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Henry Hartnek

Profile Updated: April 21, 2023
Henry Hartnek
Henry Hartnek


Henry Hartnek


Henry Hartnek


Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In:
Oro Valley, AZ USA
Linda Dee Hartnek
Military Service:
Navy (attached to Marine Corps)  

I’m sure all of us have had an interesting time since our high school days. The last 50 years has been quite a journey. Trying to summarize it in just few a words is a task in itself.
After graduating from Bradford, I when to UW Kenosha and UW Madison where I majored in chemistry. In 1965 decided I'd have enough of school and began working at American Motors in their QC lab. I had worked there during the summers.
This was just about the time of the Viet Nam conflict and I decided to join the Navy thinking it would be safe aboard a ship. Boy was I wrong. The Navy found out about my technical background and “suggested” I become a Corpsman. Seems right about January 1968 there was a bit of a dust-up in Vietnam called the Tet Offensive. I ended up serving with Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in “wonderful” places like Con Thein, Quang Tri, Dong Ha and Khe San. During the first operation we were on we lost four corpsmen and I became Senior Company Corpsman. That made me medically responsible for a company of Marines when we were operating in the field. After six months I was rotated back to the “rear” and took over Battalion Medical Supply. When my old company lost some corpsmen a few months later, I volunteered to go out as a replacement. The old adage about never volunteering is true. As soon as I got off the chopper, a mortar round blew up behind me and I was wounded. It wasn’t bad so I stayed there treating others who were in much worse shape. For this I was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and several other medals and ribbons.
After Vietnam, I returned to the San Diego Naval Hospital where I was discharged in 1969. I liked San Diego so I decided to stay. I began working for a company called Kelco which harvested kelp from the ocean and made a thickener and stabilizer call algin and manufactured another stabilizer called xanthan gum. Kelco was purchased by the pharmaceutical giant Merck in 1972.
After working in the Kelco lab about 5 years, I decided to go back and get my bachelors degree. I was lucky to be able to go to school, UCSD, full time and work full time as well. I graduated in 1974 with a B.S. in chemistry. It was about this time I met my wife, Dee. We were married in 1975. One of the best decisions I made in my life.
Shortly after we were married, I was offered a position in technical service in our Chicago office. We lived right down town and I could walk to work on nice days. After a few years in technical service, I was offered a position in sales. That’s right I became a seaweed salesman. Some of the accounts I called on were Kraft, Sara Lee, McDonalds, Quaker Oats and Purina. I did pretty well in sales and was asked to become assistant sales manager. I later became worldwide technical service manager traveling to our tech centers in Singapore, Frankfort, Paris, Sidney and London. I racked up a lot of frequent flier miles so Dee and I were able to travel together sometimes.
In 1991, we were transferred back to San Diego where I took over as Food Division Marketing Manager for Kelco Division of Merck. Merck thought I could use more training so they sent me to Wharton to get a Business degree. I then took over all Marketing and Product Management activities including Food, Industrial and Oil Field. I stayed in this position until I retired in 2001 having spent 31 years with Kelco.
While we were living in Chicago, we became involved with dogs, Brittanys to be exact. We got into obedience, shows, field trials and hunt tests. Over the years our dogs have been awarded 14 show championships, 4 dual championships (That’s both a show and field champion.), 8 hunt test titles including the first Master Hunter Brittany in San Diego and several obedience titles. Field trials are probably the most fun. Where else can a grown man dress up like a cowboy with the hat, vest, chaps, spurs and a six-shooter and ride a horse all day without looking really stupid.
Of course field trialing has a down side as many active outdoor sports do. In September 2001, I was judging a field trial in the White Mountains here in AZ. A group of us were struck by lightening. The person behind me was killed along with his horse and the person in front of me was badly burned and his horse was killed. My horse and I were knocked cold but we survived with apparently no effects. I didn’t know it but I had injured my neck and as a result I was slowly becoming paralyzed from the neck down. At the hospital in Tucson, they told me I had to have neck surgery or I’d be a quadriplegic in another week or two. I had the surgery but developed a blood clot which resulted in a pulmonary embolism which almost did me in. But I’m still alive. I think the Good Lord must have something else for me to do before the end of the road.
We are currently spending all our retirement money campaigning dogs around the country. Last December we were invited to Eukanuba for their show and ended the year ranked 12th nationally with our dog Chase. Both Dee and I are involved with the 2,000 member National Brittany club. Dee is on numerous committees and I was on their Board for 8 years and have been president for the last 3 years.
Because of my background in Marketing and with dogs, I was hired by a company, Tri-Tronics, in Tucson, AZ in 2001. Tri-Tronics makes electronic dog training collars and I’d been using their products for years training my dogs. I worked as Marketing Manager for Tri-Tronics for six years and finally retired for good in 2007. I still do a little consulting for them and represent them at national field trial events around the country.
As I said in the opening paragraph, it’s hard to summary 50 years in less than a book. It’s been quite a trip and the journey isn’t over yet.

