Leonard “James” Hartwell, 83, of Amarillo, died Monday, March 26, 2012.
Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Glen Walton and Dale Dennis officiating. Military rites are by DAV Chapter 26. Private burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Mr. Hartwell was born Jan. 20, 1929, in Lakeview to Grant and Nora Hartwell. He grew up in Estelline and graduated in a class of 21 from Estelline High School in 1947. He was class president his senior year and played football, basketball and ran track. His friends from childhood remember him as the only student who rode a horse to school. Mr. Hartwell remained in close contact with his classmates until recent years due to his failing health. In 1948, he joined the Navy and served 5 1/2 years. He was in the submarine service for a short time and then served four years on the USS Taylor DDE 468, a destroyer escort during the Korean War.
James married Mary Wynonah “Noni” Wilson on June 3, 1950, in Amarillo at the old Johnston Street Church of Christ. The USS Taylor had been reassigned to homeport at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Noni joined him there. Upon returning to Amarillo, James worked at Russell Stationery for several years before starting his own business as a building contractor. In 1969, Noni and James bought land east of town and built a new home, a shop for James, and a barn for their horses. They were members of the Golden Spread Appaloosa Horse Club and participated in horse shows. James was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, G.W. Hartwell, killed in France in WWII, and LeeRoy Hartwell of Amarillo; and one sister, Arletta Cobb of Wellington.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Noni Hartwell of Amarillo; two brothers-in-law, Phillip Cobb of Wellington and Morgan Wilson and wife Jane of Ft. Collins, Colo.; a sister-in-law, Opal Hartwell of Amarillo; nieces and nephews, Shane and Amy Cobb, Shawn Cobb, and Sandie Barnett, Maurisa and Buddy Jones, Tracy and David Post, Cindy and Jeff Anderson, Jim and Beckye Richardson, Dick and Monica Norris, Jan and Joel Inman; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
I want to express my gratitude to all the staff at Craig Alzheimer’s Unit for the loving care they gave James and many kindnesses they showed me. — Noni.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial donations to High Plains Children’s Home, 11461 S. Western St., Amarillo, TX 79118-4119; Odyssey Hospice, 6900 West I-40, Ste. 150, Amarillo, TX 79106, or to the Texas Panhandle War Memorial, 4101 S. Georgia St., Amarillo, TX 79110-1100.