Early Reeves Hartley, 91, lifelong learning was fueled by sharp intellect and an active mind

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Early Reeves Hartley
Early Reeves Hartley

Early Reeves Hartley, of Wilmington, died peacefully Aug. 18, 2015, at the age of 91.

Early was born on Oct. 11, 1923, in Polk County, Florida, son of the late Ralph Laine and Mercy Newkirk Hartley. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 68 years, Mary Lee Hartley; brother, Willkings Lodwick Hartley; and sister, Florence Lois Larson.

Having spent most of his childhood in Wilmington, he graduated from New Hanover High School. During WWII, Early served in U.S. Army Air Corps on Tinian Island in the Pacific. Later, Early earned degrees from Virginia Tech and Central Michigan universities, with a career as an industrial engineer/operations research analyst for 32 years with the U.S. civil service at Norton Air Force Base, California and Fort Lee, Virginia.

Early possessed a gentle spirit and genuine interest in other people. His sharp intellect and active mind fueled his love for reading and lifelong learning.

Early was devoted to his wife and family. He is survived by his brother, Daniel Francis Hartley; daughters and sons-in-law, Janet and Fred Nelson, Kathy and Scott Blackburn and Nancy and Joe Arico; grandchildren Drew and Jennifer Nelson, Abbey and Scott Clayton, Aaron and Sharra DeHart, Morgan DeHart, Clark and Shannon Blackburn, Megan and Jon Struthers, Joe and Christine Arico and Michael Arico; great-grandchildren, Laine Nelson, Summer Nelson, Harper Clayton, Camden DeHart, Elaina DeHart, Avary DeHart, Brielle Blackburn, Phoenix Blackburn and Olivia Struthers.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, at First Baptist Church, 411 Market St., Wilmington.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church or the Davis Community, 1011 Porters Neck Road, Wilmington, NC 28411.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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