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Robert E. Hartman '40

Robert Ezra Hartman, age 94, a resident of Los Lunas, NM, died Sunday, September 15, 2013. He is survived by his loving companion Marilu Hibbard and her family - son Kim Hibbard, daughter Kathie Hibbard and her partner Kristina Johnson, daughter Cyndi Mimovich and her husband Michael, and granddaughter Alexis; his children Susan Peifer and her husband Chris, son Bill Hartman and his wife Annie, daughter Sally Roberts, and son Matthew Hartman; grandchildren Brian, Chris, Katie, Sarah, Molly, William, David, Tommy and Kelly; 12 great-grandchildren; and sister Ann Carter. Robert was preceded in death by his son, Robert E. Hartman, Jr. and brother, John W. Hartman. Robert grew up in Detroit during the early heydays of the automobile industry, with his father Hap serving as Chief Counsel to Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company, and other prominent Detroit industries. Hap was also a participant in the incorporation of the original Detroit Lions National Football League team, and, along with son Robert, attended their first game. Robert developed a life-long love of tennis, swimming, golf and other sports during his early Detroit years through summer-long participation both by himself and with his brother John at Camp Chikopi and with his sister Ann at Camp Akomak near Magnetawan, Canada. He was a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol in Wisconsin and later in New Mexico for many years. Robert continued snow skiing into his late 80s, played tennis into his 90s, and last golfed a mere three months before his death. Robert was a lifelong pilot, falling in love with flying as a ten-year old after getting a hop in a Ford Trimotor with the airplanes designer, William Bushnell Stout. He attended Antioch College in Ohio, participating in their COOP program with stints at NBC Radio and Macys in New York City before graduating and landing his first sales position with International Business Machines in Ohio. He then served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and achieved his aviator wings, becoming a B-17 command flight instructor in Roswell, New Mexico, and later a B-29 combat command pilot, achieving several thousand flight hours between the two aircraft. Robert returned to IBM computer sales after the close of WWII, but never lost his love of flying. He flew in the Air Force Reserves until the outbreak of the Korean War, leaving the Reserves to devote his full attention to IBM, where he was a first-hand participant bringing the first digital computer advances to customers in applications in the Federal government, credit cards, automated stock exchange transactions, advertising, and many other industries. He remained in IBM Sales until retiring from Big Blue in 1975. Upon retirement from IBM, Robert moved back to New Mexico and continued to develop a number of different sales representative businesses, selling consumer electronics and other products in New Mexico and adjacent states well in to his late 80s. For many years, Robert incorporated flying into many of his out-of-Albuquerque sales calls. In New Mexico Robert also became active in the local chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program, which fosters youth interest in science, technology, engineering, math and flying. For many years Robert was both a volunteer pilot who donated his time and his airplane to take young people ages 8-17 on local orientation flights, as well as a leader of the Young Eagles school recruitment and media efforts. Robert continued to meet with Albuquerque schools on behalf of the Young Eagles until this month. In 2009 the EAA recognized Robert with their Wright Brothers award for his many years of flying and service to flying. Since 1992, more than 1.6 million Young Eagles have enjoyed their first flight through the program. With thanks to Jeff and his many co-pilot friends Robert flew his last flight only a few days before his death. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at FRENCH-Wyoming. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles Program, Please visit out online guestbook for Robert at FRENCH - Wyoming 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE (505) 823-9400