Craig Norman Hartman
Craig Norman Hartman passed away on December 20, 2020...the hardest year of our lives. At 69 years of age, he is gone too soon leaving a legacy of deep love and devotion from family, friends, and work partners.
Born in Salt Lake City on July 16, 1951, he was the oldest of three. He was always the brilliant mind, eager to learn, even if his report cards did not always reflect that...a typical gifted-child-trait. His passion for math, reading, and music were staples in his life from an early age into adulthood. He attended Highland High School and the University of Utah earning a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering.
His passion for reading was bar none reading book after book on topics of interest, bribing his children to read Atlas Shrugged, reading math books “for fun,” and making sure his Kindle was always within grasp. He played the accordion, went on national tours with his father’s Post Office band playing the tuba, and could play most any song on the piano by ear. His obsession with classic rock bands was perhaps his greatest love attending every concert possible, especially loving the Moody Blues, YES, and The Who. In his last ten years he became a classy wedding deejay/emcee collecting volumes of tunes, and gifting many friends with music at their own nuptials.
After high school he joined the Army and attended boot camp in Fort Hood,Texas where he was trained as a medic. He joined the National Guard in Utah, and was always an enthusiastic follower of politics and policy for his country. His adventuring spirit included parachute jumping with over forty jumps recorded which is amazing since he always packed his own chute.
Raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he served in the Oklahoma-Arkansas mission where he impacted many lives, several with whom he continued to keep in touch with over the years. One such continued friend even named her son after Craig, the deepest show of love and respect that one can receive.
He married Trudy Barnes in 1977, and together they created a family of three beautiful children as they moved multiple times following job opportunities for Craig including Westinghouse, Crown Steel Inc, Mitsubishi, and Geneva Steel. Life in California, Colorado, and Illinois were great adventures away, but their hearts were always to return to Utah.
Craig had a lifetime obsession with magic, a hobby he shared with his best friend, Kim Walkowski, for fifty-plus years. Together they attended annual national magic conventions in Las Vegas investing in new tricks and practicing the fine art of mystification. As their zest for new ways to entertain increased, they became a magical duo for Christmas shows dressed as Santa and Bigee the Elf. He donated his entertainment for the Snowball Express for veteran’s families and for the Salt Lake Truck Show supporting families with kidney disease, just to name a few. His generosity knew no limits.
In 2004 Craig married Marcia Ritter, a “souvenir” from his missionary days. He embraced her three children as his own, and together they shared ten grandchildren. Reigniting his love for scuba diving, he made sure she became scuba certified during which time he became an SSI Divemaster Instructor for Neptune Divers, and they traveled the world to exotic dive spots including Yap, Palau, Fiji, Crete, New Zealand, Kona, and the Caribbean, Roatan’s Anthony’s Key being their most frequented favorite. His last dive was with two grand-daughters who he had certified himself.
A vice-president of the local Energy Management Corporation, he was part of a professional community of engineers designing complex motor and/or generator systems for cities, hospitals, military bases, and sporting facilities. He was a noted speaker at national Generac conventions filling the room to hear his expertise and articulate delivery. He was dedicated to his job and company making lifetime friends, inspiring excellence, sharing wisdom. His brilliance for detail and kind patience for others will be sorely missed. That work ethic and knowledge extended into hundreds of hours of work on rental duplexes that his mother owned, climbing on roofs, sliding into crawl spaces, and taking care of the tenants so they could have quality homes.
He had a personal relationship with his grandchildren, each one being his favorite. He loved reading Dr. Suess books to them and created a tradition of taking two-at-a-time to Disney World once they reached the age of eight. His Mr. Rogers absence in their lives is going to be one of the most difficult to fill. As he would often tell them, “No, I don’t have anything in my pockets.” But of course, he did.
In the end, Craig was diagnosed in February of 2020 with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, CML, a rare type of blood cancer. Because his meds weren’t working, he had a bone/stem marrow transplant in November with his daughter Mandy being his haplo donor. The successful engraftment became compromised with a life-threatening fungal infection, mucor, and he muscled through procedure after procedure until his poor body became too spent. His medical team was immaculate, brilliant, and thorough, but one can only survive so much. He was surrounded with love and music at his end.
He was a remarkable man who influenced so many people with his kindness, generosity, wit, and humor. He was a prince among men. Craig will be greatly missed.
Craig is survived by a family that loved him including: his wife Marcia Hartman; his siblings Marilyn Petty (husband Steve), and Bart Hartman; his children Jacob Hartman (wife Cyntia), Mandy Larsen (husband Nick), and Hope Hartman (partner Jason); his step-children Zachary Ritter (partner Invidia), Meredith Neff (husband Justin), and Whitney White (husband Eric): his ten grandchildren Anna White, Jadyn Larsen, McKinley Larsen, Melody Hartman, Preston Neff, Jeremy Hartman, Kamden Larsen, Iyla Larsen, Madeleine Neff, and Harrison White.
Two times are available for viewing at your convenience: Tuesday, December 22 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm and Wednesday, December 23 from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Because of Covid, his family is not planning to be present at these times, but looks forward to gathering with you in the future for an appropriate and safer celebration of his life.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.wasatchlawn.com for the Hartman family.