Constance ‘Connie’ B. Hartman | Zz-dnp
Constance “Connie” B. Hartman, 88, of Fellows Avenue, Lyndwood, completed her circle of life peacefully in the early morning hours Saturday, May 29, 2021, at home.
She completed her circle of life 15 years (to the weekend) after the love of her life, Edgar J. “Bud” Hartman. They are together again! For the last few years, she had been saying that she is glad that she was going out of this world and not coming in with everything crazy going on.
Born March 18, 1933, in Geneva, N.Y. She was the daughter of the late Henry S. Brennan and Anna Reid Brennan. She was adopted at birth and raised as their own by Anna and Henry when Anna’s sister had her at a young age; her birth mother’s name was Harriet Reid. Connie graduated from DeSales High School, Geneva, N.Y., in 1951.
Connie moved to the Wyoming Valley with her husband, Edgar, in 1956 to make a home for her growing family. Edgar took a Job at Air Products and Chemicals. Connie worked at various restaurants around the valley before 1977. When the children were young, she was the Den Mother of Pack 143 of Forty Fort, taught Weight Watchers for many years, the ’60s/’70s were hard on Wyoming Valley, but she recently said this was the best time her life.
In 1977, Connie decided to try her hand at politics, running for Forty Fort Council; she was a Democrat in a predominantly Republican town and ran against her neighbor. She lost by a slim margin; as a consolation prize, Connie and Edgar purchased what would become Hartman’s Restaurant. Father thought that keeping her busy with all the work that comes with a restaurant would keep her out of local politics, and boy did he get that wrong!
Hartman’s Restaurant was Connie and Bud’s Pride and Joy for more than 24 years until a deep fryer tragically burned her. Wanting to keep her good name, she shut the doors and started retirement. She was known for her excellent food during the operation: pork chops and steaks, lobster and scampi, and daily specials. The venue hosted many local events for the Lions and Notre Dame clubs of Hanover Twp., bridal and baby showers, and funeral breakfasts, to name a few. They had a dart league and ran bus trips that were enjoyed by many. Connie always had ads in local papers and used the space at the bottom for a custom message, usually about Hanover Twp. or Luzerne politics. Over the years, all family members assisted in one way or another, as a restaurant and bar is a lot of work. She always took pride in her great staff; they were also family, and her loyal customers became friends for life.
Connie was always very vocal about bettering her community, attending township meetings and Luzerne County Council meetings. One of her favorite stories was when she asked the commissioners when we had that system of local government; she attended and asked, “What department do I go to in order to get the seeds?” Maryanne, Steve and Tommy were confused. Seeds? Connie, help us out… what seeds are you looking for? “The seeds for the money tree that you think we have to plant in our backyard because my money tree is empty.” Her other favorite story locally is how she fought to get more police officers in our township back in the day. In a vast township with very few officers, she knew more police would protect our beautiful community. Connie won this battle. She watched as Hanover Twp. went from a broken township to a beautiful, prosperous community with all the best services a township could offer. We have the best police force, fire department, ambulance, road crews and any other department she may have missed under the exemplary leadership of the commissioners and the heads of all departments. She wanted to make sure you all received the respect you deserve. (P.S. Chief Walker/Commissioners, you know who our next detective should be.)
During her retirement, Connie enjoyed being a member of Forever Young Red Hats, The Trinity Club at All Saints Parish and her time spent at Saint John Apartments in Wilkes-Barre, Friendship Club, senior trips to Wildwood Crest, a casino one time a month (LOL), Bingo, Post 59 Amvets Ladies Aux., Hanover Twp. Notre Dame club. We are sorry that we missed some important people, Clubs and groups as we write this. Please know that she enjoyed that time with you, too!
When Bud passed, Connie started collecting pennies to help the homeless veterans with the help of Catholic Social Services; she called it Pennies from Heaven to honor his memory. Over the years, she spent many hours rolling pennies, carting them to the bank, and then purchasing items and wrapping them so homeless veterans could have a present for Christmas (with the help of some good elves). At Connie’s request, Beth will continue this tradition to honor our father and the many generations of our family lines.
Earlier this year, you may have seen on the news or in the paper, she had ornamental lions taken from her front porch. That broke her heart; they were a fixture of her home and the community. She enjoyed being on the porch and watching little ones interacting with them. The family worked together to get replacements. We picked them up two weeks ago, and we were working on getting them ready for a Memorial Day surprise. They are out front. Unfortunately, she did not get to see them in place before she passed, but we are sure that she is happily looking down at them with our father and knows we will have them looking top-notch soon.
One of her most profound disappointments is all the broken care systems in our county, such as judicial systems, mental health services, addiction services, health care systems and some local nonprofits. She saw firsthand, especially in the last five years, how broken things are in Luzerne County. She hopes that someone will be brave enough to step forward and shed internal light on what the heck is really going on in this county. She thought Kids for Cash would have opened the eyes to public servants/elected officials to speak up when they see things that are not right or seem off; she thought the whistleblower rights laws would have helped some come forward. She hopes that the county take lessons from Hanover Twp. on how to turn the ship around as Luzerne County is a beautiful place to live, but it should be Liberty and Justice for All. We are all created equal and should be treated as such. She is aware of parents again uniting to shed some light, and she hopes they are as successful as the parents of Kids for Cash. She believed that if we all try a little harder to be nicer to others, this will help to fix all our broken systems, as we would open the lines of communication, people don’t always agree. Still, you have to speak and listen, not dismiss, and try to understand all sides. Beth says that’s why we have two ears and only one mouth.
Her husband of 49 years, Edgar J Hartman; son, Frank H. Hartman; and infant daughter, Constance, preceded her in death.
Connie is survived by her children, Cheryl, Elaine, Edgar Jr. and wife Sheila, Sterling, Susie and husband, Raul, Deborah and her partner, Steve, and Beth Ann and her partner, Sharon; 14 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces, nephews and lots of great friends whom she loved dearly.
A special thanks to Dr. Gerald Maloney, DO, FACP Geisinger for always being there for Connie or Beth Ann when we called.
Connie was always trying to help the community and humanity. As one of her final wishes, she donated her body to science.
Connie requested no services. She wanted everyone to remember her in their own way. Do something, for example: eat as a group of Red Hatters, play bingo, sit around, and laugh and talk, stop and admire her yard, look at her replacement lions (when completed) and smile, take someone a fresh cut flower. She wanted no sadness as she is in a better place and reunited with Bud, Frank and Baby Connie.
Make memorial donations to organizations that were extremely important to her: Hanover Twp. Crime Watch (Beth Hartman Treasurer) or NAMI Luzerne/Wyoming County.
Connie’s theme song in life was Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way.” She said through all her wishes and choices in life, in the final journey of death, and in her obituary, “I did it my way!”
Share memories and condolences with Connie’s family at www.mjmclaughlin.com.