Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

Wallace J. Hartman


August 1, 2018

Wallace J. Hartman, Jr. was born on April 28, 1938, a son was born to Wallace J. Hartman, Sr. and Barbara Ellen O'Bryan Hartman at Harlem, Mont. The proud parents named him Wallace J. Hartman, Jr. On Saturday, July 28, 2018, at age 80 he passed away at home with his family by his side. He was a former Dodson, Saco and Great Falls, resident.

As a young man, Wally watched the semi-trucks roll past the ranch at Dodson where he lived and vowed he would one day drive one of them. He kept that vow as he did many others during his lifetime.

Wally met his wife and lifetime companion at a bucking horse auction in Valley-town, Mont. Bold, blue-eyed and wearing a white straw hat, he climbed up on the corral poles·where this dark haired chick (Gloria Jane 'Jannie' Tollefson) was sitting with a friend and pulling her long ponytail he said, "Hi, Cutie." On the way home to their ranch at Dodson, he told his parents he had met the girl he intended to marry. On June 1, 1958, they married and spent the next 60 years raising five kids; Debra (Bill) Combs; Russell (Theresa) Hartman; Heidi (Clark) Harden, Lorna (David) Kolar and Scott (Debbie) Hartman. Wally was an ever-present guiding and supportive parent and grandparent both in their school and sporting events and in their personal lives as they grew up. An avid sports fan, h was even able to attend one of his great grandson's baseball games earlier this year.

Until his disability became too great he accompanied his sons and grandsons on their hunting expeditions on the border, bagging trophy buck deer. The stories that came back eventually became bigger than the horns, providing much laughter at family gatherings. Camping and boating at Lakeside in the hot of July were also among his favorite pastimes. Many spurs of the moment Saturday morning trips were started with, ''Get up- let's go make a memory." Never one to live life according to what was expected, he even took into his family a special, French Foreign Exchange student during a time of tension during the Russian Olympics which the US had boycotted and Jean's father was a team Dr. for the French.

He was an active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Great Falls, Mont., where he served on the church council and participated in various activities within the church. He also was a member of Teamsters Local #45, and the Elks Club and a very unofficial "Sugar Shack Coffee Gang" who also had their own logo caps.

Owner and operator of Hartman's General Store in Saco, Mont., Wally sold the store and returned to his passion for trucks, driving for Buttrey Foods and later Consolidated Freightways. After a trucking accident left him unable to drive, he became interested in western memorabilia and fine art. When his wife opened Stagecoach Gallery in Great Falls, it was his joy to visit and become friends with the customers, artists and other dealers.

Wally logged his last miles on earth on July 28, 2018, and went to meet his savior and Lord where his family is quite sure he is trucking right along.

He is survived by Jannie, all five children and their spouses, 19 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, his sister, Shirley Hartman, and his very dear and special friend Dr. Mel Margaris.

Funeral services will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 332 Riverview 3 W at 10 a.m., on August 3, 2018. A graveside service and commitment will be held at the Reitan Cemetery north of Saco later that afternoon. A reception for friends and neighbors will be held at the Saco Lutheran Church immediately following interment.


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