We look forward to meeting you at our next service. If you have any special needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do everything we can to accommodate you. Praise the Lord!
Passing of Pastor Lee
Erwin Lee Hartman, Jr., known to most as “Lee” or “Junior” or “Pastor” was born on August 20, 1947 to Erwin Lee Hartman, Sr. and Opal Grace (Stefka) Trent. Daddy was a faithful servant of the Lord and just couldn’t wait to get there, cashing in the ultimate lottery ticket on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Lee is preceded in death by his father and his brother, Gary Douglas Hartman. He is survived by his mama, Opal Trent; his daughters Anessa Sillman and husband Chris, Andrea Hartman and fiancé Michael Silva; his son Garrett Hartman and wife Valerie; his grandchildren Bridgit, Dallas, and Eleni Sillman; Noah Lopez; Devin Garrison; and Hayden, Jake, and Blake Hartman; his Aunt Hilda Grace (Hartman) Dodd; and many cousins. He also leaves behind his beloved congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hempstead, Texas.
Daddy graduated from Hempstead High School in 1965 and served in the United States Army from 1966-1969. He married the mother of his children in 1975, divorced in 1984, never remarried and eventually settled down at home in Monaville, Texas. Over the years, he worked professionally as a purchasing agent for the flange and valve industry, retiring in 2006. His work took him away in 1986 where he lived in Russellville, Arkansas for 3 years. He enjoyed his time there but was known to say that he got a little teary-eyed every time he came back home to Texas to pick up his kids for a visit. Lee loved Texas and the day he permanently crossed the state line back home was an emotional one!
In 1995, Lee began a new journey as an assistant minister. After what he thought was a temporary situation looked to become more permanent, Lee took many classes and in 2003, he became the official lay minister. He spent 18 years devoted to his congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church. A life long Christian and long-time member of TLC, his faith became the stuff of legends as he grew in his role as a servant of God. He loved the Lord and he loved the hearts of his people. His number one priority was making sure that all were served and his devotion will live on in the hearts of those that will now look to a new leader.
Lee had a few passions and his life was spent enjoying all of them! We don’t really have to note it here, because everyone knew, but Lee devoted his time to the University of Texas Longhorns football program and has been attending games in the same seats since 1974. He is on the Chancellor’s Council for Texas Athletics because of his financial contributions throughout the last 47 years. He is buried in burnt orange and wouldn’t have it any other way. He also took some time to really hone his golf game, playing for 60 years. He has two hole-in-ones on his resume and enjoyed playing Emerald Hills in Louisiana the most. He loved music and directed church choir for over 30 years. He also played piano and was particularly fond of Willie Nelson. He enjoyed long drives down the backroads of Waller County in his Lincoln, and never did meet a stranger! He was an excellent chef and loved to cook for his family.
Lee also lended his talents to organizing the Monaville School Reunion, and financially supported St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. Lee was a natural caretaker and nurturer, devoting the last 8 years to caring for his mama before she moved to a full time caregiver home in 2020.
All of the things he loved passionately, he passed on to his children. Each carries special memories of various trips and time spent together on the things they loved the most.
His presence in the lives of his children will be sorely missed. He was a loving father that never ended a call without saying “I love you,” never ended a visit without a hug and a kiss, and made sure that we all knew how much we were loved by the father we all call “Daddy.” He was looking forward to officiating the pending nuptials of his daughter, Andrea and the pending baptism of his newest grandson, Blake. It won’t be the same without him, but we have comfort knowing that he is so happy at home with our loving Father in heaven.
A celebration of his rich and full life will be led by Pastor Mike Weider of Emmaus Road Katy and held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hempstead, Texas on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:00am. Pallbearers are his cousins, Rick Alexander and Ryan Alexander; his grandsons, Noah Lopez, Dallas Sillman, and Devin Garrison; his sons-in-law, Chris Sillman and Mike Silva; and his close friend, Tracy Hoffart. Interment will be at Hempstead Cemetery. After the graveside service, the church is graciously hosting a lunch for the family and everyone that knew Lee in the church parish hall.
A debt of gratitude is owed to Michael and April Fink for responding to our needs so quickly on Sunday morning. Your kindness is appreciated and your friendship is treasured. The family would also like to especially thank Kevin McWilliams with McWilliams Funeral Home and Tracy Hoffart at TLC. We could not have made it through this week without the love you each have for our daddy!
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Trinity Lutheran Church to further the ministry our daddy so carefully shepherded. Bye, Daddy – “I love you, baby!”