GEOFFREY OLIVER HARTZLER
Geoffrey Oliver Hartzler, MD, passed away suddenly in his home at the Lake of the Ozarks on March, 10, 2012. Family, friends, and medical and business colleagues will remember Dr. Hartzler as a generous and caring man who was as humble as he was brilliant. Funeral: 11:30 a.m. Friday in Greenwood Chapel, Fort Worth, TX. A memorial service will follow in Kansas City, on a date to be determined. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 6- 8 p.m, Thursday at Greenwood Funeral Home. Memorials: In honor of his courageous battle against prostate cancer, gifts in Geoffrey's memory can be sent to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at www.pcf.org/geoffreyhartzler or the American Heart Association at www.honor.americanheart.org. Pallbearers: Greg Hartzler, Ronnie Cooper, Wayne Cooper, Steven Bodie Cooper, Lew Wagner, and Zach Shafran. In his lifetime, Dr. Hartzler was revered as a pioneer in the field of interventional cardiology. In 1981, he became the first physician to use percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) to treat heart attack. Despite intense criticism and skepticism, Dr. Hartzler was able to refine and defend the procedure, finally establishing direct angioplasty as the preferred standard of care worldwide, saving millions of lives. He performed the first PTCA to treat multiple vessel disease. He created the first implantable defibrillator to reach the market and be used effectively. He was also instrumental in developing the first steerable guidewire catheters and went on to help design a family of "Hartzler" balloon catheters used in angioplasty. Dr. Hartzler possessed enormous energy, intense concentration, and unparalleled technical skills. He worked hard to offer better results and more efficient care to patients. His commitment to teaching and research was legendary. He created the first database aggregating outcomes data of tens of thousands of patients. He began the first U.S. interventional cardiology teaching course, training a generation of cardiologists. In 1986, he developed the Advanced Angioplasty Fellowship training program, which has been emulated world round. After cutting back his clinical practice in 1993, Dr. Hartzler pursued his many business interests ranging from radar technology to medical devices. Yet, he remained a prominent figure in the international cardiology community. He took on the directorship of the Mid America Heart Institute at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, where he had been on staff as a Consulting Cardiologist since 1980. He continued to publish in peer review journals, and travel to conferences around the world. He appeared in Who's Who in America in 1998, has been the subject of numerous interviews and articles, and has received more awards than he would want to admit. His contributions to the advancement of angioplasty and cardiology are recognized annually through the "Geoffrey O. Hartzler Master Clinical Operator Award" given by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Dr. Hartzler's achievements and accolades could fill volumes, but he, more than any, would have hated the idea. He revolutionized cardiac medicine in the face of initial scrutiny and criticism, and yet, he was a humble man. He was kind and always curious and interested in those around him. Family, friends, and even acquaintances felt that he was a blessing, the one person they could truly count on for help if needed. He relished a quiet life with his wife and the affection of his daughters and close friends. For many years, he and Dorothy often retreated to their house at the Lake of the Ozarks. His brother Greg remembers that even while blowing up stumps with homemade explosives and getting into other sorts of mischief as young man, Geoffrey was always helping people. As a young cardiologist (and an old one!) Geoffrey enjoyed fast cars and motorcycles, wearing cowboy boots to work, and mastering new technology. He loved music and was a talented bass guitar player. In fact, his brother Greg has said that he always thinks of Geoffrey as a musician first. As a young man, Geoffrey was a member of several popular jazz and rock n' roll bands that performed in the area around his northern Indiana hometown of Goshen. In recent years, his Kansas City band, "Heart Rock," performed and cut several CDs. Geoff had fun mixing their recordings, as well as jamming with other musician friends. He was born Nov. 6, 1946, in Goshen, Ind. He had two brothers, one deceased as a teenager. His father Robert was a Mennonite minister who helped establish the first outpatient community mental health center in the United States. His mother Emma contracted polio when Geoffrey was four years old. She lived in an iron lung for nearly four decades. Geoffrey's Mennonite upbringing deeply informed his perspective on life. A quotation he particularly liked is by Benjamin Whicote: "Our fallibility and the shortness of our knowledge should make us peaceable and gentle." Geoffrey was certainly both. Survivors: Geoffrey is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 27 years; brother, Gregory; daughters, Abby, Christine, Amanda, and Angela; and grandsons, Jonah and Oliver. He will be sorely missed. Arrangements: Greenwood Funeral Home, 3100 White Settlement Rd., Ft. Worth, TX  817-336-0584
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Published by Kansas City Star on Mar. 14, 2012.