It’s been over 15 years since wrote the above so thought I’d better bring my story up to date for my 80th birthday. Both Dee and I are still heavily involved with campaigning our dogs in shows, field trials and other competition around the country (Pic 1). Also, we were both still involved with the national Brittany club. I was still President and Dee was agenda chair. Dee was and still is our local Brittany club Secretary.
Both Dee and I were also Hunt Test and Field Trial judges (Pic 2), so many weekends were spent traveling to and from various events around the southwest. We were even invited to judge for the Arctic Birddog Club’s Hunt Test in Anchorage, AK in 1993. Needless to say, we didn’t take horses but I think we took just about everything else including two dogs. We put on a training seminar the first weekend and judged the event the next. During the week in between, we went sightseeing and had the chance to fish the Kenai River for trout and salmon. (Pics 3,4,5)
In 2000, Dee and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with cruise to Alaska. We had a great time. At each of the ports we did something active, hiking in a rain forest in Ketchikan, sea kayaking in Valdez, white water rafting or going by helicopter to a dog mushing camp on Mendenhall glacier. After arriving in Seward, we went to Anchorage to pick up a flight to Fairbanks where we spent 2 days. From there we took the train down to Denali National Park. Spent 3 days there before continuing by train back to Anchorage where we caught our flight home. Great trip with lots a scenery. If you are ever considering a cruise, I would strongly suggest an Alaskan cruise. (Pics 6,7,8)
By 2005, we’d moved from Sonoita, AZ to Sierra Vista, AZ so Dee could be closer to her mom who was living at an Alzheimer facility in Sierra Vista. Most of our time was spent training dogs, taking care of 4 ½ acres and two horses and traveling to events. Every year we had to qualify our dog/s to compete at the Brittany national. Our annual trip to Booneville, AR for the Brittany Nationals involved a 3-day trip each way with dogs and horses (Pics 9,10,11).
All our hard work training paid off in 2010. Our dog Chase became the 10th Grand Champion Brittany in the U.S. and our dog Max became a Dual Champion i.e., both a show champion and field champion. In 2012 Max was nationally ranked as the number one Brittany and was also ranked in the top 10 Rally Sporting dogs. (Pics 12,13,14).
Dee and I celebrated our 41th wedding anniversary in 2016. (Pic 15) That same year I became involved with a group called Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. It’s a group dedicated to helping disabled veterans through the various aspects of fly fishing i.e., tying flies, building fly rods (Pic 32) and of course fishing. We sponsor trips to great fishing places like the San Juan River in NM, Idaho and Alaska. (Pics 16,17,18) In June I’m going with our group to Alaska to fish trout and salmon.
We continued to spend our retirement money campaigning our dogs in this part of the country. In 2016 our dog Rylee hit her stride in shows. She went 12 Best in Shows in UKC and International competition (Pic 19). Chase (Rylee’s grandfather) and Danna (Rylee’s mother) were also doing well in Rally. Chase went High Combined Score at 3 trials in NM and Danna and Chase went High Pairs twice (Pics 20,21,22).
About this time, I became reacquainted with some of the Marines I served with in Viet Nam. This happened after reading a book called “Loon: A Marine’s Story” by Jack McLean. It described Jack’s time in the Marine Corps and the battle for LZ Loon. I contacted Jack and through him was able to contact about a dozen guys I served with. In 2019 our company commander passed away. At his memorial service I was able to meet face-to-face with a number of them. Boy, have we changed. What were once strapping young Marines are now a bunch of old men (Pic 23). We now try to get together once a year at an outing/picnic held in NC.
In 2017, I was invited on an ocean fishing trip out of San Carlos, MX. This trip was for Purple Heart or Bronze Star recipients and sponsored by the Safari Club and other local people. I was lucky enough the catch the biggest fish a 180 lb. blue marlin. Had a great time (Pics 24,25).
In 2018, Dee and I moved to Oro Valley, AZ. While we continued to campaign our dogs, we were slowly cutting back. Max, Chase and Danna were all retired. So, we focused our efforts on Rylee. She earned numerous titles in obedience, rally, dock diving, trick dog, Canine Good Citizen and barn hunts (Pics 26,27,28,29).
With all these dog and fishing activities our “parts” started to wear out. In 2019 Dee had a knee and hip replaced and in 2021 I had a hip replaced. Dee is having her other hip replaced next week. Hopefully, we are both good for another 100,00 miles. We try to get out every day for a 3+ mile walk with the dogs even while Covid was rampant.
Covid put a real damper on our dog activities from late 2020 to mid-2022. Most shows and trials were cancelled around the country. Had plenty of time to do others things. In Oct 2020, Dee asked me to finish a stained-glass Phoenix for her birthday. I had started years ago and hadn’t gotten back to it. Finished it just in time for her birthday in Nov. (Pic 30). While on a fishing trip to the San Juan River, I showed a photo of the Phoenix to one of the guides. He said he wished he had a stained-glass piece. So, after I got home made a stained-glass Brown Trout for him. (Pic 31)
We plan to retire Rylee this year so are now in the market for a new puppy. A friend of ours in CO is breeding two littles this year and she will give us pick of litter. Also, a local friend of ours is willing to show the dog for free. I think our involvement with dogs and the dog community as well as outdoor activities have kept us in good shape. We are looking forward to our 50th wedding anniversary in 2 years.
My latest project is digitizing all our family and dog pictures. It’s quite an undertaking. I’ve finished all my mother’s side of the family (Sander). Some of the pics go back to the 1860’s in Germany. My sister just sent our dad’s family pics (Hartnek). I plan to start on them after my birthday. I’ve digitized almost 500 family pics and another 100+ dog pics.
As you can tell, my adventure/journey continues. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring you up to date on what transpires in the next 20 years when I turn 100.

