William “Bill” E. Hartman, Jr. was the second born son of William & Grace Hartman. He was born in Seattle, WA on July 15, 1939. Bill has one older (Don) and two younger (Bob & Tom) brothers.
The family moved to Tumwater, WA in 1952; where Bill resided for the next 68 years.
One of Bill’s defining characteristics was his ability to fix anything; especially if it had a motor. During his senior year of high school (St. Martin’s in Lacey 1956-57) he started to tear down and rebuild a 1934 Plymouth in his parents’ garage. About a year after starting the project, he fired it up and took his dad for a ‘ride’ down the Yelm highway. That historic ride was the beginning of a multi-year adventure involving many family members and friends on racetracks all over the Pacific Northwest, down into California and included participating in the NHRA Nationals in Detroit in 1958 (possibly 1959). Bill Sr. & Jr. were written up as a father and son racing duo. Bill’s car at the time was the #2 gas car in the Pacific Northwest and in 1961 Bill won more trophies at the Puyallup raceway than any other driver! (Click here to watch the video Bill created and narrated about the experience!)
During high school, Bill started working for his dad’s company Capital Business Machines (CBM), which was started in Olympia, WA in 1952. As Bill Sr. told it, each of the four boys started at CBM by doing cleaning and some minor repairs on typewriters. All the boys worked their way up to sales and management.
In 1973 Bill started Miniproducts and was still a partial owner of CBM. With Miniproducts in full swing he opened Calculator City stores in Bellevue and University Place to take advantage of all the college students needing calculators (a BRAND NEW thing for the early 70’s). Around 1976, he sold his ownership of CBM to his brothers and started Cascade Olympic Leasing. Two years later he sold Miniproducts and closed the Calculator City stores, allowing him and Dene to focus solely on Cascade Olympic Leasing. They ran Cascade Olympic for the next 30 years before retiring.
Bill’s family life started with his marriage to Pat in 1964. They had two boys, Chuck and Dan. In 1969, a short 5 years later, Pat succumbed to cancer. Bill was fortunate to find and marry the love of his life, Dene in 1973. Bill married Dene and adopted her daughter Jayme. This was the start of an amazing 47 year journey. Bill and Dene were more than just married. They completed each other in every way. They identified each other’s strengths, divided up what needed to be done and followed Bill’s motto of “Gett’er done”. They ran businesses together, traveled together, and had fun together! They were always known as Bill & Dene, because you rarely saw one without the other. They had all sorts of fun, everything from riding dirt bikes, camping, snowmobiling, traveling, and boating. Speaking of boating; from the early 90s through about 2017, boating and the Yacht Club were a major portion of Bill and Dene’s life.
When it came to the Olympia Yacht Club (OYC), Bill was instrumental. He was Commodore in 1970 when OYC was in search of an outstation for its members. After a bit of searching, Bill found and helped negotiate the purchase of Island Home for the club! Bill’s mark and handy work are indelibly stamped on the island, as he is memorialized there with the Hartman Nature Trail (cut and blazed by him) and Bill’s Hill! To their grandchildren, the island also became a highlight childhood memory as Bill & Dene instigated and held ‘Boat Camp’ at the Island for about a dozen years starting in the early 2000’s. In February of 2020 at the OYC dinner meeting for the appreciation of Past Commodores, Bill was recognized with a plaque for his astonishing 50 years of service as Past Commodore! He was the first and only past commodore to receive this recognition.
Bill is survived by his wife Dene, his three children; Chuck, Dan and Jayme (husband Michael), his four grandchildren; Alex (wife Taylor), Drew, Jensen (husband Nick) and Patricia and his three brothers Don, Bob and Tom (and their families).
Bill was a fantastic story teller and if you were lucky enough to hear one of his ‘two beer stories’ you know exactly what we mean. Now that you’ve read some of Bill’s story; would you please help us and send in your own version of your favorite Bill story and/or your favorite stories/memories about Bill? We’d also really appreciate any photos you may have with Bill in them or ones that compliment your story(Click Here)! And if you haven’t taken a look at them yet, enjoy the photos from his life.
Thank you for coming and reading about Bill and also for sharing about him as well,
— The Family