HARTLEY, Harold William July 31, 1923 - Feb. 19, 2021 Cause of death: Pneumonia, preceded by Covid . Harold Hartley never knew a stranger. Whether it was the person mopping the floor in his office, or James Cash Penney (whom he met early in his investment career), Harold was friendly, caring and treated everyone as an equal. He was born in Minneapolis, MN to Catherine and Leonard Hartley. After graduating high school in Minneapolis, and enjoying a stint in California, he enlisted in the U. S Coast Guard in October, 1942. The Second World War was going on and he wanted to serve. His active duty began aboard a Landing Ship Tank (LST) in the South Pacific, including the battle for Iwo Jima. Later his ship was part of a decoy convoy southeast of Okinawa and he watched from the back deck as a Japanese suicide plane (kamikaze) flew towards them and crashed into the front of their ship. He was able to save several marines and even aided putting out the fire on board. Later he served aboard a Destroyer Escort in the Pacific Theater of operations until the end of the war. He always said that the war turned his life around. Upon being discharged in 1946, and with the help of the GI Bill, he enrolled at Hamline University, a small liberal arts College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He always credited Dean Williamson at Hamline for giving him a chance. Although his high school grades didn't qualify him for enrollment, Dr. Williamson told him he could take the entrance exam, but that even if he did not pass the test, it did not mean he was not going to do great things in life. Harold aced the test and graduated three years later. Harold met his future wife, Arlene Swanson at Hamline. Following Arlene's graduation, they were married on December 27th, 1947. After graduation in 1949, Harold was employed by The Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company in St. Paul and later by Investors Diversified Services, Inc. During this time in Minneapolis, three children were born. Harold and his family moved to Dallas, Texas in 1961 where he was employed by the Republic National Bank of Dallas. He inspired his kids to welcome the move by promising they could ride a horse to school. It was Texas after all. They were quite disappointed when they discovered carpools instead of bridles. Harold was later employed by the Southwestern Life Insurance Company in Dallas and rose to the position of Executive Vice President and Treasurer. He truly enjoyed his work, loved the company, and was a mentor to many fine young people in his career there. He valued working so close to the Downtown YMCA where he played handball regularly and joyfully. During his business career he was active as an officer, director, advisor or trustee of several organizations including: The Dallas Association of Investment Analysts; Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts; Dallas chapter of Financial Executives Institute; University of Texas Permanent University Fund; Dallas Athletic Club, Dallas Metropolitan YMCA; Ennis, Inc.; and several mutual funds. Upon retirement, he and Arlene moved to a home they built on Cedar Creek Lake, near Mabank, Texas. They loved living on the water, and provided their family with boating, swimming, skiing and sailing opportunities. They also drove every winter to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where they had many wonderful friends in Bayside Estates. During their lifetimes Harold and Arlene were very active in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dallas. Later they were active members of First Presbyterian Church of Mabank. Harold's faith and his dedication to service were foundational in his life. He often stated that the work of the local church was vitally important to the community. Harold's wife, Arlene, passed away in 2011 after 64 years of marriage. He stayed in their Cedar Creek Home for five years after she died. Always a 'do-it-yourselfer' he did all the maintenance, including cutting the grass, cleaning out the gutters and winterizing the boat. At age 90 he rented a jack hammer to drill out the concrete of a broken lamppost. He sold the lake home in 2016 and moved to Presbyterian Village North in Dallas, TX where he made many new friends and stayed involved by serving in the Spiritual Life committee. Harold is survived by three children, Pastor Tom Hartley (Jana), Patty Hartley Owens (Tom) and Jim Hartley. Also, five grandchildren: Rachel Kelly (Mike), Brad Werner (Melissa), Tina Waters (Art), Josh Hartley and Katherine Michelle Werner. And five great grandchildren: Aidan, Lauren, Aubrey, Chase and William. In addition, numerous nieces and nephews and their families in Minnesota, Colorado and the Carolina's. Harold lived a wonderfully long and meaningful life and made it to 97 and half years young. His authentic care, compassion, and interest touched everyone who met him. He truly never met a stranger in his life. At the end of almost every email, letter, and phone call with family, he would say, "Don't Forget!" Meaning he loved us and never to forget that. So Dad, we all say to you now, "Don't Forget!" Because we never will. In these times of Covid, a "Zoom" service will be held sometime in March. If you knew Harold and/or would like to attend, please email email@example.com for the link.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 28, 2021.