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Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Apr 14, 2024 at 5:48 PM

Hi Kitty. Happy Birthday. Hope you're having a GREAT day celebrating with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Apr 14, 2024 at 5:45 PM

Happy Birthday Tom. Hope you had a great day. Stay safe

Apr 11, 2024 at 1:27 PM

Happy Birthday Jerry. Hope you're having a great day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 10, 2024 at 4:44 PM

Posted on: Apr 09, 2024 at 8:37 PM

Happy Birthday Michelle. Hope you're having a great day celebrating with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Apr 07, 2024 at 2:59 PM

Happy Birthday Jan. Hope you had a great day celebrating with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Apr 07, 2024 at 2:58 PM

Hi John. Happy Birthday. Hope you had a GREAT day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Apr 01, 2024 at 12:21 PM

Happy Birthday Frieda. Hope you're having a great day. Stay safe.

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Apr 01, 2024 at 12:38 PM

Posted on: Mar 31, 2024 at 5:46 PM

A belated Happy Birthday Angie. Hope you had a great day celebrating with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Mar 27, 2024 at 8:23 PM

Happy Birthday Marilynn. Hope you're having a great day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Mar 26, 2024 at 2:46 PM

Happy birthday Ed. Hope you enjoyed your day with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek has left an In Memory comment for Lance Tobert.
Mar 26, 2024 at 2:45 PM

Sad to hear of another class mate's passing. My sincere condolences to his family.

Henry Hartnek posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 31, 2024 at 6:04 PM

Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 at 2:43 PM

Hi Laurie. A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Hope you had a great day and celebrated with a glass of wine or two. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Mar 23, 2024 at 2:47 PM

A belated Happy Birthday Clara. Hope you had a great day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek has left an In Memory comment for Mike Smith.
Mar 12, 2024 at 8:09 PM

So sorry to hear of another classmates passing. My sincere condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

Henry Hartnek posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 11, 2024 at 6:37 PM

Posted on: Mar 11, 2024 at 2:03 PM

Hi Ray. A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Hope you had a wonderful day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 08, 2024 at 9:01 AM

Posted on: Mar 07, 2024 at 6:04 PM

Happy Birthday Karen. Hope you had a great day. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 07, 2024 at 7:18 PM

Posted on: Mar 04, 2024 at 5:47 PM

Hi Cheryl. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. Hope you're having a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends. Stay safe.

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Mar 04, 2024 at 5:45 PM

Happy Birthday Karen. Hope you enjoyed your day. Stay safe

Henry Hartnek posted a message.
Mar 01, 2024 at 12:02 PM

Happy Birthday Roberta. Have a wonderful day. Stay safe.

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Mar 01, 2024 at 12:00 PM
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