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Louise Ann Hartley, 73

| March 31, 2024 1:00 AM

Born to Lyman George Edward and Marjorie Evelyn McKay on Jan. 24, 1951, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Louise Ann Hartley, beloved mother and wife, reached out to Jesus’s hand and went to heaven with her immediate family surrounding her March 1, 2024. 

Louise Hartley is survived by her husband of 55 years, Virgil O. Hartley Jr., two sons, Jason and Clint, three grandchildren, Andrea, Kristen and Spencer, and one great-granddaughter, Raegan.

Louise was very proud of her Canadian roots and often recounted an enchanted childhood in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the 1950s. She was a committed and loving matriarch who especially doted on her grandchildren and she was passionate about her faith.

A devout Christian, who never missed an opportunity to spread the gospel in a loving way to anyone who would listen, Louise was an inspirational Christian example through her kindness and thoughtfulness. Her rock-solid faith sustained her in a remarkably positive and uplifting way, even as her devastating disease progressed.

Louise was stubborn in all the best ways. In 2010, she was afflicted with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which is fatal in 40% of its victims. She was in a coma for four months and flatlined several times in the hospital.  Her doctors all but wrote her off. Instead, she made a stunning recovery and survived another 14 years, creating some of the best memories with her family and friends in that time and cultivating an especially close bond with her grandchildren. God blessed her and her family by enabling all of her children, grandchildren (save one), and her great-grandchild to spend last Christmas together for what turned out to be the last time. She was over the moon with excitement when her great-granddaughter, who arrived late the night before, surprised her by walking into her bedroom Christmas morning. She attributed much of her recovery to her husband, who took impeccable loving care of her and whom she constantly said she was lucky to have in her life (and, of course, he felt the same way).  

After raising her two sons as a stay-at-home mom, where she perfected her skills as a tremendous chef and baker, she took up many interests. At times, she worked as a seamstress, a pharmacy technician, a bank teller, a state park visitor center employee.

For years she and her husband ran Hartley & Sons, Inc., which created custom-made crafts and ornaments they sold at fairs and craft shows around the country.

Louise loved to travel. In another demonstration of her wonderful stubbornness, she decided to see Italy for her 50th wedding anniversary. But instead of opting to visit Rome and Milan and Tuscany in 2019, she — despite being on oxygen and in a wheelchair — insisted on traveling to all the places with stairs, bridges and no roads: Venice, Cinque Terre and Amalfi. And she did it with flying colors, making the trip one of her favorites ever and creating some of our best memories of her.

Louise and the love of her life, Virgil, saw more of the world than many people of their generation. Besides the street-less cities of Italy, she visited the Bahamas; Turkey; Amsterdam, Holland; several areas of France including Paris and the Loire Valley; Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Capri in Italy; several provinces of Canada; Mexico; Barcelona, Spain; Portugal; London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Jamaica; the Dominican Republic; Greece; Monaco; and the Vatican. 

A celebration of life will take place April 6, 2024. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to her small church, Calvary Christian Fellowship: https://calvarychristianspiritlake.com/.