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Shirley Fenn Baldwin Hartman

Mother of five, writer, reader

Former Claremont resident Shirley Fenn Baldwin Hartman died at her home in Salt Lake City on June 3, 2017. 

Shirley was born to Donald Fenn Baldwin and Luella Belle Macklin, in Patchogue, Long Island, New York on July 15, 1922. In reflecting upon her life, her family remembers her as a woman of sharp intellect with an insatiable curiosity about the world, who freely shared her considerable talents with others. She was a master seamstress, accomplished gardener, collector and creator of art, lover of birds and nature and an avid reader. She was perfectly suited for her dream career as a mother and homemaker.

In her early years Mrs. Hartman lived in Bellport, New York. Later, she moved to Albany, where she was selected to attend The Milne upper school. Upon graduation, she received a scholarship to attend Alfred University, where her love of reading and books led her to earning a degree in English literature and theater.

While at Alfred, she met Guy Hartman, whom she married on December 28, 1943. In her junior year, she learned she was expecting their first child; but this did not deter her from completing her degree, which she earned in June of 1945.

On the heels of World War II, Dr. Hartman became a military physician-in-training and was deployed to Germany in 1948. The three years they spent in Germany were happy ones, and there, they welcomed their second child.

Returning in 1951 to settle in Claremont, Mrs. Hartman fondly remembered the day the missionaries knocked on her door, changing her life forever. She and Dr. Hartman were baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1953, and were sealed in the Salt Lake City, Utah temple in 1955.

By 1958, three more children had completed their family. Mrs. Hartman’s love of children’s literature and drama made her ideally suited for her job at radio station KCET, where she read for the children’s story program.

Mrs. Hartman’s family admired her diverse talents and how they were indispensable in fulfilling her varied church callings. Her reputation as a skilled writer with theater experience paved the way to some of her most cherished church assignments, including writing and directing numerous church plays and programs. She enjoyed great success and a sense of fulfillment from the creation of these memorable and moving productions, her family shared.

Mrs. Hartman was passionate about genealogy and deeply dedicated to preserving the legacy of her family. Her sense of beauty and style was evidenced in every aspect of her life and her spirit was fed daily by the wonders of the earth. Her family appreciated how she shared that spiritual bond with others, and there was nothing more important to her than those connections. The values Mrs. Hartman was taught as a child compelled her to become a person of uncompromising integrity and honesty, recalled her family, and she dedicated her life to the pursuit of excellence in all things.

She is survived by her five children: Eric Vreeland Hartman, Fenn Elizabeth Ketchoyian, Christina Hartman Fairweather, Peter Bain Hartman and Juliana Hartman Erdody; 21 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held today, Friday, June 23, at the Princeton Ward Chapel in Salt Lake City. Graveside service and burial will be on July 15 at 2 p.m. in the Cossayuna Lake Cemetery in Argyle, New York.

The family suggests donations in Mrs. Hartman’s name be made to the Natural Resources Defense Council at nrdc.org/honor or to the Audubon Society at action.audubon.org. Additionally, if you have memories or stories of moments shared with Mrs. Hartman the family would appreciate hearing from you via email at jerdody@earthlink.net.