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Lake Geneva Chiropractic

Hartshorne service set for Monday



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In this 2011 file photo, Harry Hartshorne received the Stu Herzog Citizen of the Year award. The award was part of the annual banquet held by the chamber at the Grand Geneva. Shown are (from left) Barb Krause, Hartshorne and George Hennerley.

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November 01, 2013 | 11:17 AM
Harold "Harry" Hartshorne Jr., a longtime resident of Lake Geneva, was born in New York City on June 2, 1918. He was the son of Harold Hartshorne, New York City, and Marietta Chapin, Chicago. A man of many passions, he delighted in traveling the world, collecting fine art, playing the piano, attending the opera and enjoying the beauty of his farm above Geneva Lake.

Following in his father's footsteps, he attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1940. After graduating, he held a short-lived seat on the N.Y. Stock Exchange until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. At his father's urging, he transferred into the Air Force and earned his pilot's wings in 1943. Fluent in French, he was tapped to train French cadets to fly during the war in Alabama where he instructed them in the AT-6 trainer before they returned to the European battlefront. In recognition of his work, he was awarded honorary French Wings by President Charles DeGaulle after the war.

When World War II ended, Harry began to give thought to his next steps. "I knew I wasn't going back onto the floor of the Stock Exchange. I knew then that my heart belonged to the country, not the city." In the summer of 1944, he discussed his desire with his maternal grandfather to go into farming in Pennsylvania. Harry often told how five short words would change his life. A man of very few words, Chapin said, "What's the matter with Wisconsin?" Soon, Harry moved to Lake Geneva where his farming career took flight with the purchase of 2,000 baby chicks.

With hard physical work in the field and some coursework at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Hartshorne set out to be a Wisconsin farmer. After the chicks came eggs, followed by sheep and cattle. The field crops were corn, oats and alfalfa. It was a way of life he quickly grew to love on Flowerside Farms, on one of the northern hills above Geneva Lake.

Harry was a man of two worlds. While his life on the farm flourished, he was also devoted to the Burroughs and Chapin Company, formed in 1912 by his grandfather, Simeon B. Chapin, and the Burroughs family. The company was founded to develop Myrtle Beach real estate. Harry sat on the board of directors of the Burroughs and Chapin Company for 50 years, from 1948 to 1998, rarely missing a board meeting.

A perfect day in Harry's world would have included a swim before breakfast in the lake. He would spend most of the day traversing his rolling farmland in his World War II Army reconnaissance jeep, and perhaps mend a break in the perimeter fencing. Before dinner he would sip Lagavulin while playing Gershwin, Porter and Kern tunes on the piano, with a fire blazing in one of his beautiful fireplaces. If the spirit moved him he was known to catch a last-minute flight to New York to attend a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House.

A philanthropist at heart, Harry was a benefactor of many associations, including Lake Geneva's YMCA and Horticultural Hall, both funded by his grandfather. The Chicago Lyric Opera, Music by the Lake, the Lake Geneva Library, the Holy Communion Episcopal Church, George Williams College and Princeton University received yearly donations from Harry. Numerous charitable foundations in Myrtle Beach, S.C., such as the Myrtle Beach Museum of Fine Arts and the Chapin Foundation, were also generously supported by Harry. In addition, he dedicated his time to many of the organizations by sitting on their boards of directors.

A true gentleman who enjoyed people and life to their fullest, Harry saw and embraced the world and all its changes for more than nine decades.

He passed away at 95 on Oct. 28, 2013, and was laid to rest alongside his maternal grandparents, Simeon Brooks Chapin and Elizabeth Mattocks Chapin, in the Chapin family mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lake Geneva. May he rest in peace.

Services were at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 4, at the Holy Communion Episcopal Church, Lake Geneva, with the Rev. James Kaestner officiating. Burial at Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation Monday, Nov. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Horticultural Hall, Lake Geneva. The family requested memorials be made to Children's Hospital Wisconsin Foundation-Oncology, P.O. Box 1997 MS3050, Milwaukee, WI, 53210-1997. The Steinke Funeral Home, Lake Geneva, assisted the family with arrangements.

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