Richard Henry Hartnett, 79, a resident of New Smyrna Beach, died peacefully after a long illness Thursday, March 20, 2014.
He was the eldest of four children born to Henry Joseph Hartnett and Mildred Fenchel Hartnett in Warren, PA. He attended Catholic Schools and dutifully performed the services of altarboy every morning before school as a child. During this time he would play basketball at Fenn College (which later became Cleveland State). He started all four years on their basketball team and was also recruited to start all four years on their baseball team. He was a proud member of the Lambda Tau Delta Fraternity of Illinois.
After graduation, he began his engineering career in Warren, PA then served a brief stint in the Army. During this time he met and married his lifelong love, Jane Shilling Hartnett. They then began their 52 years of married lifewhich included frequent relocations.
Richard then received a position with Fairbanks Morse in Beloit, WI. It was here that he and Jane had their first two children, Sheila Anne and Kevin Joseph Hartnett. The third child, Mary Beth, was born in Kankakee, IL a few years later. By this time, Dick had begun a long and successful career with General Foods. As an Engineer with General Foods, he and his family moved to Topeka, KS and Lafayette, IN.
In his spare time, Richard continued his love of athletics as a fierce competitor on handball and basketball courts and the golf course. He also enjoyed fishing; many of his treasured memories were made vacationing with family and friends in northern Wisconsin.
Richard’s 27year career with General Foods ended in Avon, NY where he was a Plant Manager of the Cool Whip and Bird’s Eye facility. He was very closely involved with many organizations in Avon, including the Rotary, St. Agnes Catholic Church, and the volunteer Fire Department.
Richard’s initial attempt at retirement was in November of 1992 with the birth of the first of his grandchildren. He and Jane happily picked up stakes and moved to New Smyrna Beach to be closer to them and to enjoy relaxing, playing golf and fishing in Florida. Those of us close to Richard knew that this was not to be…he eventually found that he could only play so many rounds of golf per week.
In 1994, he began his 11year tenure as Director of Facilities Services Maintenance and Operations for Volusia County Schools, a position from which he received much satisfaction.
He was a member of the Elks Club, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, University of Illinois Alumni Association, and our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church.
Dick was predeceased by his parents, his beloved sister Sally and her husband Mark Mickelson, his brotherinlaw Tony Parinella, and his treasured soninlaw, Gerry McHugh. In addition to his wife Jane, Dick is survived by his daughter, Sheila of Port Orange; son, Kevin (Jill) of Dove Canyon, CA; daughter, Mary Beth “Molly” McHugh, Lakeland; grandchildren, Kate, Grace, Seamus and Jack McHugh and Sean Hartnett. He also leaves to cherish his memory his motherinlaw, Blake Shilling of West Unity, OH; brother Robert (Brenda) Hartnett of Atlanta, GA; sister Elizabeth “Betty” Parinella of Warren, PA; and many relatives and friends.
The family will be receiving visitors on Sunday, March 23 from 3PM5PM at the Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home in New Smyrna Beach.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, March 24 at 4:30 pm at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the American Association of University Women, c/o Marie Downey, 622 Saint Andrews Circle, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168.
Share a memory with the family at www.BaldwinCremation.