Benedict F. Hartman
June 11, 2010
Benedict F. Hartman
Benedict F. “Benny” Hartman passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family, on Friday, June 11, 2010.
Benny was born on January 11, 1922, in Tilden Township to Walter and Mary (Hurt) Hartman. He was the youngest of three siblings with older brother Sylvester “Sliver” and older sister, Valeria “Girlie” Hartman Moullet.
Benny graduated from the 8th grade from St. Paul’s Catholic School in 1936. He graduated from Bloomer High School in May of 1940, with his high school senior annual stating that “Benny was shy and reserved, but friendly to everyone he knows.” He was an excellent trumpet player and was a member of the band for all four years of high school. He was also a proud member of the FFA, even though he grew up a “town kid.”
In 1943 Benny, along with millions of other boys of the “Greatest Generation,” entered the US Army to defend his country against the Axis forces during World War II. He was a member of the Ninth Armored Division, 60th Infantry Battalion Headquarters Company, serving in the European Theater, most notably during the Battle of the Bulge. He often stated that his division was the first to cross the Rhine River into Nazi Germany. Benny was a machine gunner and also, utilizing his musical background, was assigned to be a bugler, sounding the calls each day for his company.
After the defeat of the Axis forces in Europe, Benny was home on leave during the late summer of 1945 awaiting orders to be shipped out to the Pacific Theater. It was during this leave that he met the love of his life, Katherine “Katie” Brick. With victory in the Pacific Theater over Imperial Japan in September of 1945, Benny was honorably discharged from the US Army.
Ben and Kate loved old-time music and loved to dance and spent many nights dancing during their courting days. They wed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Jim Falls, Wisconsin, on February 4, 1948, the first day of their sixty-two years together. Their wedding dance was celebrated at the Pines Ballroom, with the St. Paul Waltz as their “song.”
Benny and Kate made their home in Bloomer, Benny working at the old Ford garage as a body and fender man. He later worked and retired from Weigand’s Ford body shop in Chippewa Falls, where he worked for 23 years. In the days prior to computerized color matching, Benny, with only a color chart and keen eye, was a true artist in matching paint. He was a skilled craftsman and was able to repair many a car to like new condition after suffering the damages of an errant deer crossing the road or a slide off into the ditch from an icy winter road.
Benny loved his family and welcomed as gifts from God, his five children. He worked hard and provided lovingly for his family. He was gentle, loving father who made a unique place in his heart for each of his children. He was so proud to have sent each of his children to his beloved parish school, St. Paul’s Catholic School.
In his younger days, Benny was a member of a drum and bugle corps, and would play with the corps in area parades in the summer time throughout northwestern Wisconsin. He was a member of the local VFW post, was a volunteer fire fighter in Bloomer, and an usher at the 11:15 am Mass for years and years.
No one loved a game of cards more than Benny. He enjoyed setting his opponents while playing Sheepshead or Eucher. He enjoyed a cold Leinie’s, watching the Packers play on Sundays, and especially loved old-time music and dancing with his partner in life, Kathy, including the “Dancing with the Community” event this past April. In addition, Benny was an avid gardener and canned much of his own produce. He instilled in each of his children a love of gardening; just don’t ask him to plant flowers, as he said flowers just get in the way of planting something a person could eat.
Benny is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Katherine, his children: Brenda (Terry) Poirier, Josie Hartman (Scott Fedie), Matt (Renee) Hartman, Annie Jenneman and daughter-in-law, Kari Hartman Rada. He is also survived by his grandchildren who absolutely adored their Grandpa Benny: James Kouba, III, ZJ Poirier, Noah Poirier, Alyece Hartman West, Angie Hartman, Elliott Jenneman, Veronica Jenneman, Vanessa Jenneman and great-grandsons, Tytain Pete Clements and Ethan West. In addition to his children and grandchildren, he is survived by a loving foster-daughter and first cousin, Marian Hurt Hunt. He is survived by many, many loving nieces and nephews, whom he loved like his own, and seven Godchildren. He is also survived by one of his “band of brothers” whom he served with during the battles of WWII, life-time Army buddy, Les Bowers of Seattle, Washington.
Benny was preceded in death, and will be so pleased to see in heaven his parents, Walter and Mary Hartman, his brother, Sylvester Hartman and sister, Valeria Moullet. He will also be so happy to once again see his beloved eldest son, Pete Hartman, who passed away in 2003. He was also preceded in death by infant twin granddaughters, Tera Leah Poirier and Shoshanna Leah Poirier. They’ll love sitting on Grandpa’s lap in Heaven.
Visitation will be at the Shriver Funeral Chapel from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 14, 2010, with a Christian wake service to be held at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Bloomer, on Tuesday, June 15th, at 11:00 a.m. with Father James Arthur as the celebrant.
Benny had a strong faith in God, a strong love of his family and a strong love of country. He was kind, courteous and always conscience of everyone’s feelings, even to his last day. His wonderful sense of humor, quick wit and happy smile will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him. “Benny was…. friendly to everyone he knows.”
4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 14, 2010
St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Bloomer, on Tuesday, June 15th, at 11:00 a.m
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