Donald Leon Hartwich was born on May 1, 1938, in Trumbauersville, Pa., the son of Leon and Myrtle Hartwich. He died on Dec. 25, 2013, in Boise, Idaho.
Don spent a happy childhood in Trumbauersville and at the family farm surrounded by a large family including his grandparents and many aunts and uncles. He moved with his family to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1949, driving from the East Coast and visiting the many scenic sights on the trip sparking a lifelong interest in traveling.
After graduation from high school, he served four years in the United States Army. He completed his education with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering in 1964 from Arizona State University, and later received a Master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He held membership as well as being a director in the American Institution of Engineers organization.
He married Suzanne Melendy Rich on Sept. 8, 1964. Don’s first job was with Westinghouse in Baltimore. The couple spent their spare time visiting points of interest in the eastern United States and Canada. Soon they returned to Vallejo, Calif., where he commenced work on submarines at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Next was a move to Concord, Calif., where Don continued his pursuit of a career in the defense industry, later moving to Southern California to work at Point Mugu Naval Air Station. He especially enjoyed being on the team that developed and subsequently fielded the F-14 Tomcat.
In 1967, Camarillo, Calif., became the family home where their three sons, Scott, Eric and Darren were born and grew up. In Camarillo he was an early active member of the Camarillo Jaycees. He served on the board of the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club. Don took a role as Cub Master for Pack 3258 as well as participating as commissioner and coach in the Pleasant Valley Baseball Association program for multiple years. As the president of the area stamp club, he continued his hobby of collecting stamps. He was also a deacon at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
His work opportunities in New Mexico led to renewed interest in Southwestern arts and crafts, ultimately resulting in opening a Native American gallery called The Dream Catcher in Sun Valley, Idaho, in the mid-90s. Operating the gallery led to many new learning experiences including numerous buying trips throughout the Southwest that he and Suzanne enjoyed. They have spent the last 15 years in the Wood River Valley. The arts events, cross-country skiing, and fly fishing were favorite activities of Don. A highlight of the summer months were visits from the grandchildren and the pleasure of guiding their first fishing excursions to Penny Lake and Trail Creek.
Don is survived by his wife of 49 years, Suzanne; and his three sons and their families, Scott, Sara, Alyssa and Lauren of Emmitsburg, Md., Eric, Crystal, Cody, Jackson and Anabella of Everett, Wash., and Darren, Kiley, Dalilah and Ruby of Camarillo, Calif.; and his sister, Jane, and nephew, Steve, of Glendale, Ariz.
A memorial gathering is being planned for a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Rasmussen Funeral Home of Burley, Idaho.