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77 Entries
I first met Geoff in February 1983 in the early angioplasty days. I was blessed to be able to work with him both in the Cath Lab and as a partner in business. In those days, there were no Interventional Cardiologists that would attempt complex multi-vessel cases but he did with phenomenal success. He was always humble about his work and never bragged about his patient successes. While working with him in the Lab, I noticed how he was respected by all that worked with him and how he respected them. He was a class act to work with.

As a business partner, he was always willing to help in any way. His focus was on better patient care first. He used his intelligence, knowledge and wisdom when dealing with business associates. I spent time travelling with Geoff on business trips and got to learn a lot about his childhood in Goshen, Indiana. From those discussions, I felt a lot of his qualities came from his bringing up and early experiences in Goshen.
He had several big health problems, e.g. his back, which caused him a lot of continuous pain but he never complained and would press on through the pain.

He was multi-talented in many ways, e.g. with his band called HeartRock and his recording studio called The Warehouse where he produced his many CDs. His recording studio had all the electronics and computer gear needed to produce his CDs. Of course, he was very proficient in using all of the sophisticated equipment. I have barely touched the surface on his many talents.

I miss him as a friend and look forward to when I will see him again in heaven.

Al Hedrick
Al Hedrick
Friend
March 6, 2019
Born with WPW, Dr Hartzler did my first EPS in 1980 ... God bless him ... May our Lord continue to comfort his family ... Know that after all these years I still am blessed not only by his medical care, but his sincere compassion for those he cared for ...
Kim
October 25, 2014
I was Geoff's secretary for about 7-1/2 years back in the 1980's. I did a lot of typing including slides for his presentations. He inspired me so much, he totally changed my direction in life. I was so proud to work for him. I did not know he passed until today, Oct 29, 2013. He would always say how buried he was under all the cans of film he had yet to see, to give his opinion on a patient's arteries. One day, I drew a picture of Geoff, buried under a mountain of film cans. He left me a note the next day saying that I obviously needed more work to do! He affected me in a way that made me so aware of what I did, especially concerning helping people. It was the most enjoyable job I ever had.
Jennifer Owens (Hacker)
October 29, 2013
I learned of Geoff's untimely passing today from a mutual friend. I first met Geoff at TCT in his role as Chairman of IntraLuminal Therapeutics, and again as Chair of Cardiovascular Systems. Our relationship grew into a friendship, and I never failed to be energized and uplifted by his business acumen, clinical knowledge, wise counsel, sharp wit, and gentle humanity. What a blessing he must have been to his patients. I didn't know about his musical interests until recently and will go back and listen to my "Heart Rock" CD. Our family extends condolences and prayers to his family. I will truly miss Geoff.
Eapen Chacko
June 5, 2012
First, I want to express my sincere sympathy to Dorothy, Abby, Chrissy, Amanda and Angela. The loss you are feeling is shared by those of us who worked with him and admired him so. It has taken me this long to be able to put my thoughts together regarding my years of working with Dr. Hartzler. I went to work for him on December 18, 1986, and worked with him until his retirement in December of 1995. What exciting years those were!! He truly was a "MASTER" in his field - but he never sought praise or special recognition; instead he downplayed his many successes. I loved the words of Dr. Giorgi - Dr. Hartzler really "was an uncommon man who was at home with common people". On many occasions I urged him to write a book on how to work with people. He demanded no more from his employees than he was willing to give of himself. Everyone who worked with him loved him and were inspired to do their very best to please him. He was the ideal "Boss". I count the years I had the privilege of working with Dr. Hartzler as the experience of a lifetime. Going to work everyday was a joy - very exciting. He put Saint Luke's Hospital and the Mid America Heart Institute on the national and international map. He is now and forever will be greatly missed.
~ Bonnie Moore Brown
May 6, 2012
I had the good fortune of spending time in the lab with Geoff as well as attending his training courses. Exposure to his pioneering techniques forever influenced me. I am a better physician for having the honor of knowing him & have done my best to pass his gifts on to others.
