Obituary of Harry Hertneky
Harry Francis Hertneky was born at home at his family’s farm north of Ramah on December 4, 1929, to George and Marie Eileen (Sajbel) Hertneky. He was the second of four children. Harry grew up on the farm, working the land with horse-drawn equipment.
After graduating from Ramah High School in 1947, Harry had jobs at the Matheson grain elevator and in Colorado Springs. In the spring of 1949, he and John Cirbo headed for Burlington to find work on the Bonny Dam construction project. He met Darleen Walters in the summer of 1950 and got married March 15, 1952, in Burlington.
Harry continued working as a mechanic. They added to their family with Randy Lee in 1955 and Harry Francis, Jr., in 1956. In 1961, Harry started working two jobs to keep up with growing family. He had a 7-Up pop route and also worked as a mechanic at Sim Hudson Motor Company. During this time, David Dean (1962) Cheryl Mae (1963) and George Walter (1965) completed the family. Harry and Darleen bought Sloan’s Motel in the summer of 1966 and Harry still worked two jobs – at Sim Hudsons and the motel. Harry and Darleen owned the motel until 1980.
In the spring of 1975, Harry bought his first quarter of land and, today, it is still known as First Quarter. He didn’t plan on becoming a farmer. He just bought it as an investment and a hobby. He picked up two more quarters of land the next year and Harry wasn’t a hobby farmer any more.
When he wasn’t working, Harry liked to hunt elk with his dad, and geese with family and friends. He especially liked to go bowling and travel. Traveling started with family driving ventures to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the mountains. They also took family trips to California, Hawaii and Mexico. Harry discovered he loved to gamble, especially Keno. He and Darleen went to Las Vegas two times a year, with one being in March to celebrate their anniversary. After they retired, Harry liked to cruise. He and Darleen visited England, France, Italy, South American, New Zealand and India and have been to most of the states.
Harry was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus in Burlington. He was a 20-year member of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department where he served as assistant fire chief and board member. Forever the fireman, when Harry was 80 and helping pick corn, a fire broke out in the field. He picked up a shovel and went right into the fire. “What are you doing!!” yelled his daughter in law. “Someone has to put it out,” was Harry’s response. He was an active member and volunteer at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.
Family was important. He was a big supporter of his children and grandchildren. His four sons, as well as several grandsons, were all Eagle Boy Scouts, an achievement he was proud of.
Harry and Darleen celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in March and the family converged again for his 88th birthday two weeks ago. Harry stayed active in farming operations until this summer when he suffered two strokes in August, 2017. Always the hard worker, Harry made it his mission to work hard in rehab so he could get back home. Instead, he was called home on Dec. 20, 2017, in Denver from stroke complications.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, George David (Joey); sister, Dolores Manyik; and son, Harry Jr. He is survived by his wife, Darleen; his brother, Kenny Hertneky; sister-in-law, Wilma Cirbo; children Randy (Laura) Hertneky of Yuma; (Dayla) Hertneky of Burlington; David (Kathy) Hertneky of Burlington; Cheryl (Matt) Witt of Flagler; George (Melissa) Hertneky of Brush; 13 grandchildren, Lisa Brown, Erin Ross, Michael Hertneky, Andrew Hertneky, Mary Hamilton, Brad Hertneky, Tyler Hertneky, Jennifer Witt, Mindy Reimer, Kenzie Lowther, Wyatt Witt, James Hertneky and Joe Hertneky, and 10 great-grandchildren and three, to date, still on the way.
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