Robert Edward Hartley “Bobby”
March 26, 1957 – July 25, 2022
Everyone likes to think that in the end, their life will have mattered. Bobby Hartley didn’t ever consider things like that, however, his contribution to northeast Oklahoma and to its future generations, is immeasurable.
Robert Edward Hartley, “Bobby,” to friends and family, was one of the driving forces that caused his mother, and friends Laura Cupp Neely and Ruth Smith, to envision and create a facility to care for special needs children after their parents were gone.
He was the third son of the late Jane and Robert I. Hartley. The day he was born, they were told Bobby would need care throughout his lifetime. It was the cusp of the ‘60s, when organizations serving the mentally disabled past age 18-years didn’t exist. Jane and her friends founded Home of Hope to fill that void. Since that time, Home of Hope has grown to provide multi-faceted services and support to thousands of intellectually challenged individuals and their families.
While his legacy grew, Bobby touched lives in his own, personal way, happy and unaware that he was unlike everyone else. He was always ready with a hug and was a tireless worker. He took great pride in his office responsibilities at Home of Hope, as well as his father’s company and later for his brother Clay’s, Phoenix Coal Sales. At the family’s Spur Ranch, he was a regular at cattle sales, running tickets from ringside to the office.
Bobby also knew how to play hard. Through the years, he competed in numerous competitions at the Special Olympics. A display at home showcases his many ribbons and medals, among them, a gold for skiing in Crested Butte, Colorado, also a favorite vacation spot. He could tear up a dance floor, and out-fish, out-bowl, out- craft, and out-last anyone else on a roller coaster. He could always be spotted at the local rodeo, enjoyed deer hunting with the guys, and was a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Bobby was a master of word search puzzles, when he wasn’t emersed in a good romance novel. He could pack his bags in record time when invited to fly to a new destination, and he never turned down a plate of fried chicken, spaghetti, or pancakes.
He was a member of Pilgrim Presbyterian Church, where he was a church greeter for many years. His mischievous grin, contagious laugh, and grace prayers at family gatherings are legendary.
Bobby Hartley was a gift. He stood for kindness and left his mark. It’s very likely that he would want to say at this time, “Thanks to all the people.”
He leaves his brothers, Jot Hartley (Renee), Clay Hartley (Paula), his niece, Lindsay Hartley Tahaney (Adam), nephews, Travis Hartley (Shana), Jimmy Hartley, Judson Crowe and Alex Crowe (Carly), two grandnieces, Emma and Abby Hartley and a grandnephew, James Hartley.
He is also survived by his beloved staff and loving caregivers; Robbie Henry for 24 years, Mary Rains, 14-years, Sarina Perkins, 4-years, John Rains and Andrea Davis, 3- years.
Services will be held at Pilgrim Presbyterian Church at 2:00 pm on Friday, July 29, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Key of Hope, c/o Home of Hope, Vinita, Oklahoma.