John Hartner was the eldest son of Trinity’s founding pastor, Rev. Harlan Hartner.

John T. Hartner, 78, a resident of the Hillsboro community, died Monday, July 10, 2023, at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland.
John Thomas Hartner was born on December 3, 1944, in Kansas City, Missouri to Harlan and Mildred Hartner. John grew up in Mission, Kansas, alongside his sisters Connie and Anne, and younger brother, Tim. As a minister’s son, the values of compassion, service, and justice were instilled in John, and would inform his approach to life.
John attended St. John’s College and received his BA from Valparaiso University. He later got his Master’s degree from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri.
In 1969, John was drafted into the Vietnam war, to which he was morally opposed. When he returned, John was active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and he testified to the misconduct he witnessed during the Winter Soldier Investigation. He closed his testimony by
reading a letter he’d written to his senator, saying “Peace means so very much.”
In 1971, John met Susan in St. Louis, Missouri. They were married in 1973 and later had three daughters: Anne, Elisabeth, and Katherine. He was a supportive and loving husband and father. He was dearly loved by household pets, including Jennie, the family dog, and Rosie, the
cockatiel. John and Sue celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June of this year.
In 1990, John and family moved from Missouri to Hillsboro, Oregon, after John was invited to apply for the position of Director of Community Corrections for Washington County. He brought a liberalizing influence to this position, with a focus on reducing recidivism through community programs and support for parolees. John created a national model that was centered on respect and compassion. He was recognized for his efforts, most notably by Governor Barbara Roberts. In 2009 he helped create a transitional housing space for those in need. After he retired in 2010, it was called the Hartner House in his honor.
John was a dedicated Christian and served many roles within Calvary Lutheran Church. His faith meant so much to him. John loved to travel, sail on the Columbia, camp with his family on the Oregon coast, and golf with friends and nephews. A gifted orator, he had thoughtful words for every occasion and a unique sense of humor.
John touched the lives of many and is remembered for his kindness, generosity, and love. John died on July 10, 2023, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He will be missed by his wife, Susan, his daughters, his siblings, their partners, nieces, nephews, and his many friends.
In his memory, please consider donating to Lutheran World Relief.
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