1926 – 2006
Rev. Richard M. Hartwell Sr., age 80, passed away Jan. 30 at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, Grand Rapids, Mich., following a struggle with lymphoma.
Hartwell was born Jan. 24, 1926, in Grand Rapids, the son of Edward and Coral Hartwell. Following his graduation from Union High School in 1943, he attended Calvin College for one semester, after which he was drafted into the U.S. Navy and stationed as a radio operator in Japan and China till 1946. He later returned to Calvin College and graduated in 1950.
Hartwell graduated from Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, in 1954 with a master-of-theology degree, then received an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, in 1957. He subsequently served two Christian Reformed congregations: Washington (D.C.) CRC till 1967 and Community CRC of Richton Park, Ill., until his retirement in 1991. He married Lois Versluis in 1949.
Hartwell is remembered for his thoroughness and dependability. His entire ministry reflected the faithfulness of his Lord and Sender. Hartwell loved to visit people. He was a thoughtful listener who understood people’s needs and burdens. In his sermons his listeners recognized not only their God but themselves. He served Classis Chicago South for 25 years as its stated clerk.
During their retirement years the Hartwells served numerous churches that had no pastor of their own.
Rev. Hartwell is survived by his wife, Lois, and their children: Chaplain Co. Richard and Judy Hartwell, Timothy and Catharina Hartwell, Peter and Diana Hartwell, Robert Hartwell, James and Dawn Hartwell, Esther and Robert Dyksen, and by 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.