Gustav Eles
May 4, 2012
While there were many wonderful experiences during my cardiology fellowship training at St. Lukes, no one was more influential than Dr. Hartzler. My condolences to his family. Geoff, thank you for sharing your life with so many of us. Dr. William Freund
William Freund
April 8, 2012
My prayers go out to Geoff's family. Geoff meant and gave so much to so many people. His gifted mind, hands, and engineering saved and extended so many lives. His gift of music enlightened many. His leadership, patience and teachings is the reason why so many of us in the cardiology field survived and succeeded. Thanks for everything Dr. Geoffery Hartzler..You will be dearly missed and never be forgotten.
Joe Grubbs
April 5, 2012
Sorry to hear of Dr. Hartzler's death. I liked and respected him very much. He was without doubt the best interventional cardiologist I have known.
Jay Lipoff, MD (Marion, IL)
April 1, 2012
Those were the days my friends. Camelot, Ruby Slippers, Kamakazes, and on and on. Have always been grateful to have been a part of those magical years, all b/c of the genius and hutzpah of Dr Geoff Hartzler.
Sharon Larson-Phillis
March 30, 2012
My prayers and condolences to Dr. Hartzler's family and friends. I had the honor of working with him in the cath lab from 1985 to 1989. He was truly a gift to humanity.
D.D. Keeler (Garnett, Ks)
March 30, 2012
Vickie Cochran
March 29, 2012
Geoffrey had a profound effect on all of us at MidAmerica. His genius and easy-going manner made working there a joy; regardless of the situation. He will be missed for a very very long time.
June Charles
March 28, 2012
My prayers and condolences to GOH'S family. I had the honor and privaledge to work with Dr. Hartzler in the cath lab in 1984 until 1993, then I went to work with him in Cardiovascular Research until he retired. He was the kindess most gentle man one would ever meet. He was truly gifted and used those gifts to the fullest, I can hear God saying well done Geoff, well done. He will be missed by all, we have certainly lost a great man and friend. Bless his family and friends.
Peggy Rosson
March 23, 2012
I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Geoff's passing. With that said, what a wonderful life he had giving to others and helping people. God Bless him and his family.
March 22, 2012
It was a great pleasure to work with Dr Hartzler starting in 1985 in the Cath Lab as a Tech. 27 years later I still continue your work at a single Cath Lab taking care of patients and teaching Fellows. I am very proud to say that I learned from one of the greatest teachers I've ever known. I will always be eternally grateful and cherish every moment spent working beside one of the greatest Cardiologists ever. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Hartzler's family.
Charlie Townley
March 22, 2012
We have been very lucky people to have him work for us at SLH.
Denise Hubbard
March 22, 2012
My condolences to Dr. Hartzler's family. I am so grateful that I was able to work in the cath lab at SLH when he was working in the forefront of interventions. He was truly amazing! He had the respect of all because of his warm personality and gifted hands. When he would walk into the lab everyone would stop because we all knew what he had to say was so important. His patients were so comforted and reassured when he would speak with them. He truly put them at such ease before the procedure. I am so thankful that I was able to learn so much during those days in the cath lab. Dr. Hartzler will truly be missed.
Peggy Barlow-Miller
March 22, 2012
Dr. Hartzler was an amazing man that was humble and sweet.He accomplished so much in his very short life and will be remembered fondly by those who had the privledge to work with him. God has gained another angel for his realm. Job well done friend. Rest in peace.
Condolences to his family and friends.
Tina Kean
March 22, 2012
I was Dr. Hartzler's secretary when he first came to Saint Luke's. I will never forget how "human" he was, always being appreciative and making me feel special. I am blessed to have known him and worked for him.
Ellen Hermance
March 22, 2012
Dr. Hartzler did complex angioplasty on my patients in 1983-84 that I brought from California. Every patient was grateful for the superb results and loved the personal attention that he gave to them. He was a blessing to us all. Jackie R. See M.D., F.A.C.C., Fullerton, California
jackie see
March 22, 2012
To Dr Hartzler's family:
I was quit saddened to hear of Geoff' death. I met him when I first joined the staff here in Kansas City at St. Luke's Hospital in 1995. He was a giant of his field, bringing to mind the quote from Sir Isaac Newton, who revised older similar quotes, to say, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." Geoffrey Hartzler was a giant in the world of interventional cardiology who has helped others "see further" (and he wasn't a bad musician, either). He was a kind and welcoming soul who has done much to improve the care of patients with cardiovascular disease. He was already missed here at St. Luke's Hospital since his premature need to retire, and now he will be missed furthermore. May his family find comfort from the sincere words of kind remembrance from his circle of friends and associates.
