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Jack Hartjes


Jack and family visit Glacier National Park often.Was born March 5, 1946, in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.


Son of:  David Isidore Hartjes, of Dutch ancestry, from Little Chute, Wisconsin, Catholic, an electrician and appliance store owner, banker, builder, developer, boater, crooner, daring and just




Rose Marie Heitl, of German ancestry, from Menasha, Wisconsin, Catholic, "A" student, bookkeeper, homemaker and mangel operator, banker, pianist, peppernut maker -- a caring and strong woman.


The fifth of seven children: Marilyn, Donna, David, Kathryn (Ann), Jack, Joan, and Janet. Spent many solitary hours reading -- I loved science -- listening to records, 78's and 45's, looking for pretty rocks and "lucky stones" by Lake Winnebago. Also enjoyed swimming and water skiing, neighborhood baseball, card games, and singing. Attended Holy Cross School, grades 1 - 8.

Studied at Sacred Heart Seminary for 6 years beginning in 1960 -- four years of high school and 2 of college. Favorite subjects were science and math.  Found (and still find) the changes in the Catholic Church with the Second Vatican Council really exciting.  Loved handball, and ping pong. Sang in choirs and loved Gregorian chant, played trumpet and was guitar player for "The Pete Sakers" when hootenannies were the thing. Learned more in Spanish club than the in required Latin, Greek, and French classes, and did mission work summers among Spanish-speaking migrant workers in the cherry orchards of Door County. Continued studying for the priesthood for three more years at Catholic University and got master's degree in philosophy. Left divinity studies but continued in the School of Philosophy. Received doctor's degree in philosophy in 1974.


Met Marleen Tauer in fall of 1973 in Minneapolis. Of Bohemian and German ancestry, from a dairy farm near MorganMinnesota, medical technologist, collector and furniture refinisher, home decorator, trumpet player, great cook of ethnic foods, observer of people and embellisher of stories, lover of small animals --  life is not boring around her. Married August 3, 1974.

Spent first year of married life  in WashingtonD.C., suburb, paying off debts and saving money.  Left the crowded city and for 9 months roamed the country, everything we needed stuffed into a 1964 Rambler station wagon. Enjoyed Maine and the Southwest, and ran out of money in Great FallsMontana, June 1976. Settled into occupations as medical technologist and religious educator, bought our first house - a fixer.

Our first child, Marit, born July 6, 1979. Parenting is: being firm and non-violent, watching, enjoying, growing, singing, lots of reading, no TV, respecting and caring for self, spouse, and child.

Moved to St. Cloud in June, 1980, to be closer to family. Began elementary education studies at St. Cloud State University while Marleen worked at St. Cloud Hospital. Second child, Dominic, born July 19, 1982.  A year later moved into the house we lived in most of our married life – the second fixer, in a great neighborhood -- in June 1983.

Fall of 1982 started teaching fifth grade at St. Joseph Catholic School in PierzMinnesota. After 7 years switched to  position at St. John's SchoolFoleyMinnesota, teaching fifth grade, then physical education and running the computer lab.

Youngest child, Madeline, born December 12, 1986. With Marleen and the children and at Marit's inspiration, started providing foster care in summer 1995 and continued for 12 years. Found room in the home for exchange students from Okinawa studying at local high schools, and Natalia Zarate, from Colombia, studying at St. Cloud Technical College.

Wrote Read the Way You Talk: A Guide for Lectors, published by Liturgical Press in 2004.

Retired from teaching in 2008. Moved to Springfield in southern Minnesota, 14 miles from Marleen's parents, Mel and Lorraine Tauer, in Morgan. Spent summers from 2008 to the present in Babb, Montana, tucked up next to Glacier National Park. Stayed in a cabin (another fixer) on a resort complex owned by sister-in-law Deb and Mike Thronson. In addition to working parttime for the Thronsons -- laundry, maintenance, etc. -- we pursued Marleen's dream of having an antique shop, which we made space for in a little used building on Thronson land. We love the mountains and the Blackfeet community around Babb. Our store is popular with the locals, summer workers in and around Glacier, and tourists.  We enjoy lots of visitors out there, including our chldren and grandchildren.

Since the death of both parents in 1996, the sibblings and I make time to get together at least once a year -- treasure these opportunities and the fond memories of Mom and Dad and brother David, the only one of us not still on this earth. Also appreciate time spent with Marleen's dad, Mel, until his death in 2011 and with Marleen's mom, Lorraine.

Spend not enough time but as much time as possible visiting:

  • Marit and Carlos Ortega and Stella, Lara, and Rafael (Rafa) at our former house in St. Cloud;
  • Dominic and Lindsey and Ada and Bren,  in Minneapolis;
  • Madeline and Ech Vedder and Micah and expected 7th grandchild in Madison, Wisconsin;
  • Our cabin on our two-acre wood in northern Minnesota.

Enjoyed, tolerated, or struggled with a menagerie of dogs, cats, rats, chickens, fish, rabbits, and a praying mantis.  I read to relax and to understand things, especially the Catholic faith that I still own and teach to students preparing for Confirmation.  I enjoy and struggle with writing, mostly as an amateur theologian but also as an observer of society. I have acted in community musicals and sung in church. I like stars and the planet I live on, traveling, getting away from civilization, and sheephead (if only I could find somebody to play it with me). I enjoy movies and get along quite well without TV.