Steve Hartzler, 65, died Thursday (May 31, 2012) at his home on South Galena Road after an extended illness.
Born on 15 May 1947, he lived in Delaware County from his first days to his last, the exceptions being one year at university and four years of military service. The first of Thomas and Muriel (Meinzen) Hartzler’s four sons, he was raised among extended family at Glen Olen — a converted fishing resort on the Olentangy River, now the gated community Deep Run at Riverbend — graduating from Olentangy High School in 1965. An excellent athlete, he was arguably the best basketball player in the county as a senior, averaging more than 20 points per game. After one year at Wittenberg University in Springfield, he finished his studies in Business Administration at Ohio State University, receiving his degree in 1969.
Steve served as a meteorologist in the U.S. Air Force from 1970-1974. Stationed first in Rantoul, Ill., then Peru, Ind., he returned to Delaware County shortly after his release from active duty. What had been summer work at his father’s mortgage company before the military stint now became his career. With wife Candace (Viers), he purchased an old farmhouse on six acres in 1975. He loved working outdoors, devoting countless evenings and weekends to projects large and small. In his words, “I was really driven to turn this place into something nice.”
Discouraged by a series of acquisitions and mergers that left Hartzler Mortgage Company a wholly owned subsidiary of ever-larger banking concerns, Steve helped engineer an escape from the impersonal, big-bank mentality when he found a smaller, regional bank (Broadview Savings) to purchase the company in 1985. By 1991, the return to independence was complete; a small ownership group, led by Steve, raised sufficient funds to buy the company back. Though they retained the Broadview name, in essence the company was Hartzler Mortgage once again.
As president of Broadview Mortgage Company, Steve cultivated a family atmosphere in the workplace, ever mindful of the value of loyal and dedicated employees. Aware of an economic storm on the horizon, Broadview’s ownership group moved to wind down the business in 2007. Though the company was legally dissolved in December of that year, ties within the B.M.C. family remain strong even now.
Steve and Maggie McLaughlin built a new home next to the old farmhouse in 1998; they married in 2001. A formidable euchre team, they enjoyed wintering in Wickenburg, Ariz., as had Steve’s father before him. They also loved attending country music concerts, watching Ohio State football games and playing host to family and friends.
In addition to Maggie and Candace, Steve is survived by his brothers, Thomas (Sherry), David and Daniel; his children, Keith (Caitlin), Bryan (Marlene) and Kristina (Derek); and his grandchildren, Prescott, Lucas, Rosemary and Benjamin.
A memorial celebration will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at Camp Mary Orton (7925 N. High St.).
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Delaware County Humane Society or to the charity of your choice.
Condolences may be expressed at schoedinger.com.