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 Stephen Willard Hartley

Stephen Willard Hartley

Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA
Death 30 Jun 1979 (aged 52)
Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Burial Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 18510245 · View Source
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Steven Willard (Big Steve) Hartley was married to Audrey Neil (Nellie Hobson) Hartley. They had four children - Steven (Little Steve), Debbie, Danny, and Cissy. Steve was one of my Father's best friends. They were co-workers at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL until Steve left to start several small businesses of his own around 1966. He was a congenial man with a good sense of humor and a deep sense of religion. He was a Norman Rockwellish type person who smoked a pipe, drove golfballs at the driving range, wore sports jackets with patches on the elbows and always enjoyed a pleasant diner with family and friends. Dad always enjoyed dropping by his house after work or taking us there on occasions for visits. Our families even vacationed together a couple of times. We miss Steve and his wife Nellie as if they had been members of our family. God bless them.


My remembrances of the Hartley's are almost like that of my own family. I was extremely young when our families first started to gather. Their Huntsville home was my favorite. There was so much to do for a young lad and maybe because it was in the city that also created a sense of excitement. Their back yard went up hill and Big Steve had rigged a cable up it and one could climb a tree with a ladder on it and ride a seat on a pulley down the hill. Next door lived the Murphy's with an elaborate two story tree house. Also, Mr Murphy had built a wooden roller coster. The Murphy's seemed to be a strange family of sorts but I guess they were only just different than country folk. Little Steve, Debbie, and I were closest in age but Steve and I seemed to do more together. Little Steve was wrapped up into the James Bond movies and Man From Uncle television show so we seemed to spend a lot of time playing "spy's" as he called it. My best Halloween was being able to rack up on candy going through their neighborhood because where we lived one had to walk for miles out in the country to get any candy at all. As I remember it, Danny was just a baby during that time and daughter Cissy was on the way. One of the best vacations that I remember taking during these early years was to the Smokey Mountains as we went camping. Over the years there was much laughter about us stopping at a souvenir shop probably in Cherokee, North Carolina. There was an Indian man by a teepee dressed up as a chief. After we left someone noticed that our brother Jack wasn't in either car so we had to promptly go back and get him. Dad always said that if we hadn't of discovered the mistake that Jack would have just become a little Indian boy.

Big Steve and Daddy were best of friends and were more of the deep thinker types. They liked to play chess and to theorize about things like the endless possibilities of the universe and space travel. They, after all, worked for NASA, the space agency. I remember that Little Steve and I thought that our dads were the smartest people we knew. They in turn were happy to let us believe that. I still think that my dad was one of the most innovative men I've ever known. Latter in years Nellie told me that Big Steve once told her that some of the senior engineers at NASA would consult with daddy when they were stumped with a problem. I think those days in Huntsville were probably the happiest days of the Hartley's lives.

  • Created by: Wayne Rose
  • Added: 18 Mar 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18510245
  • Wayne Rose
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Stephen Willard Hartley (2 Mar 1927–30 Jun 1979), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18510245, citing Roselawn Cemetery, Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Wayne Rose (contributor 46853093) .