Jack William Hartley, 88, passed away in his home on Monday, September 22, 2014, surrounded by his family, just one year after he lost his cherished wife of 65 years, Donna Hartley. He was born on November 21, 1925, the fourth child of Russell E. and Mabel Hartley of Oakdale.
After graduating from Oakdale High School at the age of 17, he joined the Marines, serving on the Pacific Front, surviving the battle of Iwo Jima and traveling to Guam and Japan.
He met his future wife, Donna Keate, at a dance at La Grange, CA. They fell in love in Yosemite in December, 1947, and married in September of 1948. They lived in Oakdale throughout their marriage. His profession took him back to the Pacific Islands where he lived with his family while building the Wilson Tunnel in Oahu, Hawaii. In addition, he worked on several engineering projects in New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia and throughout the United States. After retiring from working on all the local area dams, he and Donna dedicated their lives to traveling the world, visiting six continents, including their favorite destination, Mexico.
An avid outdoorsman, he spent his youth exploring the back country of the Sierras. The happiest moments of his life were with his family at their cabin near the Dardanelles. He was an excellent craftsman who enjoyed woodworking projects.
He was a member of the Freemasons for 50 years and a Shriner.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Ida Marie Hartley and his brother Howard Hartley who died in World War II. He is survived by his sisters Beth (William) Chapman and Lois (Jack) Hunter, his two daughters that he was so proud of and loved so much, Jayne Hartley Fenton (Ed Fenton) of Modesto and Denise Hartley of Oakdale; his nine grandchildren, Katrina (Glenn) Hellberg, Russell E. Fenton, Jonah, Christian, Charles, Ian (Laurie Ann) and Jared Gilbert, Diana Gilbert (Chris) Costales and Nathan McCoy. He was so pleased to be able to enjoy his six great-grandchildren and was active in their lives: Kayleigh Gilbert of Oakdale, Jack and Charlie Costales, Niko Gilbert, Aden Gilbert and Nathan McCoy.
He will be missed by all.
There will be a service and a celebration of his life at the family home on October 4th, at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Oakdale Senior Citizen’s Foundation.