James “Jim” Hartwick
December 27, 1925 – October 29, 2020.
Born in Alton, IL, but considered himself to be a native of Saint Louis, where he lived for most of his life. He was a product of the Great Depression and was raised by his single mother and grandmother. Even though he had a very hard childhood, he remembered what his mother told him, “Keep your head up even when your tail is dragging on the ground.” He quit school and went to work at 14 years of age. He worked at the old Lowes Theater as an “usher” and at the Lennox Hotel where he was a “bellhop.”
When WWII broke out, he joined the Marine Corps at 16 years of age. He served from 1942 to 1946. He served overseas for 27 months from June 1942 to September 1944. He participated in action against the enemy on Tulagi, Guadalcanal, and Bougainville. He was honorably discharged in 1946. It was difficult to find gainful employment in the slow job market at that time, so he joined the Navy. He served for two years on a Navy destroyer that patrolled the eastern coastline of China during the Communist takeover of China. After his discharge from the Navy, he went to work for Laclede Gas Company and retired in 1990 after working for Laclede for 37 years. He was a realtor for Gundaker Realty for about 12 years.
He married his beloved wife Maxine “Max” in 1969 and remained married until his death. He leaves behind his wife Maxine, his son Jim (Lynda), daughters Laura and Sarah (Rob), his grandchildren Amanda, Victoria, William, and Henry, and his greatgrandchildren Victor and Tristan. He was preceded in death by his sister, Barbara (survived by Terry) Forbuss.
He was a life member of the Marine Corps League and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He loved his wife, his family, his God, his country and the Marine Corps.
There will be no service and he will be cremated. His remains will be interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery where he will join his brother and sister war veterans.
“Pin my medals upon my chest and tell my Momma I did my best.”