Thomas R. Hartley

December 28, 1932December 19, 2013

Thomas R. Hartley, 80, newsman, PR man, ad man and college professor who was widely recognized for his work in small-business advertising, died Dec. 19, 2013 in Oklahoma City. He lived many years with PKD - Polycystic Kidney Disease - and a short time with lung cancer.

Born in Seattle to Frances (Thomas) and Alvin R. Hartley on Dec. 28 , 1932, he was raised in Olympia, Wash., where he graduated from William Winlock Miller high school. He attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.

After graduation he worked on newspapers in Oregon and Idaho and earned a graduate degree from the University of Oregon.

He was married to Joyce Sisson, July 23, 1955 in Olympia.

He served as sports information and acting athletic director at the University of Idaho, where he founded the Idaho Sportswiters and Broadcasters Association. He was a charter member of the board of the original Big Sky Conference and a member of several national writers and administrators groups.

While at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University he was head of the journalism program and director of advancement. He founded a college chapter of Pi Delta Epsilon and served as president of the citywide Parent Teacher Association.

Upon his return to the Pacific Northwest, Hartley was involved with several advertising and public relations agencies and a commercial radio station. While in Washington, he was named to Who’s Who in the Northwest and was an active leader in Rotary International.

He joined the Oklahoma State University faculty in 1982 as associate professor of journalism. He headed the advertising department for 17 years, and was named the 1986 Outstanding Educator by the American Advertising Federation. He advised the OSU student chapter of the AAF and Alpha Delta Sigma. He was known for his international telecasts on small business advertising and presentations to national and international meetings on the use of direct marketing for small businesses.

He was a member of the AAF, the Oklahoma City Ad Club and the American Academy of Advertising as well as the Stillwater Family YMCA Foundation board, Friends of the Library and the American Legion. In 1990 he was named to the national Who’s Who in Advertising.

Mr. Hartley is survived by his widow, Joyce, of Edmond; son Ted and his wife Regina of Oklahoma City; son Tim and his wife Diana of Norman; daughter Jennifer and her husband Lamar Allen of Springdale, Ark.; and grandchildren Allison, Tyler, Matthew, Sarah, Hartley Ann and Cecily.

Services are pending with Memorial Park Funeral Home, Oklahoma City.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to the Stillwater YMCA Foundation or the National Kidney Foundation.


Thomas R. Hartley

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