Hartley E. Wilder, 90, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, surrounded by family. His last words were, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…’
Hartley was born and raised in and around Foxboro, Mass., where he courted and later married his high school sweetheart, Hattie A. Colby. That marriage endured for over 55 years until Hattie’s death in 2002, and brought four children, Sharon Woehr of Roanoke, Kim Wilder of Wilmington, Scott Wilder of Austin and Jill Pack of Leland; eight grandchildren, Scotty Stevens, Paul Woehr III, Phillip Woehr, Renee Sullivan, Adam Woehr, Jade Howard, Joshua Pack and Jacob Wilder; and five great-grandchildren, Teddy, Zech, Jada, Remy and Nova.
Hartley put himself through college at Northeastern University in Boston (B.S. chemical engineering) by working the ‘graveyard’ shift for the Hercules Powder Co. (later Hercules, Inc.), where he worked a distinguished, 40-year career. He served many years as plant manager at Hercules Plants in Arkansas; California; South Carolina; Middleburg in the Netherlands; New Jersey; Baton Rouge, La.; Tampico, Mexico; and Wilmington. He also worked two stints at Hercules’ world headquarters in Wilmington, Del.
‘Papa’ was a Christian family man who lived a long, happy life entertained by his many passions, which included his grandchildren and their sports activities, the Boston Red Sox, blues music, gospel music, travel, bowling, crossword puzzles, yard work and ‘anything Grandma wanted done’ around the house. He spent many years volunteering his time and talents to the community. He is loved and will be missed.
The family invites you to celebrate Papa’s life from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 11, at Coble Ward-Smith, 3915 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at Coble Ward-Smith.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cape Fear Literacy Council in Wilmington.
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