Michael Jowayn Hartley, age 65, of Arcadia, Indiana passed away unexpectedly Sunday, July 16, 2023 while vacationing with friends in Tennessee. He was named Jowayn after his grandfathers Joe Hartley and Wayne Ehman.
He was born October 23, 1957 at Noblesville, Indiana to John A. Hartley and Sylvia Kay (Ehman) Hartley and was loved deeply from the first time he was placed in his mother’s arms.
He grew up in the Arcadia area and attended Hamilton Heights Schools, graduating from Hamilton Heights High School with the Class of 1976. He participated in sports during his school years, excelling in basketball and baseball. Being tall he usually played center and forward on the Huskies Basketball Team. In 1975 the Huskies won their first sectional in several years, and that was “one for the record books” for hundreds of Heights fans.
Michael then began to further his education at Anderson College. He was already farming with his grandfather Ehman and did not decide to go to college until two weeks before classes began. The coaches at the College saw Mike, as he was fondly known, in “pick-up games” at the College and encouraged him to try out for the basketball team. He made Junior Varsity his freshman year and starting five on the Varsity Team the following years. They had good coaches and thus good teams and they played in tournaments at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia and the Astrodome in Texas.
After college years, Mike returned to farming with his grandfather and other farm owners. In 1962 his parents purchased the Funeral Home in Arcadia and he also worked with them.
He married his high school sweetheart and best friend, Robin Renee Bagwell on July 19, 1980 and she brought much joy to the Hartley Family. They would have celebrated their 43rd anniversary this month.
In his younger years the Hartley Family lived above the Arcadia Funeral Home and that gave him exposure to the funeral profession as he often helped with various chores. So he decided to become a funeral director and work with his family. He enrolled in the Mid-America College of Funeral Service. He graduated with honors and was valedictorian of his class. He received the 1993 Fraternity Scholastic Award and Perfect Attendance Award and won the prestigious Frank Moore Award at the Indiana Funeral Directors Association in 1993.
He then joined his parents at the family-owned funeral homes in Arcadia and Cicero, Indiana.
Mike was a hard worker, conscientious, a problem solver when faced with challenging situations and cared deeply for our small community.
Mike is a member of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association, the sexton of the Arcadia Cemetery and the Crown Hill Cemetery near Arcadia, IN, a member and president of the Hamilton Country Cemetery Board and serves on the Jackson Township Advisory Board.
He was a rock to his family. Mike had a way of uplifting and encouraging others and helping them to believe in themselves. He was graced with wisdom and insight in serving others. And he was very involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He will always be remembered as a loving son, husband, father and papa.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, John A. Hartley, sister: Michelle Elayn (Hartley) Knapp, maternal grandparents: Wayne and Luella (Kinder) Ehman, paternal grandparents: Joe and Ruth (Wise) Hartley, Mother and father-in-law: Jim and Pauline (Plaspohl) Bagwell, sister-in-law: Karla Bagwell and brother-in-law: Tom Gonzales.
Surviving him is his wife: Robin Renee Hartley, sons: Doug (Janine) Hartley, Nick (Jackie) Hartley, twin granddaughters: Ada Jane and Bailey Marie Hartley, mother (Sylvia Kay Hartley), brother: Steven John (Dena) Hartley, uncle: Dr. Dewayne Lee Ehman, niece: Nicole Gonzales and Jeff Whitmore, brother-in-law: Greg Knapp and Debbie Jacobs, brother-in-law: Mike (Anita) Bagwell.
Additional survivors include nephews: Chris, Ryan, Adam, Tanner, Kevin and Brian, and nieces: Tayler, and Payton.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 22, 2023 at 10:00 A.M. at Cicero Christian Church, 1715 Stringtown Pike, Cicero, IN, with Pastor Mark Knapp officiating. Burial will follow at Arcadia Cemetery. A time of visitation will be Friday, July 21, 2023 from 1:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. You may send condolences at www.hartleyfuneralhomes.com.
If you cannot attend Mike's services and wish to be a part of them virtually, please return back to this obituary page and at the time of service there will be a link to attend live.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hamilton Heights Boys Basketball, 25802 State Road 19, Arcadia, IN 46030 or donation envelopes will be available at the Church. For online donations, please visit: https://gofund.me/2cad8aa2 or please use the QR code below.
Hamilton Heights Boys basketball team Donations