Hartwell, Danny Joe
Birth: Friday, April 27, 1951
Death: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the age of 69
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Danny Joe Hartwell
April 27, 1951 -- December 12, 2020
Danny Joe Hartwell was born on April 27,1951 in Hinton, West Virginia to the late Silas Kenton and Dora Irene (Hodge) Hartwell. His heritage was Cherokee Nation and English, but his mother often requested his presence by shouting, "Daniel Boone!!!!". He was the eleventh of fifteen siblings. Danny is preceded in death by eight of his siblings: Barbara Hartwell, Bill Hartwell, David Hartwell, Hilda Creasy, Jim Hartwell, Lois Cook, Ruth Angell, and Tom Hartwell.
As a child, he attended a one room schoolhouse on Hartwell Road called The Hartwell School and his sense of humor attended right along with him. Upon deciding he didn't much care for the year's teacher, he caught a black snake during recess and put it in the teacher's desk. When that drawer was opened, the snake came flying out and the teacher asked, "Who did this?!" Without hesitation, all of Danny's classmates ratted him out with pointed fingers (even then, can't get no respect!). A whooping followed, but it did little to snuff out the lifelong twinkle in his eye.
Throughout his late teens, Danny worked for a local dentist. Seeing his dedication and meticulous work, the dentist suggested to Danny he get an education to further his foray into the field. They reckoned the military was the best way to obtain the necessary training. At 17, Danny graduated from Hinton High School. When he went to the recruiter's office to start talking dentistry, the recruiter, ever mindful of the Navy's needs, showed Danny a photo of the Blue Angels crew and their crafts asking, "Don't you want to do this?" Danny, of course, said, "Yeah, man!" After signing on the dotted line, the recruiter remarked, "Got you, sucker!" just as conflict between the US and Asia began to heat up. Head 'em up, move 'em out.
Turns out, the joke was on the recruiter. God had other plans for Danny, plans to prosper him and not to harm him, plans to give him hope and a future. After graduating bootcamp, Danny's entire company was bound for Vietnam. As he waited for the bus with his buddies, the drill instructor urged them all to ensure their typed orders were totally correct. Danny discovered his orders read, "Hartnell" and headed back to the typist pool for correction. The bus driver refused to wait on him and the Navy found no good way of reuniting him with his company. He was told to head back to the barracks to see what could be done in the morning. The needs of the Navy sent Danny to fill a billet in Lakehurst, New Jersey. One little letter changed everything, but this was only the start.
On September 30, 1972, Danny married his Jersey girl, Valerie. They were wet behind the ears know nothings, but they loved each other fiercely. Three months after they were married, Danny was temporarily stationed in California. Not realizing he could have taken Valerie with him, he spent quite a bit of time with a group called The Navigators who lead Danny to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He took his role as a spiritual leader seriously and Valerie got on board quickly!
During his time in the military, he was working on his private pilot's license. During flight school, his instructor urged Danny to hurry up as they needed to get going as they were late to meet her nephew for lunch. As Danny walked to the table, he recognized the nephew and spent the lunch stuttering. Understandable, he was feeling lucky and his day was made as he shared a table with Clint Eastwood!
Danny was a true patriot racking up an impressive array of decorations: Two National Defense Service Medal, multiple Navy Achievement Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Navy Battle "E", Sharpshooter .45 caliber pistol, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Fifth Good Conduct Award, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Expert Rifle and Pistol Ribbon, Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Danny retired from the United States Navy in 1991 having achieved the rank of Command Master Chief (he's a person!). He was easy to spot in any gathering thanks to the ever-present ball cap letting you know he was the top one percent of the Navy through perseverance, hard work, and a little luck. He was regularly approached with a sincere, "Thank you for your service!" Having her patriot receive continued recognition was a source of pride for his Jersey girl.
Among his proudest accomplishments was his doctorate degree in Prophetic Ministry from Christian Leadership University in November 2015. But he was also quick to share his prized, heirloom roses. Every woman in his life had a rosebush in his garden. Neighbors and friends were often greeted with a new bud and a hearty, "Here! Smell this!" Nepotism rules.
Danny was a lifelong learner, a jack of all trades, there was truly nothing he couldn't do. Having never met a stranger, Danny loved people and it was typical to overhear him on the phone saying, "What do you need?" and "OK, I'll be there." For Danny, family was second only to God. He loved people especially new ones because they made for a fresh audience for his jokes. He wanted so much to laugh with you, but was careful to not laugh at you. If you asked him out for a beer, you better be prepared to hear how much better Pennsylvania's Yuengling Premium is than whatever swill you were serving! Danny sang (mostly oldies especially The Righteous Brothers whose cassette took a full year to wear out despite him hitting play, flipping it over, hitting play, flipping it over .), played the guitar (don't forget the YEE HAW at the end of I'll Fly Away), and loved a good run, but above even those pleasures, he adored his Keurig coffee machine the most.
Danny's ideal day was spent with his beloved Valerie rummaging through antique shops for a deal, indulging in his current restaurant of choice (Cracker Barrel or Ruddy Duck anyone?), and witnessing the majesty of his Creator's sunset while wearing jeans and sneakers. At home, he often requested shepherd's pie and could be caught sneaking into the pantry for one more cookie.
While he was a fan of military history books, Danny was an even more avid consumer of the Holy Bible. Throughout this year, he had been listening to the scriptures on audio book making it all the way from Genesis to Joshua. Danny was an active and dedicated member of Our Father's House in California, Maryland where he served on the prophetic team. Before he ever had the vocabulary to describe how he and God talked, his mother would remark, "If Danny says it's going to happen, hide and watch." Over the years, Danny has shared numerous prophetic dreams and many have come to fruition. His prophetic team members are heeding his mother's wisdom to hide and watch.
Danny is survived by his wife, Valerie Hartwell of Leonardtown, Maryland, and their daughters, Angela Kirsch (Brooks) of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, Dawn Hartwell of York, Pennsylvania, and Danielle (Steve) Paustian of California, Maryland, and by his grandchildren: Jeremy Hartwell, Taran Hartwell, Hannah Kirsch, Nate Kirsch, Ben Kirsch, Elsie Paustian, Seth Paustian, and Craig Paustian. Danny is also survived by his brothers S.K. (Bud) Hartwell, Beallsville, Ohio, Roger Hartwell, Hinton, West Virginia, Ralph Hartwell, Hinton, West Virginia, Gary (Buck) Hartwell, Wayside, West Virginia, and Ronnie Hartwell, Charlotte, North Carolina, and his sister, Betty Lamb, Princeton, West Virginia. Danny will be forever missed and never forgotten. Rest well, good and faithful servant of the most high God. No matter where you go, there you are...even in heaven.
Danny believed in life and the protection of it. In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made in his name to CareNet of Southern Maryland: https://friendsofcarenetsomd.org/donate/.
Services will be private.