Dennis Keith Hartley former Hermiston, OR resident, passed away in Cottonwood, Arizona on April, 9 2019. Dennis was born in Portland, Oregon on January 27th 1943. He was the son of Virginia Randolph and Ralph Hartley.
Dennis is survived by his daughter Lyla Hartley of Salem, Oregon and his son Daniel Hartley (Chelsea) of Lake Ridge, Virginia, granddaughter Mandie Ottmar, grandson Michael Gunter of Beaverton, Oregon, granddaughters Abigail, Carolina, Eleanor and Hannah Hartley of Lake Ridge, Virginia and one great-granddaughter Mila Joy Ottmar of Beaverton, Oregon.
Dennis grew up in Hermiston, Oregon and graduated from Hermiston High School in 1960. He was quite adept at singing from an early age and quickly found a place in musical theatre. During his high school years, he sang in several musicals.
Shortly after his 17th birthday he enlisted into the U.S. Army. He served for three years as a Cryptographic Teletype Repairman, attended Airborne school and was assigned as a Paratrooper to the 50th Signal Battalion under the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was always proud of the 36 jumps he completed and spoke fondly of his military service.
In October 1965 Dennis and his girlfriend Ellie McManus welcomed his first child, Lyla Lea Hartley. In 1981 Dennis married Nancy Simpson and in September of 1982 their son Daniel Kevin Hartley was born.
In 1989 Dennis and family settled in Cottonwood, Arizona, where Dennis spent the next 30 years as an engineer for the Verde Canyon Railroad. He attempted to retire in 2003 but found the retiree life wasn’t really for him. He continued to work up until the very end as the railroad subject matter expert and railroad museum host.
Dennis attended the Verde Community Church where he lent his musical talents and that deep operatic voice to the church choir. He spent countless hours singing to the elderly and at funerals, memorials and even at his son’s wedding. His musical talents were known and loved by everyone at church, work and across the Verde Valley.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents. He has three surviving brothers, Scott, Brad and Harold Hartley and two sisters, Marcia Sherris and Janis Williams.
July 27th, 2019 at 1:00 pm there will be a service with military honors celebrating Dennis at the Hermiston Cemetery.
Please share memories of Dennis with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.
To send flowers to Dennis' family, please visit our floral section.