Charles HartwellAugust 1, 2017
Charles Michael Hartwell, Commander, U.S. Navy (retired), passed away on August 1, 2017 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, KY.
Born on September 21, 1944 to Mary Lee Richie Hartwell and Charles “Buddy” Hartwell in Paducah.
He is survived by his mother, Mary Lee Richie Hartwell of Lone Oak; a sister, Kay Hartwell Hunnicutt, Ph.D., J.D. of Mesa Arizona; and a brother, Louis Ross Hartwell (Suzanne) of Phoenix, Arizona.
He was predeceased by his father, Charles “Buddy” Hartwell; his grandparents, Herman and Azlee Parker Richie and Francis and Ross Hartwell of Caseyville, Illinois.
He enjoyed his several nieces and nephews including Lisa Wile (Steve) of Tempe, AZ, David Ligon of Chandler, AZ, Brittany Case (John) of Brackley, England, Shelly Sanders (Mike) of Phoenix, AZ, and Scott Shirley of Brackley, England. He had several great-Nieces and Nephews in both Arizona and England.
Cmdr. Hartwell was a 1962 graduate of Lone Oak High School, Paducah Community College and the U.S. Naval War College. He was a Navy Sea and Rescue Helicopter Pilot during his 23 years of active military duty and received numerous awards and commendations. He rarely talked about his experiences as a helicopter rescue pilot in Vietnam and even though he received many commendations he always said “I was just doing my job.” Among the commendations and awards he received the Navy Commendation medal for Meritorious Achievements which read “he successfully performed two daylight and one night rescue under extremely adverse conditions despite the loss of several altitude reference indicators. His continuous and superior efforts served as an example and a challenge for other pilots of the detachment. Lt. Hartwell’s leadership and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” He also received the Vietnam Air Gallantry Metal with Bronze Wing. Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbons (4th Award), Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross) and several Navy commendation awards and overseas service ribbons.
In his retirement he rebuilt corvettes, enjoyed hunting and fishing and was the primary caretaker of his mother with Alzheimer’s disease. He will be remembered for his commitment, love and support of his family, his caring and generous nature and his love and duty for his country.
He was a member of the Paducah VFW, the American Legion, and the Lone Oak Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1191, Veterans’ Relief Fund, 1727 Washington Street, Paducah, KY 42003 or the American Legion, Post 31, 425 Legion Dr., Paducah, KY 42003.
Friend and Family visitation at Lindsey Funeral Home will be on Friday, August 4th from 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. and Graveside services will be at Oak Grove Cemetery on Saturday, August 5th at 1:00 P.M.
Online condolences may be left at www.lindseyfuneral.com.
Lindsey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.