Donald Hartley

Donald B. Hartley, 83, of rural New Albin passed away surrounded by his family Monday, October 31, 2022 at his home where he was raised. Funeral services were held Saturday, November 5 at Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church in rural New Albin with Pastor Paul Burgess officiating. Burial with military honors was in the church cemetery.

Donald “Don” Benjamin Hartley was born February 27, 1939 in Caledonia, MN to Allen and Ella (Thies) Hartley. Don attended Allamakee country school through eighth grade and graduated from Waukon High School in 1957. After graduation, Don served in the U.S. Army, first stationed at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas; he also served in the Army National Guard and ended his military service at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was honorably discharged.

Don married Marlene Cooper January 17, 1959 in Waukon at the First Presbyterian Church. The couple then moved to Peoria, IL where Don attended Bradley University and studied Horology (the study of time), watchmaking and jewelry repair. Upon graduation from Bradley, Don began working at Schroeder’s Jewelry in Caledonia, MN, where he stayed for 11 years.

He transitioned into the banking and finance industry with Sprague National Bank in Caledonia and eventually served as Vice President. While there, he developed a credit plan for farm equipment, known as Farm Plan; soon the plan was recognized as highly valuable and there was an opportunity for growth and expansion.

The family moved to Cannon Falls, MN in 1977, and he traveled throughout the Midwest region visiting implement dealerships. His communication skills were evident as he developed an excellent rapport with his colleagues and the dealerships while marketing Farm Plan. John Deere saw the success of the program and it was incorporated into their financial network. In 1988, Don and Marlene moved closer to a John Deere regional office in Madison, WI, and he eventually retired in 2000.

His family will remember him for his gentle nature and positive attitude. His love for music was always apparent and he was quick to pull his children out onto the dance floor. His family is grateful for his desire to travel. Many memories were made with road trips across the country, starting out before sunrise and loading up the kids in the back of the station wagon. Don and Marlene also had many opportunities to travel around the world for business and for pleasure.

Don enjoyed genealogy and always had a story to share of his life or his family’s history. He was hard-working and dedicated to his career. He encouraged his children to achieve their own success, their own way, and his support never failed.

Don loved to sit on his front porch looking out at the Iowa River Valley and would often comment on how lucky they were to live in such a beautiful area.

He will be deeply missed by his family, including his wife, Marlene; his children: Donna (Bruce) Lindahl of Farmington, MN, Carrie (Wes) Lapham of Caledonia, MN, Todd (Helle) Hartley of St. Pete Beach, FL and Tracy (Steve) Weidner of Tierra Verde, FL; his grandchildren: David (Laura) Lindahl, Eric Lindahl, Leslee (Aaron) Oakes, Travis (Heidi) Lapham,

Ethan (Deanna) Lapham, Kevin (Shelby) Lapham, Mia Hartley, Nikolas (Emily) Hartley, Paul (Olivia) Weidner,and Anna (Colin) Luz; his great-grandchildren: Lawson and Willa Lindahl, Henry, Ella, Amelia and Lydia Oakes, Jonathan and Addison Lapham, Emmett Lapham, Lily Lapham, Noa Hartley, and Brooks and Palmer Weidner. He is also survived by his sister, Charlotte Gerdes; and his brother, Loren (Gisela) Hartley. Don was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Ramona Hennings.

Honorary casketbearers were Leslee Oakes, Mia Hartley and Anna Luz. Casketbearers were Travis Lapham, David Lindahl, Eric Lindahl, Ethan Lapham, Paul Weidner, Kevin Lapham and Nikolas Hartley.

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