Earl Robert Hartwig, 96, from the Town of Spirit, was called home to Heaven on June 30, 2018, at Aspirus Care & Rehab, Medford, where he had resided for the past 18 months. Services to celebrate his life will be at 11 AM on Friday, July 6 at Zion Lutheran Church in the Town of Spirit with Pastor James Langebartels officiating. Burial will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery, Town of Spirit. Visitation will be held from 4 – 7 PM on Thursday, July 5 at Hemer Funeral Home, Rib Lake and from 10 AM until the time of services at 11 AM at the church in Spirit on Friday, July 6. Pallbearers will be – Ron, Steve & Scott Komarek, Randy Weinke, Robert Olwell & Mark Blasel. A lunch will follow at the Church.
Earl was a lifelong resident of Spirit, WI. He was born to a WW I hero and Purple Heart recipient, Ferdinand Hartwig, and his wife, Gloria (Andreae) Hartwig on November 23, 1921. He attended Stone Lake School, Town of Spirit. On November 4, 1944, Earl married the love of his life, Vangel “Birdie” Komarek. They were virtually inseparable until her passing on March 29, 2018. They built their home, and had many adventures, on a farm in the Town of Spirit, and called it “The Silver Spur Ranch”. They raised cattle, farm animals and horses. They had one child, Karen Hartwig Campbell, and one grandchild, Jody Lee Campbell. Both were tragically lost many years ago. Earl adored them both.
Earl Hartwig was a hard working man. He worked at home breeding and masterfully training his award-winning show horses, as well as farming, restoring antiques and handcrafting items. He also worked full time for Owens Illinois from 1969 until his retirement in1986. He was a very talented man.
Earl was a member of the National Rockhound Society, Zion Lutheran Church of Spirit, Taylor County Rough Riders, Spirit Lake Snowmobile Club and the Arabian Horse Association. His zest for life included many passions. Hunting, boating fishing, traveling, snowmobiling, gardening, repairing clocks, his dogs, and water skiing were among his favorite activities.
Earl is survived by his brother-in-law, Harry Blasel, two sisters-in-law, Betty Komarek and LaVon Komarek, and many nieces/nephews. He was preceded in death by his much-loved wife, Vangel (Komarek) Hartwig, parents Ferdinand & Gloria Hartwig, beloved daughter, Karen Hartwig Campbell, grandson, Jody Lee Campbell, brothers/sisters-in-law, Arleen and Alfred Weinke, Orval and Ann Komarek, Laurel Komarek, Frank and Freda Komarek, George and Almire Olwell, Eugene Komarek and Mirella Blasel.
Earl Hartwig was a great man. His radiant smile is unforgettable and his strength balanced by his deeply humble character earned him respect and admiration. The loss of his presence on earth saddens the hearts of many, but the memories of him will forever be the fondest and most treasured. Earl is loved and is reunited in Heaven with those he missed so deeply.
Hemer Funeral Service of Medford & Rib Lake serving the family. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.