Virginia “Louise” Hartman

Virginia “Louise” Hartman, 95, of North Freedom, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on March 30, 2018.

She was known affectionately as “Gommy” by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and hundreds of Sunday school students throughout the years.

Louise was born March 28, 1923, in Oak Ridge, Pennsylvania to Bessie Marie Crawford Bowser and Foster Francis Bowser. She graduated from New Bethlehem High School in 1939 and worked as a bookkeeper at Sylvania from 1942 until the end of the war in 1946. 

On February 2, 1946, she married the late Merle David Hartman Jr., a WWII Navy veteran and dairy farmer. They were dairy farmers for nearly 50 years. Throughout her life, Louise was a faithful church-goer and Sunday-school teacher, instructing generations of children and adults in the Christian faith. Even in her elderly years, children at her church flocked to her because of her kindness to them and interest in their lives. She was a powerful intercessor and prayed for everyone she knew, from individuals to greater cultural issues.

Louise was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Merle David Hartman Jr., and her younger brother, Jerry Lee Bowser.

She is survived by her two daughters: Karen Dianne Shay and her husband Glenn Shay of Mayport, Pa; and Cathy Susanne Vallosio and husband David Vallosio of Brookville, PA; by three grandchildren: David Glenn Shay and his wife Emily of Shannondale, Julie Kathleen Swartfager and her husband Mark of Grove City, and Sarah Rebecca Masterson and her husband Cory of Franklin; and by nine great-grandchildren: Erin Olivia Shay, Kharis Christiana Shay, Eden Elisabeth Alexandra Shay, Judah-David Emilio Shay, and Priscilla Hope Anneliese Shay of Shannondale; Marcus Andrew Swartfager, Erin Kathleen Swartfager, and Andrew Isaac Swartfager of Grove City; and Hudson David Hartman Masterson of Franklin.

A testament to her faith and faithfulness, all of Louise’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are serving Christ.

Her family will receive visitors at Furlong Funeral Home in Summerville on Monday, April 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and at Living Church in Summerville on Tuesday, April 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with the funeral service following (Pastor David Shay officiating).  A luncheon will be held following the service.  Her body will be laid to rest at the United Methodist Cemetery in North Freedom, PA.

Friends and family may leave online condolences, light a memorial candle, order flowers, and obtain additional information at

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