Raymond L. Hartpence
June 14, 1918 ‒ June 11, 2018
Formerly of Mount Gilead, Ohio
Raymond L. Hartpence, age 99, of Edison, was welcomed into Heaven on Monday, June 11, 2018, at the DeWolfe House in Marion, just a few days shy of his 100th birthday.
Nearly a century ago, on June 14, 1918, Raymond was born in Gilead Township near Mount Gilead, one of three children of the late Earl and Belle (Hildebrand) Hartpence. During his younger years, his family lost their home farm due to the depression, leading them to move several times around the county. They even lived in Western Nebraska for a short time before returning to Morrow County.
Raymond attended the Guiding Star Country School, Edison Schools, and graduated in 1936 from Mount Gilead High School. He then attended Columbus Business School, and worked for the American Zinc Oxide Company and Burger Beer in Columbus until being drafted into the U.S. Army.
On March 7, 1941, Raymond joined the U.S. Army and trained for ten months in the U.S. Then, on January 23, 1942, he boarded a troop ship headed south, not knowing where they were headed. They quickly realized they were headed to the Panama Canal, where they turned west traveling through the Pacific Ocean to join his fellow soldiers in the battle of World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. He served as the company clerk for the 3465 Ordinance Company Americal Division, eventually earning the rank of acting first sergeant. He was awarded various campaign medals for his contributions to the Guadacanal, Northern Solomons, and Bismarck Archipelago battles and campaigns.
During World War II, Raymond’s high school sweetheart, Veldren Kelly, patiently waited for him to return from the war. Shortly after his honorable discharge, they were married at her home church, the Boundary United Methodist Church, on April 20, 1946. They shared over 66 wonderful years of marriage together, and lovingly raised two sons: David and Dennis. She preceded him in death on May 19, 2012.
For the majority of his life, Raymond worked two jobs to provide for his family. He worked for twenty seven years for ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service) as a program assistant and clerk, helping farmers any way he could, retiring in 1983. He also took over his father-in-law’s farm, the Kelly Homestead, on County Road 9, which his family continues to farm today. Raymond farmed until he was 91 years old, often with Veldren right by his side. He was especially proud to have his son and grandson continue their family farm, the Boundary Line Farm.
Raymond was an active member of the Boundary United Methodist Church, serving as the church treasurer for over sixty years. He and Veldren helped to organize and run most every aspect of the church, always willing to go over whenever anything was needed. He also was a member of the Morrow County Hospital’s Alva Couples TWIG and Twin Pines Farm Bureau.
Salt of the earth, Raymond was a humble man who never wanted any attention or accolades for his tireless work. Instead, he preferred to work behind the scenes, helping his family, church, and many friends any way he could. Raymond “was a gem,” whose warm smile made you feel like the most special person in the world. He truly was the best father, grandfather, great-grandfather and dear friend anyone could ask for.
Left to cherish his memory are his son, David (Carol) Hartpence of Edison; three grandchildren: Nathan Hartpence of Edison, Ryan (Lana) Hartpence of Powell, and Kelly (Matt) Beck of Mount Gilead; four great-grandchildren: Colton and Porter Beck, and Gwen and Evan Hartpence; and several nieces and nephews.
Including his wife and parents, Raymond was preceded in death by his son, PFC Dennis Ray Hartpence, who was killed in action in Vietnam, on April 19, 1968; a brother, George Hartpence; and a sister, Blanche Coulter.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on his 100th birthday, Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, at the Boundary United Methodist Church (address below), with Pastor David Smith officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the V.F.W. 8054 and AMVETS Post 87 will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery in Mount Gilead.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Boundary United Methodist Church, 3216 Twp. Rd. 75 (at CR 9), Edison, OH 43320.
On behalf of Raymond’s family, they want to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the wonderful staff and his many friends at the DeWolfe House in Marion, and to Capital City Hospice for their tender care of Raymond these past few months.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to serve Raymond’s family and your memories and condolences may be shared with them via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.