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Lester Hugo Hartman

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Lester Hugo Hartman, 89, of Fairfield and Sunderland, Vt., husband of the late Blanche Hartman, passed away peacefully Saturday morning at the home of his daughter in Fairfield after a brave battle with cancer.

Les was born in Newark, N.J., the son of the late Hugo and Pauline Hartman, and he has been a resident of Fairfield for the past 51 years. Prior to retiring, he was employed for 40 years with Lederle Laboratories, first in the medical research department, and culminating in a long career as a pharmaceutical representative. During World War II, Les served as an Army medic aboard the hospital ship USS Bardstown Victory, caring for the seriously wounded and paraplegic troops returning home from the war front.

Les joined the Stratfield Volunteer Fire Department in July of 1961 and served as president from 1967 through 1970, and as chief from 1971 to 1986. Les served on the board of directors from 1986 through 1990 and then as an honorary board member until the time of his death. In 1967, Les was instrumental in purchasing and converting and old telephone company truck into “Truck 15.” In 1971, the Stratfield Volunteer Fire Department presented to the Town of Fairfield a new Truck 15 (The Bread Truck), which they converted and equipped with generators, firefighting, vehicle rescue and first aid equipment. Seeing a need to improve the service to the town, Les initiated a fundraiser and was instrumental in equipping Rescue Truck 15 with the first Hurst Tool (Jaws of Life) in May of 1974. He was always at the forefront of rescue operations and equipment in Fairfield. In June of 1984, Les again saw a need to upgrade Rescue 15 and initiated another fundraiser to raise $100,000 to purchase the current Rescue 15, which was put in service in December of 1987. In May 1986 he was honored as a life member with 25 years of service and in May 2001 as a 40-year life member.

Les also found time in the early 70s to volunteer for the Bridgeport Hospital emergency room, gaining useful knowledge of handling accident and burn victims.

He was also a member of the Federated Church of East Arlington, Vt. Les spent many months each year in Sunderland, Vt., where he felt such peace and closeness to God and nature.

Survivors include one daughter, Leslie A. Schaffer of Fairfield; one son, Jeffrey E. Hartman and his wife, Audrey, of East Stroudsburg, Pa.; four grandchildren, Dawn, Robert and Denise Hartman and Terri Hanson; four great-grandchildren, Valerie Hanson, Christopher and Jeremy Hartman, and Samantha Bachert; two nieces and one nephew. Les was also predeceased by a beloved grandson, Christopher William DeLibro. He is also survived by his devoted pet and best friend, “Molly,” who was always by his side.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial service Tuesday, May 30, at Fairfield Grace United Methodist Church, 1089 Fairfield Woods Road, Fairfield at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Peggy Fabrizio officiating. Interment will be private. The Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport is assisting the family with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Stratfield Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 320775, Fairfield, CT 06825.
Published in Bennington Banner on May 27, 2006
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