Gary Gaddis
March 21, 2012
Geoff was one of the nicest and most human of physcians I have ever known. He was a brillant cardiologist and pioneered multivessel angioplasty.
Geoff started and helped many companies in the cardiovasculr field. He was literally able to drive the market in this reguard.
I know how much he cared for his wife and family . I know we all have trials in this life. I know Geoff was able to manage these trial with great fineese.
I am proud to have been a friend of Geoffs and am sad at his passing. I want to celebrate the greatness and gentleness of the human being.I hope we can all strive to celebrate his life.
A truely great man
Thomas Winston M.D.
March 20, 2012
I started working in the CCL at SLH in 1986 to get out of RT. Who knew I would be working with such a brilliant as well as compasionate man as Dr. Hartzler! Twenty six years later, I am still a cath tech and will always remember him saying "Somebody go help that girl". Truly a remarkable man.
Vicky Parcel
March 20, 2012
I worked with Dr. Hartzler in the CV Lab from 1980 till he retired.He was a great teacher to all the techs and to the new fellows that have worked with him, he was
a billiant and kind man.He believed that there was always more to learn and teach and he was right. Thank You for trusting and guiding me.He will be truly missed.I will always remember him for his kindness and thoughtfullness to me during the time that my daughter was missing in Mexico during the Eathquake. I will keep him and Dottie and family in my prayers.
Viviana Medellin
March 19, 2012
I worked with Dr. Hartzler in the CV Lab from 1980 till he retired.He was a great teacher to all the techs and to the new fellows that have worked with him, he was
March 19, 2012
It hurts to lose a special person . . Geoff was that very special person to many, many who knew him! He took pleasure in helping others; he made life richer for his fellowmen. His life was phenomenal . . . soaring above the eagles!! Our hearts & prayers for comfort go out to Dorothy, Abby, Christine, Amanda and Angela, & to Geoff's very devoted and much loved brother, Greg. May God give you each overwhelming peace & hope today! 'Upholding you in prayer, Dave & Alicia (Brookmyer) Brenneman
March 18, 2012
My condolences to Dr. Hartzler personal family and his medical community family at large.
He was not only the great cardiologist innovator, but the kind caring physician, and the great pioneer gift to interventional cardiology.
He may rest in peace.
Kameel Farag M.D.
Cardiologist Long Beach, CA
kameel farag
March 16, 2012
I worked as a nurse at St. Luke's in the 1980s. Dr. Hartzler was a great man and doctor. I was so impressed by how he truly cared for each one of his patients. He always, without fail and no matter how tired he was, visited his patients the night before a procedure and the evening after their procedure. His bedside manner was reassuring to his patients. He was also very kind to all of the nursing staff. I was honored to care for his patients. He will be missed.
Linda Skaggs
March 16, 2012
Prayers and condolences to Geoff's family. He was brilliant, creative, caring, a gentle spirit and possessed a mischievously playful sense of humor, a good friend and classmate of GHS class of 64.
Tom Baxter
March 16, 2012
Geoff was a brilliant and humble man. He will be a great loss to family, friends and to me. Now he is in a joyous place and we can all celebrate that.
Al Hedrick
March 16, 2012
Geoff was an uncommon man who was at home with common people. We all loved him. He was an elite among elites and at one point in time was the most recognizable cardiologist on the planet.
To Dorothy and family: We are terribly saddened and will keep you in our prayers.
Lee and Jennifer Giorgi
March 16, 2012
Dr. Hartzler was a wonderful man that I had the opportunity to know and work with for over 20 years. In the early days of PTCA, I worked to develop balloon catheters that bore his name at ACS. Then I had the tremendous fortune to work directly with him at IntraLuminal. It was because of his vision and leadership that I joined the IntraLuminal team. He will be missed. My prayers to his family.
