Donald Leo Hartenfeld

Donald Leo Hartenfeld passed away May 6, 2009 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was at home and at peace, with his loving family by his side.

Although not unexpected, his death was sudden. It is not his death, but his life that is to be remembered…a life that was filled with love, laughter, and an uncompromising devotion to family and friends. He was a warm, caring, sensitive, considerate, passionate bear of a man who enjoyed life to the fullest. Quick to offer a smile and a hug, Don was known to those close to him as a man who encouraged everyone around him to reach for the stars and to achieve things they never dreamed possible.

He traveled extensively and harbored a deep love of Berlin, his ancestral homeland and where he was stationed in the Air Force, and the Caribbean, where he frequently enjoyed many memorable adventures on trips and Windjammer cruises with family and friends.

Don was born June 13, 1928 in Sandusky, Ohio to Ervin H. Hartenfeld and Lucille H. (Neumeyer) Hartenfeld, the youngest of three boys. He graduated from Sandusky High School, Class of ’46 and attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. Upon returning to the States, he enrolled at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio but longed for more after living in Berlin and visiting all the great cities of Europe. He answered a friend’s invitation to join him in Mexico City where he enrolled at Mexico City College and obtained a B.A. in Business in August 1956.

When he returned to the States, he bid farewell to Ohio and moved to San Francisco where he was employed by IBM as a Methods Analyst. He enjoyed an outstanding 23 year career with IBM, living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and traveling extensively on behalf of the company. His travels enabled him to explore all of the United States and to widen his circle of friends. He embarked on a new career path in 1982 when he accepted a new challenge with Pacific Northwest Insurance in Portland, Oregon where he lived for nine years before retiring.

Retirement did not slow Don down as he moved to Palm Springs in 1995 and continued his travels. Don assumed an active role in his community. He was an Honorary Member of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert and a volunteer at Desert AIDS Project where he was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2003.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Lucille Hartenfeld, and two brothers, Ervin John Hartenfeld and Rolland Benjamin Hartenfeld.

Don is survived by his life partner, George Puddephatt of Palm Springs; sister-in law Mary Alice Hartenfeld of Gahana, Ohio; nieces Barbara Hartenfeld of Phoenix, Arizona, Bonnie Darnell of Portage, Ohio, Gail Downing of Lewis Center, Ohio, Judy Baird of Stockbridge, Georgia, Pam Suver of Powell, Ohio, Lori Anne Miller of Castalia, Ohio; nephews Rolland E. Hartenfeld of Bellevue, Ohio, Jonathon E. Hartenfeld of Green Springs, Ohio; adopted son, Ruben Andreatta of Indio, California and a wealth of devoted loving friends throughout the U.S. and Canada.

A celebration of life will be held on June 13th at 4:00 P.M. at The Commissary, 69620 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, California. As a final tribute to Don and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization

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