Wilton Man Killed In Plane Crash Fondly Remembered By His Neighbor

Wilton resident David Hartley was killed in airplane crash this weekend. His neighbor John Pereira submitted this remembrance. The Hartley&#...



Wilton resident David Hartley was killed in airplane crash this weekend. His neighbor John Pereira submitted this remembrance.

The Hartley's moved next door several years ago. They bought the Victorian style two story that had been vacant for months. The property was a bit run down and the house needed some remodeling, but they were up to the task.

Dave, Pam and their two girls Alicia and Michelle were new to country living so it seemed like it was going to take some getting used to. A bit of "Green Acres" I suppose.

I was always looking for an excuse to use my tractor so offered to help spruce up their new place. Dave hadn't bought a tractor yet, so it was always my way of inciting envy by offering to pull out those unsightly half dead trees.

Over the years we had an unspoken competition about how we kept our yards. I have to admit, although I had the head start, I think the rookie now veteran Dave may have one upped me in the end. I met my match with Pam in terms of the verbal sarcastic sparring we'd engage in. Often times our subtle digs and jabs were only understood by people like us who spoke that language. The girls grew up over night, one in college and one in high school.

My, how time flies.

Over the years we often talked about building a gate between the two properties so we wouldn't have to walk around to each other' s front gate to visit. Some how it never happened.

Dave was one of the guys that you couldn't help but like. He was an avid pilot and treated me to a Piper Cub plane ride a few years ago. We flew at a low elevation over the Consumnes River. What a great trip. I got to retry my hands at the seemingly toy plane's control stick.

We got a phone call this morning. Dave was killed in a plane crash yesterday. The world is different today. I really wish we had built the gate...we had always talked about it.

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4 comments

Anonymous said...

I never met Dave, but partnered with Pam at another agency. I offer my condolences to Pam and to the family. I am saddened by your loss, but am here to offer you any assistance you may need. All my love.

Anonymous said...

Alysha ( his oldest) is my Best Friend. That family is one of the few families ,now a days, that you just want a family like theirs. Their dad love those girls so much. Pam, Alysha, and Michelle. He will always be with you. I love you All and here for anything.

Anonymous said...

Nearly twenty years ago, in fact, right about the time his oldest daughter was born, Dave Hartley gave me the clouds.

Dave was my primary flight instructor. I still use the skills he had passed on to me when I operate a Boeing jet for the cargo company for whom I am employed.

My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

I wish him Godspeed on his final flight west...

Vladimir

Anonymous said...

I worked with Dave for almost 16 years. Dave was a great person to have in an organization. Dave was a doers and we do what it takes to get things done.

Dave and I started about the same time at Applied Aerospace Structures Corporation in Stockton. We would butt heads sometimes but we agreed more than we disagreed. At lunch time, we would sometimes share eachother's lunch...

Dave and I pursue slightly different course in furthing our careers and the past 16 years has been quite good to us both.

I have learned to really like Dave and respect him for how he help other pilots and pilots to be. I have always toyed with the idea of learning to fly. I was only imagining what it would be like. But more time passed and I have never started...I guess I am not as much of a doer.

I attended his funeral service and through it, I learned even more about Dave through his friends and friends of the family.

This is what I have heard "he would never charge me for ..."

"He buzzed us over the gun club and as he banked around I can see his face with the biggest grin..."

"Dave's a great pilot, each time I go up with Dave, I come back a better pilot, there is always something you can improve on and he would help you get there."

My friend, we all miss you. You have touched a lot of lives.

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