Walter Junior Hartman, the son of Walter Calvin and Florence Margaret (Robbins) Hartman, was born Sept. 23, 1921, on the family farm, near Hinton. He attended the rural country school and at the age of 10 he would drive a team of horses to school, picking up the neighbor kids along the way. At the age of 13, Walter continued his education at Hinton High School. During one semester of his junior year, Walter assisted his father with farming, thus, having to study long, extra hours during his senior year to graduate with his class in 1938. "Red," was a great athlete in high school. He was a forward on the basketball team and played both pitcher and shortstop on the baseball team. Following his graduation, Red worked as a hired man for his Dad and other area farmers.
From an early age on, Red knew his lifelong ambition was to be a farmer, someday own his own farm, and to marry a gal who had the same dream. On July 20, 1941, Walter was united in marriage to Fern LaVern Sturtevant at Trimble Methodist Church in Sioux City. The couple rented farms in the Hinton area until 1948, when they purchased their own farm on C-70 near Kingsley. Red and Fern delighted in the busy farm life of their livestock and grain operation and became the proud parents of four children.
In 1978, Red and Fern retired and moved to Hinton. After 61 years of marriage, Fern died in July 2002. Following a stroke in 2007, Red became a resident at the Kingsley Nursing and Rehab Center.
Walter was a lifelong member of the Merrill-Melbourne United Methodist Church, where he had served on various past committees and boards. He was also a former member of the National Farmers Organization and the Hinton City Council.
Red loved to fish, play horseshoes, golf, flower and vegetable gardening, attending family gatherings, picnics and reunions, playing cards, cheering for the Atlanta Braves, collecting golf balls, reading the newspaper, daily personal journaling and sharing conversation and coffee with his friends.
His claims to fame were sinking a hole in one at the Deer Run Golf Course in Hinton and catching a 30 pound salmon off the coast of Washington in 1961.
He enjoyed telling his life story and was a man of great faith, a gentle teacher, sincere, reflective and patient. He will be dearly missed by all who shared in his life.
He is survived by his three children, Ardyce (Terry) Highley of Independence, Mo., Roger Hartman of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Janice (Leonard) Hansen of Kingsley; his sister, Grace Jones and sister-in-law, Norma Hartman, both of Sioux City; his 11 grandchildren, Robert (Susan) Yeager, Timothy Highley, David Hartman, Aaron Hartman, Jenifer Manker, Angela (Joel) Schmidt, Brent (Ashley) Hansen, Amber (Torey) Miller, Teresa (Sam) Kiefer, David Highley and John Highley; his 27 great-grandchildren; one great-great granddaughter and other relatives and friends.
Preceding Walter in death were his wife, Fern Hartman; his son, Leland Hartman; his parents, Walter C. and Florence Hartman; his two brothers, Floyd and Alvis Hartman; his sisters-in-law, Ethel and Rose, and his brother-in-law, Wayne Jones.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church in Hinton, with the Rev. Peg Ellingson presiding.
Interment will be in the Kingsley City Cemetery.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the United Methodist Church in Hinton. A prayer service will be at 7 p.m. The visitation will continue at the church on Friday morning, one hour prior to Red's service.
The Johnson-Earnest Funeral Home of Kingsley is in charge of arrangements.
Thoughts, stories and condolences may be e-mailed to the family on the www.mauerjohnsonfh.com website.