Chris Yelley
March 16, 2012
My deepest sympathies to Geoff's family. I met Geoff in kindergarten and visited his house often to visit his mother who was in an iron lung machine. He was a caring soul even then. The entire town of Goshen is proud to have had such an innovative and caring home town boy. He will be missed by all. Sherry Milam Scholl
Sherry Milam Scholl
March 15, 2012
Geoff was one of the most influential people in my life. He was a truely great man and even better friend. I started working as a technician in the CV Lab at St. Lukes in 1980 and worked many hours with Geoff while changed and saved peoples lives. My thoughts and prayers are with Dottie and his family during this time. I will think about GOH every day for the rest of my life.
Paul Grindstaff
Paul Grindstaff
March 15, 2012
Geoff was one of the most influential people in my life. I started working as a technologist at St. Lukes in 1980 and spents many hours with Geoff as he changed peoples lives. My thoughts and prayers are with Dottie and their family during this time and I will think about GOH every day for the rest of my life.
Paul Grindstaff
Paul Grindstaff
March 15, 2012
It is because of Geoff's skill and diligence that I am alive today. He did my 1st PCTA in early Feb. 1981. Changed me from unstable angina to out jogging in a week. He recently, Nov 2011, still remembered me and which artery(s) he opened. A great pioneer but more a grat man. The world will be less without him.
Phillip L. Accardo, D.O.
March 15, 2012
It was such an exceptional opportunity to meet Dr. Hartzler when I worked in the CCU at St. Luke's Hospital during the early 1990's. Having moved from Dallas, it was impressive to be working with such a skilled and innovative cardiologist. Many lives have been saved because of Dr. Hartzler's touch. Throughout my days at Cardiovascular Consultants, I have so enjoyed all the shared stories of his magnificent life. Our prayers are with his family.
Gail Kendall
March 15, 2012
James Crockett, M.D..
March 15, 2012
I was fortunate to have worked with Dr Hartzler in 1988 - 1990 in a research role with Advanced Cardiovascular Systems. Dr Hartzler was truly one of a kind. He was one of the most talented and kind physicians I have ever worked with. I was blessed to have known him.
Steve Brodie
March 15, 2012
Clinically, 1993 was the best year of my life. Lee Bailey and myself were "Hartzler's last fellows." I feel truly blessed not only to have learned my art from "the master" but to have also experienced his intensity and humor in the lab and the compassion, respect, empathy and unpretentious way he treated each of his patients and their families. I left my fellowship in Kansas City for a job in South Bend/Elkhart, IN, just a few miles from where Geoff grew up in Goshen. I have often felt a higher source was using me to complete the circle of care Geoff started. We are all deeply saddened by the news. I felt empty today but took solace in the fact that Geoff lives on in my heart and mind, as he does in all of his previous fellows, colleagues and friends. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Donald Westerhausen
March 15, 2012
Geoff: You truly were the one who led the way and inspired us all. I especially appreciated the insights you gave me personally at an Atlanta meeting a few years ago--both professional and personal. Your memory will live in the hearts of all of us who learned so much from you.
Stephen Cherry, M.D.
Spartanburg, SC
March 14, 2012
In 1981 I moved to Kansas City and was looking for a Cardiovascular Care Unit. I had worked in one in Springfield and was looking for a CCU. The day of my interview I met Dr. Hartzler and he spoke to me about the work being done at SLH and encouraged me to join their team. He is a legacy and taught me so much and I had the privledge to return to my first hospital and tell of them the amazing and innovative work of Dr. Hartzler. His pioneer attitude moved though out the hospital and I now work in Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute. Our team has been able to also be pioneers in the field, but I have often spoke and given credit to Dr. Hartzler for his work in the coronary arteries which has extended to the cerebral arteries. My prayers are with your family and know that he impacted my career in nursing.
Debbie Summers
March 14, 2012
I remember visiting Geoff and Dottie at their beautiful home at Lake of the Ozarks with Dottie's niece (and my daughter-in-law) Lori Heikkinen and my son Bruce. They were such gracious hosts. My sincere sympathy to the family.
Doris Heikkinen
March 14, 2012
Around the world there are hundreds of thousands of people who owe their lives to Geoffrey Hartzler. His intuition and his pursuit of what was considered to be a crazy idea, expanding a balloon in an artery that was infarcting, created what is today the gold standard for the treatment of heart attack. His procedure stops the heart attack in its tracks, saving the heart muscle, often the patient's life, and allowing that patient to continue a full and productive life. He truly revolutionized cardiology. And he was a really nice guy, too! We will all miss him terribly.
