MOUNT CARROLL—James Edward Hartman, 97, of Mount Carroll, passed away Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, surrounded by family at his home.
He was born May 24, 1924, to Edward and Nora "Stamm" Hartman, the youngest of four children. Jim graduated from Mount Carroll High School in 1942.
He was employed at the Savanna Ordnance Depot before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943. After basic training in Florida and schooling in Mississippi and Kansas, Jim was sent overseas in 1944. He served as a flight engineer on a B-24 and flew 52 times over Mount Everest during his service in the Chinese Burma India Theater during World War II. Jim received several awards and medals for his service.
He returned home from the war in 1946 and upon his return home, Jim went back to work at the Depot. One year later, Jim went to work for Interstate Power Company as a lineman, retiring from there in 1986.
Jim and his sons, Kerry and Kim, worked together for several summers. Even after retirement, Jim kept busy helping family and friends with home improvement projects. His grandchildren tell stories of how "Deed" could out work them well into his 80s.
Jim married Patricia "Patty" Neuschwanger on Feb. 3, 1949. To this union seven children were born: Kim, Kerry, Kris, Kass, Kit, Kay and Kurt. Jim's grandfather, Ben Hartman, helped start the First Lutheran Church (ELC) in Mount Carroll.
Jim was deeply involved in his children's and community's activities throughout his life. Jim was a member of the Mount Carroll American Legion, Mount Carroll United Methodist Church, Carroll County Historical Society, including the Miles and Oakville Museums.
He served as a Boy Scout Master for over 20 years for Troop 51. Jim also helped build the Boy Scout cabin at Indian Trail Road and spent many weekends there camping out with the Scouts. Jim served as a lay leader with the Mount Carroll United Methodist Church for over 50 years. He served as a groundskeeper for the Mount Carroll baseball diamond and also donated lots of time to civic organizations throughout the years in Mount Carroll. Jim and Percy Vesperman were instrumental in placing the lighted star on Cemetery Hill by the mausoleum that is still lit to this day.
Jim's quiet yet strong presence will be deeply missed by his family, friends and community members. Jim appreciated nature and passed on his passion of caring for nature to his family. He was an avid tree planter who planted hundreds of trees. Jim loved to fish and he fished up and down the Mississippi and Plum Rivers and on Canada during trips with his sons and grandsons. Jim was the greatest morel mushroom finder and passed this skill on to his children and grandchildren, but he still remained the best at finding the morels. Later in life, Jim discovered a love of music and passed it on to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
In addition to loving nature, Jim was an avid sports follower, living his 97 years as a devout Cubs fan enjoying many trips to Wrigley Field with friends and family. Jim was thrilled when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, watching the winning game with his grandsons and great-grandsons. Jim attended many of his grandchildren's sporting events around the area. He also loved to watch the Chicago Bears play.
Jim was a devout family man and his greatest treasures were his loved ones. He and Patty were married for 72 years. Patty introduced herself to Jim by putting her arm through his at Isenhart's Confectionary and the rest was history. Jim and Patty loved to dance and they enjoyed doing so throughout their marriage. He was tremendously proud of all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and all their accomplishments. Jim always had a positive message or a story with a lesson for each family member. We will miss his incredible knowledge and his kindness most of all.
Jim is survived by his wife, Patty; his children, Kim (Vicki) Hartman, Kerry (Jen) Hartman, Kris Plattenberger, Kass (David) Boyd, Kit (Tim) Volz, Kay Hartman her partner Joe (Ferguson); 22 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous family members and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Nora; brothers, Al and Joe; sister, Sally; and son, Kurt.
A memorial fund has been established in Jim’s name.