We note the passing of Harry W Bartlett of Woodbury and Wallingford on May 6, 2020 at a very full age of 104 years. Harry was a man of many adventures, accomplishments, had many friends, and provided much service to his community and nation.
Harry was born in Springfield, MA in 1915 and moved with his family to Waterbury in the 1930’s. He, his neighborhood pals and his brother Russ had many boyhood adventures which he recounted to us kids and challenged us to do likewise. He built a zipline over a pond, a communications system from house to house, and even his own travel trailer and sailboats! From a very early age, Harry was intrigued with flying and aircrafts. He and his friends designed, built and flew a small glider which was launched by towing behind a car. He was piloting it on its last flight when it crashed.
While he was a young Scoutmaster, he asked one of his scouts if he had a good-looking sister. That’s how he met Dot Cooper, his “Moonbeam”, the mother of his children, and his lifetime partner.
At the beginning of WW II, Harry answered the call by enlisting in the Air Corps, where he rose to the rank of Master Sergeant as a crew chief stationed in SE England. His aircraft included B-17’s, B-24’s and A-26’s. During training and before going overseas, he and Dot were married in Waterbury.
After the war, Harry and Dot started a family, he succeeded his father in owning Waterbury Photoengraving Company, and they built a home in Woodbury where they lived until they moved to Masonicare in Wallingford in 2008.
Dad taught us to ski, camp, swim, explore, boat, and to not be afraid of trying something new. He was Cubmaster of Pack 54 in Woodbury and as a Waterbury Rotarian with 60 years of perfect attendance, he was active with the Rotary in sponsoring projects at Camp Mattatuck. He also published the Rotary monthly newsletter.
Swimming was always Harry’s passion. He swam on the Moses Brown Prep swim team in high school, was the waterfront director for scout camp in his late teens, and later in life he joined the Master’s Swim Program, where he competed in meets all over the country. Harry held many CT, US, and world records in the Master’s in freestyle, breaststroke, and relay events. Some records still stand! Harry swam competitively into his 90’s! His display of ribbons and medals is like a huge rainbow!
Harry became a Freemason in 1966 and served as Master of the Watertown Federal Lodge 17. Harry and Dot also were longtime members of Woodbury First Congregational Church. They served the congregation in many ways, especially building maintenance.
Because Harry was so active and adventurous, he always had an unlimited amount of stories to tell. He compiled many of them in a book he wrote and presented it to all of his progeny. We will always cherish those stories as we remember him. A full life!
His legacy to us is not to be timid. Live life to its fullest. Try new things. Go places! We have all been touched by his encouragement and humor and have tried to rise to his challenge. We each have our own experiences and stories now that have been inspired by his--Thanks Dad, Grandpa, and Great Grandpa! We miss you!
Harry is survived by his three sons, Bruce (Gail) Bartlett, Richard (Janna) Bartlett, and Robert (Heidi) Bartlett, and his daughter Cynthia (Paul) Book. He has 8 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Harry will be buried alongside his beloved Moonbeam, as well as his mother and father in Woodbury Cemetery. The family is planning a memorial service as soon as social distancing requirements have been lifted.
Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. To leave an online condolence please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.
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