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ies in 1964
                                                              Hartford Michigan

            Click here to return to the to Obituary Index

Please email the webmaster if you have obituaries of people who have lived in Hartford Michigan, or was active in the Hartford community, at some time during their lives. To find a specific obituary, use the  Search Our Site  feature located on the left menu of every page.  The Obituary section was started January 30, 2008 and current obituaries will be posted as they become available.  Obituaries are from the local newspapers, unless otherwise noted.  If you have an obituary notice of a former Hartford resident from a newspaper away from the Hartford area, please send it.  Past obituaries will be added as time permits.  Death notices are also posted in the HHS graduate database.
Note:  if you have a good or different photo to insert with present or past obituaries for the History of Hartford website and email newsletters, please click here to email them unedited directly to the webmaster.  If you don’t have a scanner, send photo by US Mail to Emma Thornburg Sefcik, 59320 62nd St., Hartford MI  49057.

Many requests are made for obituary notices and this would be a good genealogical resource, as well as providing obits to extended family members who may not have an original.  Searching for obituaries from previous years (mainly prior to 2003) requires a good deal of time.  If you have found this to be a valuable resource and would like to be a sponsor toward keeping the obituaries page updated, send donations to History of Hartford Obituaries, Emma Sefcik, 59320 62nd St, Hartford MI  49057.  Since the History of Hartford website is a voluntary effort, your contribution is much appreciated.

Email the webmaster with any correction of errors that may have occurred in the original newspaper obit.

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Crash claims family’s second son in service

     A Hartford airman coming home for Christmas was fatally injured last week before he reached is destination.  He was James Lynn Smithley, the second 20 year old son of the Melvin Smithleys to be killed while in military service.
     An Airman third class, Smithley was en route from Lockbourne air base near Columbus, OH, when is car was hit by a train at Marcellus.
     Smithley was graduated from Hartford high school last June and is the first member of the class of 1964 to loose his life.
     His brother, Edward, then a 20-year-old army private, was killed in Korea July 29, 1952, when sandbags on the roof of a front-line bunker in which he was sleeping fell on him in a rain-caused cavein.
     Airman Smithley, who was born in Allegan, died Thursday afternoon at Post hospital, Battle Creek, from injuries suffered in the car-train crash.  Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Calvin chapel. The Rev. Lyell Smith officiated and burial was in Maple Hill cemetery beside his brother.
     Surviving are his parents; two brothers, Ronald of Hartford and Roy in South Carolina, and three sisters, Louise Robinson, Peggy Johnson, and Jane Warford, all of Hartford.

Cleo Williams, 48, at Battle Creek. Williams died unexpectedly on Sept. 3 [1964] following a heart attack. He was stricken while working on the lawn of his home at Muskegon.
     He was born at Hartford and attended schools here, graduating from high school in 1934. He attended business college at Battle Creek and joined Kellogg’s there after graduation. When World War II broke out, he became an officer in naval intelligence, serving 42 months, including a year at Adak in the Aleutians. A veteran of 16 years in the newspaper management field, he had been production manager for The Flint Journal three years when he was promoted to manager of The Muskegon Chronicle in 1962.
     Williams is survived by his wife, Lucile; two daughters, Linda, a student at Western Michigan, and Sharon, a junior at Muskegon high school, and his mother, Mrs. Hattie Williams, of Hartford.
     Burial was at Memorial park, Battle Creek.

Walter H. McCurdy, 80, retired postmaster at McDonald, died Friday at Community Hospital. 
     Coming from Chicago, he operated a general store and was postmaster at McDonald for many years and was the unofficial mayor of that community. McCurdy waged a lengthy campaign, which met success when the state conservation department established a public fishing site on Van Auken lake. 
     Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to a farm north of Hartford.  Mrs. McCurdy, the former Mabel Wade, died last year. They were married June 5, 1909, at Chicago. 
     Born in Indiana, McCurdy was a member of Florida Masonic lodge here and of the Sons of the American Revolution.
     He is survived by two sons, Hubert of Dolton, Illinois, and Wade of Chicago; brother Hubert of Flint, a sister, Lena Oxley of Pine Island, Florida, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
     Masonic services were held a two p.m. Sunday at the Calvin chapel.  Religious rites were conducted at 10 a.m. Monday by Pastor William Draper of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Burial was in Maple Hill Cemetery.

Published in the Hartford MI Day Spring, June 11, 1964

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Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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Pearls In Our Past - Hartford Michigan
A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik
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History of Hartford Michigan
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Revised: March 23, 2009