Oct 25, 2010Blueberry pioneer dies
Patrick J. Hartmann, 80, of Lacota, Mich., died Oct. 19 at Bronson Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. He was a pioneer in the Michigan blueberry industry.
Pat was born in Chicago in 1929, to Edward and Catherine Hartmann. He moved with his parents and siblings in March 1944 to their blueberry farm north of Lacota, Mich. Pat and his father worked together until his father retired in 1970. Pat owned and operated Hartmann’s Plant Co. with his son, Danny, and remained involved until his death.
He had a non-stop interest in plant development. He traveled throughout the United States and abroad, giving horticulture seminars. He was active for many years as a board member of the Michigan Blueberry Growers Association.
As a second-generation blueberry grower and owner of Hartmann’s Plant Co., Pat contributed to many changes in the industry. He organized the first tissue culture propagation lab for producing disease-free plants. He was the first person to raise blueberries under cover in greenhouses in Michigan. In addition, he was the first MBG Marketing member to introduce and succeed with water-cleaning blueberries, as well as devising the first pint cup denester for a packaging machine, according to the Hartmann family.
He is survived by nine siblings, four sons, two daughters, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Oct. 23 at St. Basil Catholic Church in South Haven, Mich. In honor of Pat Hartmann’s contribution to the blueberry industry, his family has established the Patrick J. Hartmann Blueberry Pioneer Scholarship Fund. Memorial contributions to the fund can be made to the “Patrick J. Hartmann Blueberry Pioneer Scholarship Fund,” 4230 South Westnedge Suite 6, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.