Burt Cohen
March 14, 2012
Dear Dottie,
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Geoffrey. Please know that you and the entire family are in our prayers and our thoughts. May God Bless.
As always your friends,
Kim and Kathy Houp
March 14, 2012
I was one of Dr Hartzler's last angioplasty fellows back in 1993. I learned many amazing skills during my year with him and am blessed to have had this life altering experience. I am greatly saddened by this news, and send my deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.
W. Lee Bailey MD, FACC, FSCAI
W. Lee Bailey
March 14, 2012
Dr. Hartzler was one of the greatest Cardiologist of all times. It was a priveledge to work with him for many years at the Mid America Heart Institute. There is no way to describe the training that we received in his room. He was amazing to watch. He talked very softly but his message was so important. Doctor's from all over the world would come to observe his work. It was a pleasure and an honor to work by his side and share the wonderful experiences with him. His talent and friendship will never be forgotten. He will be in our hearts forever. Thank you Dr. Hartzler. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and to you Dorothy.

Allison Roberts RCIS, Linda Compton RCIS MAHI St. Luke's Hospital Cath Lab
Roberts Allison
March 14, 2012
I attended several of Dr. Hartzler's training courses in the late 1980's. He was truly a pioneer. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

Wayne Margolis, M.D., FACC(Beaumont, TX)
March 14, 2012
Geoff was an integral part of Class of 64 in Goshen, Indiana. I was touched that he continued to play bass guitar after contributing to our memories as a member of the Dukes!
Mary Foreman Juday
March 14, 2012
As young boys working in his basement in Goshen, Geoff and I tried to create the perfect "fuel" for our rockets, with the result usually being a lot of smoke and fire and explosions. Good memories of a good man. May God comfort and bless his family at this time.
Phillip Gentle
March 14, 2012
Hi,
We lost a truly great man! I met Geoff the week he was cleaning out his MAHI office to “retire.” I was pitching a dissertation idea to study stress and depression in heart patients and was surprised at how interested he became in my ideas and in me as a person. We bonded over music (the Heart Rock band and our Friday afternoon jam sessions including a CD we made) and discussions about life. A few stories about Geoff….
**I had invited Geoff to my graduation party and he said he couldn't make it but was quick to offer to take me to lunch the day after. He also asked if I had time to help HIM pick out a new guitar. We went to a great music store and he had me play quite a few and then asked which one I liked the best. He bought the guitar and a nice amp. When we got back to my truck he asked me to carry/roll the amp and he grabbed the guitar. He put the guitar in the back of my truck and asked me to load up the amp up too. “Congratulations Chris, I'm really proud of you! Enjoy your graduation presents.” I was speechless and got pretty choked up. All I could do was thank him and give him a big hug. I always like when people ask me about that guitar…because it's a story about Geoff.
**I was a day or two away from moving to San Diego and wanted to ship my old computer to my sister. I was quite frustrated as I was having trouble getting a laplink program to work and it would take hours to manually transfer all my files to my new computer. Geoff called and I told him what I was doing. He said “I bet I can get that to work for you.” I resisted his offer since I knew he had been having back pain and at that point I didn't even have any furniture in the house—just a computer sitting on a wood floor. He came over, sat on the floor and yes….got the laplink program to work. This past Christmas eve I called a friend to wish him Merry Christmas. He mentioned that he was going to be hosting a Christmas eve dinner in a few hours, but that his bathroom was leaking and dripping down on his dining room table. I thought about Geoff…..and this story from 12 years ago….and I rushed to Home Depot and then to my friend's house and fixed his plumbing. (Hopefully the metaphor of fixing plumbing and Geoff's profession is not lost on any of you! Geoff would laugh at this!). That's the effect of Geoff on my life!
There are plenty more stories to share….Geoff was a walking lesson in how to make people feel special!
I asked Geoff if he had a favorite song that really moved him, made him dance or jam along with on his bass guitar. “What'd I Say” by Ray Charles he answered. So whenever I'd hear that song it was a prompt to call Geoff. Once when I called he was in the theatre watching “The Bucket List”—a movie he really liked and recommended. We have both seen the movie several times and it often came up in our conversations. A few months ago I asked him what was on his bucket list. Geoff said “Nothing man, I've done it all!” That's the hallmark of a man who artfully lived a full life. Geoff is well-loved and will be greatly missed… and he will rest in peace!
