Sunday, June 20, 2021
1:00 PM CDT
Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Home
620 Legion Dr
Twin Lakes, WI 53181
Burial at Mound Prairie Cemetery following the service. A reception will also be announced.
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Generous, witty, and supportive, James Arthur Hartman lived a life rich in faith and family. True to his German roots, Jim could be counted on for his discipline, hard work, and attention to detail. He believed there was a “right way, a wrong way, and his way” to get things done. A gifted storyteller, Jim knew how to capture an audience, while also being a bit of a flirt at times. He loved the outdoors and giving of his talents in service of others. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Jim will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Despite the gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many during the 1930s. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope than in Hampshire, Illinois, as Harvey and Berdena Hartman welcomed their son, James, into their hearts and home on November 2, 1933.
Growing up as an only child, Jim’s early years centered on the hard work that comes with working in the dairy cattle business; both Jim’s father and grandfather bought and sold cattle. From a young age, Jim also participated in Trapshooting leagues. After winning multiple Trap Shooting State Championships in both Illinois and Wisconsin, he was named a U.S. Trapshooting Junior All American in 1950 and 1951. Jim and his father even traveled to Cuba for clay target and live bird shoots. His grandfather also took Jim to northern Wisconsin, a place he instantly connected with and resolved to one day live.
Jim graduated from Hampshire High School, where he was active in basketball and baseball, in 1951. He went on to earn a degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois in 1956 while also being a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and the Army ROTC program. Following graduation, Jim was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and served a total of eight years on both active and reserve duty, attaining the final rank of Captain in Air Defense Artillery.
At the age of 21, Jim became a Mason and a Shriner at Medina Temple in Rockford, IL. He was also a member of the Elgin, IL Elks Club for many years. Early on, he worked in the family cattle business and later served as an entrepreneur in many industries. Over the years, he owned a car wash and gas station, multiple restaurants, and a bowling alley. He also served his community as a real estate agent and was involved in building homes in the Hampshire area. Jim had a knack for seeing the needs of the community and he knew with steadfast determination he’d be successful.
In May of 1960, Jim had the good fortune of meeting Karen Olson while attending a family funeral. The pair first met in the Hartman family cow barn. Instantly smitten, they found time during the funeral to get to know one another. Jim’s grandfather, George Tegtman, sly as he was, asked if he could send Karen a Christmas card. Little did she know, he slipped Jim her phone number and address and the rest, as they say, was history. The happy couple married just a few months later, on October 1, 1960, officially beginning their more than 60-year adventure.
The newlyweds traveled to Canada for a two-week fishing honeymoon. Upon arrival, they realized the lodge was expecting two men, not a newly married husband and wife. Their first night was spent in a lodge with paper-thin walls and the raucous sounds of the male lodgers in the adjacent rooms. The following day, they moved to a more private lodge.
Following their honeymoon, Jim and Karen settled in Hampshire, Illinois, where Jim worked in the family cattle business. Later, they moved to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin where he and Karen followed their entrepreneurial instincts. They returned to Hampshire in 1971 after a successful period of running a Tastee Freez franchise and a private Gas Station and Car wash. Jim worked hard to provide for his family, which included two sons from a previous marriage and, two more sons he and Karen were blessed to welcome. Though the boys came to joke about their special talents for getting under their father’s skin, wondering, “how long will it be before he explodes?” they also came to know the comfort of his steadfast support and incredible work ethic.
Jim relished in sharing his love for the outdoors with his wife and sons. He was an avid outdoorsman, and besides trap and sporting clay shooting, his passions were deer, pheasant, grouse, and duck hunting, fishing, and trapping. Family vacations were often planned around a fishing or hunting adventure. Jim was always open to trying new places to pursue his hunting passion and his style was to ensure everyone’s success and good time. Over the years, Jim made many trips with family and friends to Canada, the Arctic Circle, Alaska, Arkansas, Missouri, and the Dakotas to fish and hunt. In addition to his generosity in sharing the meat from his hunts, Jim also carefully tended to a large garden and enjoyed giving much of its produce away.
As their sons grew into adulthood and set off on their own, Jim and Karen came to enjoy traveling to visit them and their families. They travelled extensively through the northern states, as well as to Texas, California, Florida, and Germany. While in Germany, they were able to visit friends and attend Octoberfest. Jim took great pride in his kids’ accomplishments and proved an unwavering supporter of their endeavors. Whether cheering on their sports or encouraging their academics and careers, Jim always reflected their capacity for success. As his sons had families of their own, Jim relished his role as grandfather with signature pride, support, and a newfound softness. Although his grandchildren did soon learn of their grandfather’s talent for spontaneously stringing expletives together, they more enjoyed his gift for storytelling.
Jim gifted his family in many ways. He embodied the principles he believed in, providing a powerful living role model for those who were lucky to know him. Generous to a fault he donated more than eight gallons of blood during his lifetime and graciously helped friends and family in times of need. One of the greatest gifts was the love he and Karen shared. Jim was an exceptional dancer, and nothing beat dancing the night away with the woman he loved. He and Karen also enjoyed fishing together. Many treasured memories were made casting their lines on both Lake Vermillion in Cook, Minnesota and beginning in 1974 on the Cisco Chain in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. In 1999, he and Karen moved to Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin fulfilling one of their greatest dreams. It was in the beautiful Northwoods, where Jim felt closest to God and nature. There, Karen even surprised him with a small island as a birthday present on the lake where they lived. Jim built a duck blind on one end of his island sanctuary where he spent many hours duck hunting, including his final trip to the island on his 80th birthday for a successful duck hunting trip with his sons. Jim’s final duck hunt occurred in the month of his 85th birthday with his sons, grandsons, and the Habitat Flats hunting crew and staff in Sumner, Missouri.
A lifetime member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association and the Gateway Gun Club in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, Jim was definitely interested in the hunt. However, for those who knew him best, it was clear he was more interested in the camaraderie of the group he was with. His legendary wit, charm, and storytelling made him a favorite wherever he went. The staff at the hunting lodge he went to every year always had a birthday cake for him. As he aged and was unable to wade the waters to get to the best duck hunting blind on his favorite spot, Love Lake, the staff loved him so much they enthusiastically built a ramp across the water so he could still enjoy his time hunting and storytelling with family and friends.
Clearly, it is hard to imagine life in the absence of Jim’s steadfast presence. May we find comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. With each old Western we watch, road trip we take, hunting or fishing adventure we share with our loved ones, bounty we give, and song we dance to with our beloved, we celebrate the many ways Jim gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspire others as he so inspired us.
James Arthur Hartman of Land O’ Lakes, WI passed away on June 10, 2021, and will spend eternity with his Lord. Jim is survived by his wife and best friend, Karen Olson Hartman. He is also survived by four sons: Jim (Trina), John (Juli), Art (Anne), and Curt (Beth); 10 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; many cousins, nieces, nephews; and two sisters & brothers-in-law. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Berdena, his grandparents, and numerous aunts and uncles.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 1 PM central time on Sunday (JUNE 20) with visitation one-hour prior at Haase-Lockwood and Associates Funeral Home, 620 Legion Drive, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin 53181, (262) 877-3013. Burial will immediately follow at Mound Prairie Cemetery, with a reception to be announced. Also assisted by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan. (269) 375-2900. Please visit Jim’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you are encouraged to read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan FBO Rose Arbor Hospice or Land O’Lakes Arts.