Ronald L. Hartman, 73, of Laramie, died, Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Hospice of Laramie. He was born Feb. 11, 1945, in LaPorte, Indiana, to Rudolph and Helen Tate Hartman. Ron grew up in Warsaw, Illinois, along the Mississippi River, and he and his brother David built and manned a “Tom Sawyer raft of logs” to float the Mississippi before he graduated high school. Ron and David also spent summers on the family farm near Akron, Ohio, with their cousins. Ron was fortunate to travel with his family to every state in the union before he turned 18. Ron was an active Eagle Scout and spent his summers between college leading the Boy Scouts treks at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Ron was also active with his son Jakota in Cub Scouts and Laramie Boy Scout Troop No. 137.
Ron’s first two years of college were spent at Sterling College in Kansas, then he transferred to Western Illinois University, graduating with his Bachelor of Science. He returned to Laramie to complete his MS in botany with C.L. Porter from the University of Wyoming. He earned his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Texas, Austin, and his postdoctoral fellow from Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
Ron spent 38 years as curator of Rocky Mountain Herbarium and professor of botany at the University of Wyoming, having 52 graduate students throughout his career. Botany and his colleagues were always his first love. He has been honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Native Plant Society (2010), the Certificate of Dedication of the Ronald L. Hartman Excellence in Wyoming Botany by the Wyoming Native Plant Society (2015), the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (2016) and the Wyoming Biodiversity Science Award (2017) for his lifetime of work. Ron also earned emeritus professor status upon his retirement from the University of Wyoming and continued volunteering his time in the Rocky Mountain Herbarium daily. During his years as a botanist, he authored and co-authored many plant taxonomy publications and contributed several treatments to the Flora of North America volumes, the Intermountain Flora and the Jepson manual, with two genus (Elaphandra and Hartmaniella) and two species (Hartmaniella sierra and Hartmaniella oxyphylla) named for him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, aunts, uncles and some cousins. He is survived by wife of 30 years T.J. Poll, of Laramie; son Jakota Hartman, of Laramie; brother David Hartman (Judyann), of Thornton, Colorado; nephew Michael Hartman (Linda), of Broomfield, Colorado, and their children, Aiden and Mia; and niece Jennifer Wojniak (Joe), of Longmont, Colorado, and their children, Katelyn, Grayce and Abigayl.
Ron was donated to science to further the research of pancreatic cancer and Parkinson’s disease (PD). He challenged the PD diagnosis 3½ years ago by continuing his power walking all across Laramie and fought the progression of the disease by participating in the Rock Steady Boxing program at the Eppson Center. He was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 2½ months ago, which took his life.
A private family service will be later this summer.
Memorial contributions can be made in Ronald L. Hartman’s name to the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies at www.parkinsonrockies.org.
Go to www.montgomerystryker.com to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.