William Richard Hartong went to be home with the Lord on Jan. 13, 2014, at age 89, from complications related to pneumonia.
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He was born March 19, 1924, to John Joseph and Beatrice (Williamson) Hartong in Joliet, Ill.
Bill became a member of the Masonic Lodge in Joliet. He was an accomplished trumpet player in high school and carried this musical ability with him when he served our country as an engineer in the U.S. Army in Germany during WWII. He then attended CU in Boulder, earning degrees in mechanical engineering and business. On his way to an Easter sunrise service in Boulder, Bill met his wonderful wife, Elaine, with whom he celebrated 62 years of marriage.
Bill worked for Procter & Gamble in Kansas City for 31 years. He and Elaine raised their two children, Toby and Ellen, in Prairie Village, Kan.
Upon his retirement from Procter & Gamble, Bill and Elaine moved to Georgetown. There he became an involved member of the community, serving on the city council. Not on the record books, though, are the many townspeople he helped; Bill was always willing to lend a hand for household repairs, financial advice or even give donations to those in need. He loved giving gifts of freshly baked bread, becoming a self-taught baker while in Georgetown - no bread machines were used, but he did go through three Kitchen-Aid mixers! Bill rarely said "no" to anyone who needed help, and would selflessly persevere until any job set before him was completed.
Throughout their marriage, Bill and Elaine were devoted in their trust toward God, looking to Him through the joys and sorrows of their shared life. He was influential in laying a strong spiritual foundation for future Hartong generations. Bill loved God and lived by the Bible in all that he did. He was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Georgetown and also in his life attended Village Presbyterian Church of Prairie Village, Kan., Rockland Community Church of Golden, and the United Church of Idaho Springs. He served as both a Presbyterian elder and a deacon.
His honesty and strong character, enthusiasm to do what was right, and determination to help others in need were principles he lived by. Bill had an exceptional ability to analyze complex situations with great insight. Those who were honored to know him appreciated his wide range of knowledge. His quick wit and love of breaking out into spontaneous song always brought smiles to the faces of those around him.
Bill loved to travel and was able to take his family on many camping expeditions and to visit several of the world's countries. He loved the Colorado mountains and enjoyed building his home with his wife, Elaine, in Georgetown. He and his friend, Bob Ryan, were heavily involved in the construction of the children's wing of the Georgetown Library, whose patio is dedicated to Elaine's mother. He also loved working with another friend, Douglas Marshall, at the Santiago Mine high above Georgetown.
After moving to the Life Care Center in Evergreen, he continued to minister in his own way. He could often be heard singing "Brighten the Corner Where You Are," and he lived by those words.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother John Joseph Jr., and sister Marjorie Nance.
Bill is survived by his wife, Elaine, son Toby Joseph Hartong, daughter-in-law Joni, daughter Ellen Claire (Hartong) Stokes, and son-in-law Dennis Stokes. He was also blessed with grandchildren: Holly Hartong Thill (husband Steven Thill), Heidi and Heather Hartong, Chris Stokes (wife Heidi Dupper Stokes), Cheryl and Amy Stokes.
The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the staff of the Life Care Center of Evergreen, Elk Run Assisted Living, Mt. Evans Home Health, and St. Anthony's intensive care unit. Each caregiver conveyed love and compassion to Bill and his family.
A memorial service will be held in Georgetown at the First Presbyterian Church around Easter, date to be determined.
Donations in Bill's memory may be made to the Hartong Family Scholarship Fund at Red Rocks Community College Foundation, Box 1, 13310 West 6th Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228.
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Published in Clear Creek Courant from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11, 2014