy presiding. Visitation was in the church from 9 a.m. until the time of the service.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Friends are asked to remember George by donating to the St. Francis Xavier Endowment Fund, the Cross Plains Library or to an environmental or wildlife cause of their choice.
Gunderson Cross Plains Funeral & Cremation Centers (608-798-3141), www.gundersonfh.com, assisted the family with arrangements.
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