Chris Strychacz
March 14, 2012
My prayers and condolences go out to Dorothy and Geoff's family. As a young nurse in the MICU at Saint Luke's in the early 1980's, I feel honored and privileged to have worked with such a humble, gentle man during such an exciting time for interventional cardiology. Although he was creating an international stir in the cardiology arena, he was able to make each patient feel like they were the only thing he was concerned about at the moment. We often did not know he had come into the ICU in the middle of the night until the monitor alarms went off. He was testing the bedside ICD but hadn't told us! He left an amazing legacy not only professionally but personally and I am grateful to have been a part of that. Thanks for sharing him with us.
Diane Cunningham
March 14, 2012
My sincere condolences to Dr. Hartzler's family. Besides my respect, I owe Geof my gratitude for standing by my side as we performed the first two angioplasties in Lincoln,NE in 1981. Not without having to overcome some adversity, the procedures with his encouragement and advice were accomplished and launched a very successful interventional program.
Chris C. Caudill, MD, FACP, FACC
March 14, 2012
Geoff was one of the greatest human beings I have ever known, and absolutely the best doctor. He had a unique combination of character, intelligence, wit, and courage which was unrivaled in my experience. His memory will light the paths of all who knew him for the rest of our lives. I will sorely miss him.
Vernon Rowe, M.D.
March 14, 2012
Our condolences and prayers to Geoff's family. He was truly a "Pioneer at Heart" and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.
Prairie Cardiovascular (Springfield, IL)
James Zito
March 14, 2012
I was saddened to hear of the loss of Dr. Hartzler and pray that the peace of God that passes understanding will surround his family during this difficult time. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Hartzler during my early years at Cardiovascular Consultants. He was such a kind, humble person and will be greatly missed.
Sandy Meyer
March 14, 2012
Working w/Dr.Hartzler & his partners was the highlight of my medical sales career.I learned so much & got to see first-hand the compassion he had for every patient & those who worked w/him...an honor to be sure. He was a good friend who will be missed by many.

My prayers to Dorothy & family.

Bob Jackson Ft. Worth, Tx
March 14, 2012
Geoff relentlessly pushed the frontiers of interventional cardiology on a worldwide stage, yet never lost his compassion for each individual patient's well-being. It was an honor and great fortune to have walked beside him as a colleague and good friend. He will be dearly missed, and our prayers are with Dorothy and her family.
David McConahay
March 14, 2012
Throughout my whole career as an interventional cardiologists, I hear Geoff's soft, succinct voice in my head. He had a way of making the focus intimate in the tension of the cath lab. As we worked, we became the artery, equipment and the patient. I was blessed with incredible good fortune as a young fellow to find myself in a position to help and observe the beginning of Geoff's revolution in treating heart attack victims. His trust and confidence in me was the foundation for my career. As I continue to treat acute heart attack victims, I still hear Geoff's soft voice in my ear as I face the challenges and it comforts and motivates me. Geoff made a monumental difference during his life. There is no greater thing we can do then save someone's life and Geoff is responsible for saving the lives of literally millions with the procedure he pioneered with the support of Barry and Dave and his colleagues. Dottie, I share some of your grief and thank you for our time together when I was a fellow.
Kipp Webb, M.D.
March 14, 2012
Geoff has been riding on my shoulder, whispering into my ear my whole career. That soft, succinct, voice, that was quite intimate in the setting of cath lab tension will always be with me. I never take for granted the awe and wonder of acute MI intervention after training with Geoff and his trust and confidence in me, to let me be a part of something at the beginning, that truly saved countless lives, when I was a young fellow. Dottie, I share some of your grief and thank you for being part of my life when I was a fellow.
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Kipp Webb
March 13, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your famly. Geoff touched each of our lives in a profound way...saving Gene's life with acute intervention, and his undying support during my career with Cardiovascular Consultants. He taught both of us more about life and health than we can express. What a remarkable man, and what a privilege to have shared in his world. Dottie, we hope you know how you were loved and appreciated as his life partner!
Mary Nell and Gene Strautman
March 13, 2012
I also grew up with Geoff in Goshen, Indiana. He certainly made all of us very proud to have known him. May God bring his family peace at this difficult time.
