Gordon Dean HartrickLeslie , AR, 1915 - 2014
Gordon Dean Hartrick - The kindest and most decent of men, Gordon was the most curious person in any room; he had a remarkable breadth and depth of interests and knowledge, and he was filled with joy.
Gordon was born May 13, 1915 in Stettler, Alberta, Canada, to Maver and Lila (Dean) Hartrick. He grew up in Canada, but finished high school in East Detroit, Michigan. After the Civilian Conservation Corps, he graduated from the University of Michigan, where he met and married Alma in 1940.
Over the years, Gordon was a church and community leader as well as a forester, working for The Crossett Company, the first southern logging company to hire professional foresters to implement perpetual sustainable harvest practices.
He was particularly proud of three projects: He started the Tri-Ed School in Hamburg, for children with disabilities; daughter Betsy was among the first students. He founded the Ashley County Sheltered Workshop, providing work for adults with disabilities. And he raised funds to purchase the 1918 David E. Watson home in Hamburg for the Ashley County Museum.
He was a Freemason and member of Lindsey Lodge #292 of Timbo, and honorary member of Wiley Cove #524 of Leslie.
Over the years, Gordon had a profound – if quiet – influence on many people. For years, a ham showed up every Christmas, from a man whom Gordon had helped to quit drinking and repair his family relationships. A local Ku Klux Klan leader quit because Mr. Gordon didn't approve.
Alma died in 1996. Two years later, he was surprised to find that he had fallen in love with Cogie Ann. They celebrated 16 years of marriage in February.
His life was a testimony to the goodness and love of God. Gordon was a saint of the church, representing his local church, first Hamburg United Methodist Church, and later Leslie UMC, at Annual Conference, for more than fifty years, and teaching Sunday School for more than sixty. The best sermon he ever preached was while Alma was dying of cancer, on "Are We Born to Die?" He concluded that we are not born to die, but are born to eternal life; and so it has come to be for him. One of his last words was "joy," spoken of his family.
He was predeceased by his parents; brothers Robert Arthur Hartrick and Howard Walter Hartrick; first wife Alma (Seely) Hartrick; son Frank Dean Hartrick and daughter Betsy Carolyn Hartrick. He is survived by his wife Cogie Ann Hartrick, children Holly Hartrick Childs of Fayetteville, Susan (John) Welch of Leslie, Alice (Michael) McBee of Leslie, Heather Hartrick of Oxley, Nancy Stafford of Leslie, Fred (Shari) Hartrick of Dallas, Texas, Jeanie (Herbie) Stuart of Bastrop, Louisiana, Robin (Karen) Hartrick of Monroe, and Joe Ann Collier of Hamburg; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, loving friends and relatives.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, April 12, 2014, 3 p.m. at Leslie Methodist Church in Leslie, Arkansas. James Lann and Mike Proctor are officiating.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Leslie United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 389, Leslie Ark. 72645.
Published April 12, 2014
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Roller-Coffman Funeral Home
405 Peabody, P.O. Box 1039, Mountain View, AR