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Harold Richard Hartzler, June 5, 1928- September 4, 2023.
Richard was born in Goshen, Indiana to Harold and Edna Hartzler. Growing up during the Great Depression, Richard (the name he went by; not liking "Harold") grew up very poor. The poverty in which our father grew up was significant. As a child, dinners included, "Rice and cornflakes", "bread, sugar, milk and rice" and other meals that were necessary for sustenance. Richard, and his mother and father, were blessed with the arrival of his sister, Virginia (1932-2018. In Love and Light), in 1932.
Richard understood that to get somewhere in life, hard work and discipline are necessary. Richard wore the same clothes to school often during elementary, as did most of his peers. He owned no more than one pair of shoes at a time and would only receive new ones when the former pair absolutely fell apart. My grandparents did everything they could, but the economic conditions faced were severe.
Richard earned straight-A's throughout his school years; K-12. In 1944, at the age of 16, he attempted to join the US Army to go off and serve his country. Providing a false birth certificate to the draft board, he was rejected. Richard graduated High School in June of 1946 and was accepted to the University of Indiana following his senior year and found himself broke. Seeking out a close friend, Richard asked him for a 100-dollar loan so he could get to college and buy essentials. My Father promised to pay his friend back and did. Richard instilled in myself the value and importance of paying back debts. "If someone lends you money, they should never have to seek you out to settle the debt. You should always seek them out and pay them”. ~ H.R. Hartzler.
Richard attended the University of Indiana in Bloomington from 1946-1950, majoring in Business Administration- earning his bachelor's degree. Richard's graduate education was interrupted by the Korean War. He was drafted and served most of his tour of Duty as a MP. Richard was in the US Army from 1950-1953. After serving his country, he returned and continued his graduate education at West Virginia University where he earned his MBA and PHD in 3 years.
Following his military service, Richard worked for the DC Police and FBI in Washington DC. He started working with them while finishing his graduate studies. Richard served with the Feds from 1954 until 1960. Richard married a woman (1955??) and had a son, Andy. The marriage did not work out and it ended in divorce.
Starting in 1960, Richard started teaching Business Administration at West Virginia University. In August of 1962, our father met Elizabeth Buchannan and fell in love with her. My Father needed a babysitter to watch his son, Andy. He lived in an apartment right next to Elizabeth. Seeing Elizabeth in the hall, he stopped and asked her if she could watch Andy while he went on a date. She said "sure!" Richard told me this story several times. He said that when first asking Liz to watch Andy, she was not dressed up. When Liz knocked on Richard's apartment door, he opened it to see Liz. "She looked as beautiful as any woman I'd ever seen. She said, "hello", and I fell in Love with her right then and there". Richard asked Liz out and they married 6 weeks later on October 6th, 1962. A marriage lasting with their Oaths intact for 57.5-years.
Liz and Richard lived in Morgantown, WV, from 1962-1964 while our father was a Professor at West Virginia University. On June 2, 1964, Richard and Liz gave birth to their first son, "Scott Richard Hartzler".
Richard won employment at the University of Massachusetts and moved to Millers Falls, MA during late summer 1964. Richard worked as a Professor at UMass from 1964-1981, teaching Business Administration.
On April 11, 1968, I was born, Richard and Elizabeth's second son. In 1969, shortly after my birth, we moved to Amherst, MA. It was Mom, Dad, Scott and I. And of course, Barney! One of the best dogs ever. On December 22, 1971, Liz and Richard's daughter was born. Susan Elizabeth Hartzler (In Love and Light: 1971-2020). There we were- a five-pack.
In 1975, Richard earned a 1-year sabbatical at the University of Athens, Greece. We moved there in late August 1975 and stayed until July 2, 1976. It was a loving, joyous and magical experience. Returning to Amherst during July of 1976, Richard continued working at UMass. In August of 1981, Richard earned a 2-year assignment at the University of Anchorage, AK, as a Professor for Business-Administration. Living in Anchorage was a wonderful experience!
Richard gained employment with Potsdam University in upstate NY in 1983. Not wanting us to move the whole family to a new city, Richard purchased a house for us in South Amherst as we returned home. Richard wanted us to live in Amherst. He commuted on weekends from Potsdam to Amherst to spend as much time with our family as he could.
Richard finally retired in 1990. Settling into retirement, he lived a joyous and happy life with Liz. He became the grandfather to Ashley Hartzler Crowe, Sophie Hartzler Vasquez and Jacob Hartzler!
Our father understood the meaning of being not only a father, but a "Dad". He put our needs first. He worked as hard as anyone I ever knew. Born in abject poverty, he worked out of it and made a success of himself. He provided our family with everything he could. Most important, Richard loved us and provided our family with security. I would not be the man I am today without H. Richard Hartzler.
Dad, you were always there for us, and we are eternally grateful and most fortunate to have you as our father. You were an Atheist; however, you never imposed your beliefs on the rest of our family. Our mom, my sister, brother, and I grew up Protestant, and you were okay with it. This is one of the aspects of your fathership I respected the most. I believe in a Spirit which loves all its children unconditionally, and with forgiveness. You are in Heaven. You are with the Love of your Life, Liz, and your beloved daughter, Susan. You are with your sister, mother, and father. You are with all the others in Love and Light. I know you said, "Well, I was wrong” when you embraced our loved ones who passed before you. Dad, I Love You. I'll miss you. You helped me as much as anybody with my struggles in life. Your hard work and discipline; your unwavering role as our father was carried out with every ounce of your soul. You were our pillar of strength. You maintained love in our family. Thank you for introducing me to the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins. Going to see sporting events with you as a child at Fenway, Foxboro and the Boston Garden provided me with so much joy!
Richard is survived by his two sons, Scott and Todd, 3-grandchildren: Ashley Hartzler Crowe, Sophie Hartzler Vazquez and Jacob Hartzler, and son-in-law, Bradley Crowe.
Funeral services are private. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.