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Paul Hartman

March 1, 1941 - April 13, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Centrica Care Navigators
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
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Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
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Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
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Life Story / Obituary


Paul Hartman was a passionate person who lived his life fully by extending himself selflessly to others. He thrived on making others feel special in his presence. His greatest legacies are the contributions he made to those recovering from addiction as well as the beloved family he leaves behind.

So much of our nation’s history was characterized by the year 1941. It was the year that marked the fateful attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Before these unprecedented times, Arthur and Virginia (Edwards) Hartman were welcoming home their newborn son, Arthur Paul, on March 1, in Detroit, Michigan. His birth brought great joy and promise during an era of great change.

Paul’s childhood was troublesome yet held happiness. Glimmers of light included riding the bus from his Plainwell home to the other end of Douglas Avenue on Kalamazoo’s north side to visit his grandparents. Their genuine love was a cherished gift from his past. Anything he set his mind to do, he did with great purpose, including school. After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School, where he swam on the swim team, Paul pursued higher education at Western Michigan University. During these years, he worked as a golf caddy leading to a lifetime of love for the game.

WMU was not only the setting for his studies in finance but also the start of his love story with his high school friend, Ginnie Moffit, on the campus grounds. The two of them shared many commonalities and joined in marriage on September 2, 1960. Before they started their family, they enjoyed many drives to watch sunsets, afternoon picnics at local parks, and visits to the Detroit jazz clubs during the Motown era. Together, they raised three wonderful children; Beth, Brenda, and David.

When the kids were younger, they grew accustomed to their dad’s love of nature and adventure. During the ‘70s, the family camped often in northern Michigan. Paul knew how to make the most of any camping experience, even if the weather was rainy. A favorite highlight was a trip out west in the family’s red, classic VW camper. They toured through Arizona with lots of hiking, off-the-beaten-path campsites, and a snowy stop in Flagstaff to see the Grand Canyon. Another memorable trip was to visit the newly opened Disney World in Orlando, Florida. There was never a dull moment on any family trip! Each one had a story similar to the character, Clark Griswold, from National Lampoon’s Vacation!

Paul also loved water in all seasons. He taught the kids to ski at an early age. In the winter months, they visited Michigan’s northern hills and later took ski trips to the Colorado resorts and out east while David was in college. In the summer, they spent their time boating from port to port along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Paul passed down his love of skiing and boating to his children. Active and physically fit throughout his life, Paul coached David’s youth soccer programs for multiple seasons. He never played soccer but understood the fundamentals enough to coach. Paul was enamored with his children’s accomplishments. When catching up with friends, he loved to elaborate on their lives as adults ensuring that any new field of work they were starting included the words director or leader or anything that made them the very best! It was evident to all who knew him that his children were his everything. His contagious enthusiasm led them to take risks and stretch themselves further than they thought possible.

Woven throughout these years as a family, was Paul’s struggle with addiction. When his light was tuned in, the kids had the spotlight. Yet, when his light grew dim, the darkness was intense. Once sober, he became extremely active in the 12-step program. Through his involvement with Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, his greatest healer was acts of service. With a newfound purpose, he left his long-held career in the sales and financial industry and relocated to California to earn a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fullerton Theological Seminary. Once he was licensed, he joined his wife, Ginnie, in building a thriving practice specializing in addiction and serving much of western Michigan.

Even more than weekly sessions and groups, Paul realized his true gift was practicing as an intensive therapist. As a result, he spent decades working with groups, individuals, and couples for a series of days in a row allowing him to expand his work all over the country. He thrived in this fast-paced, experiential, intense model of working with those healing from the pain of addiction. He was known nationally for his work in the recovery community and worked with many of the pioneers of addiction theory and therapy. Outside of their work together, they enjoyed travel and lake time with their family and friends. A special highlight was a trip to Italy in 2016 to attend their granddaughter, Abby’s wedding.

As a granddad, Paul loved creating magical moments. Each Christmas was made to be special by planting small peppermint candies in the soil that would grow into giant candy canes overnight! A characteristic of most recovering addicts, he had quite a sweet tooth and his grandkids loved finding his secret stash of M&M candies and sharing baked goods with him! As much as he enjoyed tasty treats, he continued to prioritize fitness by working out at the gym regularly. In addition to his fitness, he loved to read and watch sports. He favored thrillers and would watch any sport from football to tennis and his favorite, golf! A lover of the sport, it was quite fitting that Paul passed away during The Masters Tournament weekend. His grandson, Ben, shared the leaderboard with him in his final hours. Innately intuitive, his family shared a story of a time when Paul had lost a set of keys in the sand on a beach. He searched and searched and couldn’t find them. That night, he dreamt of where he dropped them. The next morning he found them in that exact spot! His family is comforted in knowing that his spiritual gifts have led him to a healing place. Described as a natural magic maker and an excellent storyteller, who was always well dressed, including his smile, there is no doubt that his life touched the hearts of many. May his family always cherish their time together and may his memories be eternal.

Arthur Paul Hartman, Jr., age 83 of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on April 13, 2024. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Bonnie Hartenbower. Surviving are his children: Beth (Herb) Hartman, Brenda (Dana) Hartman, and David (Rachel) Hartman; grandchildren: Ben Green, Abby Green, Zoe Bowers, and Claire Bowers; two great-granddaughters, Sahra and Halley Rubino; brother, Fred Hartman, and niece Nicole Bryant.

Private services will take place. Please visit BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign Paul’s guestbook. Memorial donations may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 375-2900.