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Retirement Surprise: Family, colleagues celebrate Al Hartman’s 42 years at Elkhart General

Al Hartman stands behind his mother, sisters and brother at his retirement party.

The most memorable moment of Al Hartman’s 42-plus years at Elkhart General Hospital?

“Right now,” he said during his retirement party when coworkers surprised him with some very special visitors as well as local media outlets to mark the occasion.

Hartman’s mom, sisters and brother made the trip from Pittsburgh to join the festivities for their son and brother.

This added an unexpected and emotional touch to his farewell after four decades at Elkhart General.

Four decades of facility maintenance as a technician who watched Elkhart General grow in size and with technology. Hartman said he started shortly after time spent in the U.S. Navy, before computerization, when “technology” was pen and paper.

He plans to travel and visit friends in his retirement. Cross things off his bucket list.

Al Hartman and supervisor Tom DeMeester.

“What I’m going to miss is not his HVAC skills, and not the mechanical skills, it’s the person I’m going miss,” said Tom DeMeester, Elkhart General facilities manager and Hartman’s supervisor. “I’ll find another technician, but I’ll never find another person like this man here.”

“He’s always been our lifeline, our phone-a-friend. That phone rings, he always picks it up and is willing to come in or walk us through something no matter where he’s at, or what he’s doing. Al’s truly a one-of-a-kind individual and he will be sorely missed.”

For media coverage from the retirement party, click on the WNDU story here and read the story in the Elkhart Truth at this link.


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About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.