LINWOOD — In any other year, Betty Hartman would have celebrated her birthday with her family with cake and presents. But then of course, 2020 was not just another year. It was Betty Hartman’s 95th year and her family was determined to make sure pandemic, social distancing and masks were not going to stand in the way of celebrating a terrific lady on a big milestone of a birthday.
Betty’s sons Gary and Bob Hartman put the plans in motion to make a memorable day and celebration and they had to sit down and decide who they should contact to help their mom celebrate. So, the best place to start was to consider all the things Betty Hartman was involved with and those whom she might have connected with over the years.
Listing Betty Hartman’s touch points in Linwood is like a walk through the community’s history. She was the secretary at Seaview Elementary School for 34 years, retiring in 1994. In 1989 she was honored as the Linwood Citizen of the Year. She was very supportive of her late husband Bob Hartman when he brought the Little League charter to Linwood in 1956 and she organized the Linwood Little League Auxiliary. Betty was president of the Linwood Ladies League, worked on the Linwood Hi Neighbor Hop, taught Sunday School, was the secretary for the Linwood Credit Union, treasurer for the Linwood Centennial Committee and was active in the PTA for years. Somehow Betty found time to be a volunteer at Shore Medical Center, work at the polls on Election Day for many years and still volunteer with the Heart Fund and the March of Dimes.
Now that Hartman is retired, she is still quite busy. Her son Bob reports that his mother is busy every day on her iPad or her phone making calls and sending emails to stay in touch with her friends and relatives. She enjoys afternoons on her front porch, where she will sit and read and polish off several novels each week. Always up for going out for dinner with her friends and neighbors, Hartman is also quite fond of chocolate and word games and is still quite a competitive card player.
The parade of well-wishers on Sunday, Dec. 20, started with the Linwood Police and Fire departments who came down the street with sirens and lights blaring, much to the delight of the birthday girl. After city vehicles passed, there was a long line of friends, former co-workers, students, neighbors and those who wanted to wish her well.
There were so many waves and shouts and even a few tears as Betty Hartman was so touched by the outpouring of love that came from the cavalcade of cars, trucks, SUVs and neighbors up and down the street who hung birthday wishes outside their homes for their good friend.
One of the neighbors shouted from her car window, “Betty — go for 100!” Her son Bob Hartman said, “That’s the plan.”