Thomas J. Hartke, 73, of Higganum, husband of the late Janet (Feuser) Hartke, died suddenly Saturday, September 19, 2020, at Middlesex Hospital. Thomas was born in Middletown, son of the late Frederick M. Hartke Sr. and Ann (Nosal) Hartke. Prior to his retirement, Tom worked as a union carpenter and was later employed as a Radioactive Waste Technician with Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Tom was a Vietnam War Veteran of the United States Army with Charlie Battery, 1st Batallian 40th Artillery, and a recipient of the Purple Heart. He was also a lifetime member and former Assistant Chief of the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department and an active member of the Haddam Veteran’s Museum, the VFW, and the Haddam Club 60.
Tom always enjoyed spending time with his family, swimming, collecting odds and ends, playing cards, and vacationing in York Beach, Maine. He also enjoyed shad fishing, hunting, photography, playing golf, doing puzzles, and was a prominent UCONN Women’s Basketball fan. Tom frequently was known in town for being kind and generous with a contagious laugh and smile. He would often be found at a local establishment having breakfast and a cup of coffee discussing the latest current events. His love, care, kindness, and humor will forever be missed.
Thomas is survived by his daughter, Pamela Hartke-Ringleben of Kingston, NH, his son, Jason Hartke of Salem, his grandchild, Samuel Ringleben of Kingston, NH, his brother, Frederick Hartke of Higganum, and many nephews and cousins.
A Funeral Liturgy will be held Thursday September 24th at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Peter Church, Higganum. Burial with Military Honors will be held at the State Veterans’ Cemetery in Middletown, CT. Friends may call at Biega’s Funeral Home at 3 Silver Street Middletown on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. Those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the Haddam Veteran’s Museum, 671 Little City Rd, Higganum, CT 06441. To share memories or express condolences online, please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com.