Diana Mowry Lucchesi
March 13, 2012
It is difficult to add to what's been said. Like Jim Vacek, I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Geoff through music. I can tell you that his many former colleagues here in Rochester Minnesota, remembering his warmth as a person and his genius as a physician, mourn as I do. Rest in peace, Geoff.

John Miles
John Miles
March 13, 2012
My time with Geoff what as the beginning of my interventional career but was the best year a young man could ever dream of. The interview was bold, assured me I would be side by side, hands on hands, not wasting time. And hold, on, what a year of watching a man with a 3D brain like no others, hands like no others, patient respect and love like no other. I am so grateful that we kept a friendship since 1990 and I visited him last year and took him to lunch at the Capital Grille. I am proud to have written his biography, though that was a battle to get a humble man to agree. I spoke to him just a few weeks ago, so upbeat, so excited about Ollie and his kids and bride. We have lost so much, I have lost a friend, my love and condolences to Dotty and family
Joel Kahn MD
March 13, 2012
I started my career at the Mid America Heart Institute in 1984. Geoff was in the earlier days of developing what would become standard treatment of heart attacks everywhere, and I still consider it my greatest honor to have been a small part of that program. Geoff was a genius at what he did, and a true friend and colleague to the technical staff at the Heart Institute. I miss his humor and his wisdom. May God receive him, and support his family in this time.
Virgil Burke, RCIS
March 13, 2012
I had the great honor and privilege of working with Geoff and having him as a friend. He was truly a pioneer in cardivascular medicine and changed many lives. Words can not express the sadness I feel at his passing! He will be greatly missed! My condolences to his family, especially his wife, Dorothy and his children!
Patty Eikenberry
Patty Eikenberry
March 13, 2012
There are men with great vision and there are men with an overwhelming desire to implement and make vision reality. Geoff was both. I remember Geoff and Dr. Greunzig arguing as we built a temporary cath lab until we finished the Mid America Heart Institute. Dr. G was saying that this was good enough until the entire project was complete. Geoff was resolute and we did it his way. It turned out to be decision that propelled Saint Luke's while others were waiting. We, in the Saint Luke's community will miss Geoff but we will never forget him.
Rich Hastings
March 13, 2012
Geoffrey was a lightening rod changing the face of cardiology forever. He was also a generous, compassionate doctor who gave of his soul to his patients and their families. It is such a memorable delight to have had the opportunity to work with Geoff and to know him personally. His bright light will shine on for eternity. My thoughts are with Dorothy and his family.
Ann Rutherford
March 12, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hartzler family and friends. May your memories and God's love comfort you during this time of grief.
Sandy (LaBar) Sherman
GHS class of 1964
Sandy Sherman
March 12, 2012
It is truly my honor to have known Dr. Hartzler, albeit for a short period of time. He always brighten my day when I would visit with him. My heart and prayers are with Dorothy and his family.
Susan Melton
March 12, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hartzler family. The world has lost a truly remarkable and kind person. I know that Geoff is in heaven with our Lord now. He will be greatly missed.
Pam Misajon
March 12, 2012
Prayers to Geoff's family and loved ones for comfort during this difficult time. May GOD surround each of you with HIS Arms.
David Pepple
GHS Class of 64
March 12, 2012
Condolences from another 1964 Goshen Grad who has followed Geoff's career through website acclamations of his achievements. I am proud to have grown up with such a talented man. He will be missed by so many.
Sandra Neff Ashe
March 12, 2012
The Godhen High School class of 1964 lost a dear, talented, innovative, beloved friend. Rest in God's peace, Geoff. May His grace lift your family and friends during this sad time.

Janis (Edson) Miller
March 12, 2012
My condolences to the family. Dr. Hartzler's innovations and contributions in the world of cardiovascular medicine will for ever be a testament to his legacy.
Margie Miller
March 12, 2012
Geoff was a truly great man, a pioneer and innovator in medicine, a true and devoted friend, a remarkably talented musician, a kind and generous spirit. His passing is an immeasurable loss to his family, friends, and the medical profession. He changed the field of interventional cardiology and bettered the care of patients with heart disease worldwide. A gifted visionary, he was a tireless inpiration, teacher, and mentor to generations of cardiologists.
He was one of the best friends I have ever had and I will miss him very much.
Jim Vacek
March 12, 2012