Edgar Hartley, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, was born in Leipzig in 1923 and raised by his beloved parents Hans and Charlotte, Edgar saw a world gone mad. We think of history as being a study of the great events like wars and elections. Edgar loved history, and maybe that was because his life had been changed forever by just such events. Edgar and his beloved sister Rita, with whom he would always be close, watched helplessly as their distinguished and brilliant parents lost so much to Nazi evil. Edgar Hartley's name won't appear in a history book, but a victim of history, like his father, or the refugees of history, like Charlotte, Rita and Edgar, are part of history too.
To survive, to go on, to go to another country and enlist in the army, all of this took incredible courage. Edgar joined the British army and served in India, Kenya, and South Africa. He was a smart and talented soldier who learned Urdu and Swahili. He rose to become the Sergeant Major of his regiment. In charge of sweeping mines, he never lost a man in that dangerous work. For the rest of his life, he was justifiably proud of his service. He even volunteered for active duty at the age of 63.
Edgar immigrated to America in 1951. He came here to New Haven, as did his mother and sister, because of Uncle Ernst Mylon, who was so important in their lives, as was his daughter Hillary, who was very special to her Uncle Edgar.
Edgar's career is a great American story, the story of an immigrant who started out in a clothing store, eventually owned his own store, Hartley's in Middletown, and then worked for Bradlees and Stop & Shop for twenty-five years rising to become the Vice President of the Northeast market.
The emotional center of his life was his family. He married Bea in 1957 and they had a strong and vital marriage for nearly fifty years. Together they raised their three wonderful children, Alan, Larry and Holly. Edgar was a father who taught his children wonderful values and priorities. He was a good role model who exemplified a strong work ethic. He had words of wisdom and thoughtful advice to give to his children. He was a liberal man who saw the good in all human beings, which is especially amazing considering what he saw human beings do. This man who loved history and who had lived through history taught his children to be open to all human beings. He loved America and appreciated its greatness.
He loved his family Allan Linda, Larry and Jeanie, and Holly and Jerry. He was devoted to his grandchildren Jennifer, Brett, Jeff, Craig, Matt, Jacob and Sam. He enjoyed the kids; he was proud of them and all of their accomplishments.
He had many dimensions. He was a regular member of the Tuesday Morning Minyan at Beth Sholom. He skied until four years before his passing.
He loved to eat.
He built a chicken coop which was not universally appreciated.
Edgar was a gentleman, a refined intelligent person who loved his wife and kids and grandchildren, who was a somebody in the business world and a somebody in our community. He loved life and he lived his life well. He was a righteous man.