Mr. Donald E. Hartman

December 21, 1935September 12, 2021

Donald E. Hartman of York, PA passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday September 12, 2021. Donald was the loving husband of the late Althea Mae (Gatewood) Hartman. Donald and Althea were married for nearly 58 years prior to her passing in June of 2014. Donald was born in York on December 21, 1935. The son of the late Clair and Romaine (Fitzkee) Hartman, he attended elementary school at the one room Highmount Schoolhouse on Furnace Road in Hellam Township, York, PA and graduated in 1953 from Kreutz Creek Valley High also in Hellam Township. Donald worked in the auto parts industry all of his adult life. He spent the first 50 years at Reynolds and Whitcomb Auto Parts in York, starting there at the age of 17. After their closing he moved on to NAPA and then on to Fisher Auto Parts, where he continued to work up until the time of his passing. In the late 1960’s Don discovered a passion for bottle collecting and unearthing old antiques that he continued to pursue throughout his life. He spent many an early weekend morning either alone or with one or both of his boys roaming through old houses and other buildings in various states of neglect, in search of that elusive treasure that was a bottle long ago hidden by a worker behind a wall while building a house or randomly discarded in an old junk pile. Donald was the editor of “The Dirty Bottle”, the newsletter of the Pennsylvania Bottle Collector’s Association for over 20 years. During that time he co-authored Bottles and Jugs – With a York Pennsylvania Perspective. He also wrote extensively on milk bottles and their origins in York and the surrounding area. Don was happiest when he was a few feet down in an old forgotten dump out in the woods, digging for old bottles and other antique collectable artifacts or when he was spending time with Althea, his wife. Donald is survived by his sons, Eric Hartman and his fiancée Tracy Schanzer, of Ridgefield, CT, Kevin Hartman and his wife Patricia of York, and one dearly loved grandson, Justin Hartman also of York. Donald was one of 6 children in the Hartman family growing up in Hellam Township. He was predeceased by his brother Kenneth who passed at an early age. Of, his remaining brothers, Larry, Richard, Robert and Paul, three remain in the area while one now lives in the Midwest. Per his wishes Donald’s, Cremation will be handled by the Cremation Society of Pennsylvania. A private memorial service and internment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Messiah United Methodist Church, 1300 N. Beaver St, York, PA 17404; or to a charity of your choice.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mr. Donald E. Hartman

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Tom Grove

September 24, 2021

Don was always a large presence at the PBCA. His stories from decades of digging for antique bottles were always captivating. He was a terrific story teller! His contributions as a researcher and historian for local York Pa antique bottles had no equal. He will be sadly missed by all members. RIP my fellow digger! You will be missed!

Lowell Kohler

September 18, 2021

Knew Don to be straightforward , honest, and helpful in business dealings! Knew him from Hilltop auto parts, Broadway auto parts, and my business Kohler auto parts. Always helpful and very knowledgeable! Missed him after I got out of the auto parts business. My sincere condolences to his family at this sad time.

Tara McWilliams

September 16, 2021

We would like to send our deepest sympathy to the family. He will be missed so much. He was loving guy and made us laugh for sure. When kids were little they liked going over for cookouts. May he RIP