On February 15, 2020, Gerald “Jerry” Hartman, (affectionately known as The Bear) passed away while at home with his loving wife, Susan. They were married for 53 years.
Born on March 9, 1940 in Chewelah, WA to Margaret Dorey and Garnet Karl Hartman, Jerry lived his early years in Yakima, WA with his parents and grandparents. In 1954 he moved to what he considered his home, Ephrata, WA, where he attended high school. He was an outstanding athlete both in football and wrestling, endearing him to his entire hometown and garnering the community support that propelled him on to Washington State University. While a student at WSU he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He was a NCAA Varsity Wrestler at WSU until he turned his eyes to his academics in pursuit of graduate school.
In 1963, Jerry started his doctorate program at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. This influenced the course of his life and career. During his undergraduate and graduate summers he worked building missile silos and on Wannepum Dam, where he left his fingerprint on the landmarks of our State. He was selected as a student Naval Dental Officer while in dental school. On June 13, 1967, he was commissioned upon graduation.
On June 17, 1967, he married the love of his life, Susan Mary Kirk Deck. Their honeymoon was spent driving across the country in their 1967 Mustang on their way to St. Albans Hospital in Queens, NY, where he reported for his dental internship as a Lieutenant. During the Vietnam War he was assigned to Yokosuka, Japan for three years to support evacuated wounded troops. This surgical experience was pivotal in accelerating his career and desire to pursue an advanced residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the San Diego Naval Hospital.
Upon completion of his residency he was assigned to the USS Constellation CV64 Aircraft Carrier as the head of the Dental Department. Jerry and Susan had three children during these years. Their first child, Margaret Anne, was born in Japan. His son Matthew Deck and daughter Hillary Marie (“Molly”) were both born in San Diego.
In 1978 Jerry left active duty as a Commander in the Navy. He joined a private practice at Oral Surgical Associates in Tacoma, WA. He was one of the leading Boarded Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons on the West Coast.
In 1982, the family moved to their home on the beach in Browns Point. Sharing a meal and raising a toast with friends and family at Sycamore House was one of Jerry’s greatest joys. His love of fishing, boating, skiing and his beloved golden retrievers was obvious to all.
In 2014, Jerry retired and spent his time working in his garden, traveling all over the world, fishing and enjoying the company of his friends and family. Jerry faced significant hurdles in his early life. He overcame those obstacles forging a strong loving family and successful career.
He is survived by his wife, his three children and their spouses and his seven grandchildren: Daniel Sullivan, Henry Sullivan, Francis Sullivan, Walter Hartman, Maxwell Hartman, Samuel Dearing and Susanne Dearing.
Jerry will be buried in Ephrata, Washington on Monday, February, 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at the Lakeview Golf & Country Club located at 1957 Golf Club Road, Soap Lake, WA 98851.
A memorial to celebrate Jerry’s life and legacy will be held in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club located at 13204 Country Club Drive SW in Lakewood, WA 98498.
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