Earl Leroy Hartman
Earl "Papa" Leroy Hartman, 84, of Lynchburg, died Monday, July 20, 2009. He was the husband of the late Edith "Edie" Turner Hartman for 58 years.
He was born in Reading, Pa., on Nov. 3, 1924, and was a son of the late Raymond Gordon Hartman and Ida May Swisher Hartman.
He is survived by his sons, Lee F. Hartman and wife, Lori, of Lynchburg, and Robin W. Hartman of Lynchburg; two grandchildren, granddaughter Kelly M. Hartman of Lynchburg and grandson Kevin L. Hartman of Mill Valley, Calif.; his sister, Anna Bowers, of Reading, Penn.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Earl and Edie owned and operated The Reliable Jewelry and Loan Co. Inc. on Main Street for 48 years before retiring in 1999.
Papa, or "Lefty", loved baseball his whole life. He played professionally for five years with the St. Louis Cardinals Organization. After retiring from playing professional baseball, he still played with teams in the Skyline, Patrick Henry and Valley Leagues. He was elected to the All-State, VA Semi-Pro Team for three years. For 15 years, he refereed football and basketball at area high schools and college games in the Old Mason Dixon Conference and the Southern Conference.
He loved his "Nittany Lions" of Penn State and the Detroit Tigers. He stayed active his whole life, going on trips, getting together with former baseball players for a monthly lunch date and even playing poker with old friends.
Papa was a member of Timberlake United Methodist Church for over 50 years. He was a member of American Legion Post 16, Lynchburg Civil War Round Table and Moose Lodge 1727. Papa was an avid reader, mostly American and Virginia history. He made friends everywhere he went and always loved a good joke.
He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy as Gunner Mate on the all Volunteer Armed Guard Unit and serving in the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres while visiting 20 countries and islands.
Papa loved the beauty of Virginia, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway. He always said that he would come back to the Peaks of Otter every spring and fall, so if you are up there and feel a cool breeze on your cheek, it is our Papa saying, "Hello." If you listen closely, he will tell you a joke.
A very special thank you is extended from the family to Dr. Nygaard and the nursing staff at Lynchburg General Hospital for the excellent care they gave Papa.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 23, 2009, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. The funeral service will be held on Friday, July 24, 2009, at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, with the Rev. Dr. Rob Colwell officiating. Internment will follow in Fort Hill Memorial Park with military honors provided by American Legion Post 16.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Timberlake United Methodist Church, 21649 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502.
Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.tharpfuneralhome.com.