Gary Hartl, of Antigo, died Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was 68 years old. He was born on August 16, 1950, in Antigo, a son of the late James and Catherine (Stieber) Hartl. He married Eileen Bradley on May 5, 1984, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Antigo.
He was a graduate of Antigo High School with the class of 1968 and went on to attend Brown Institute School of Broadcasting in Minneapolis.
He was a lifelong member of St. John the Evangelist Parish and served as a lector.
Gary started in radio broadcasting at WRLO/WATK as a DJ and then became a news director and later moved into radio sales. Most recently Gary was the morning radio host of the Parsons of Antigo WATK Breakfast Club. For the past 30 years, Gary was a car salesman for Parsons of Antigo.
Gary had many hobbies and interest including the game of chess with his son Bret, woodcarving, biking, cross country skiing, and tennis. He loved the game of football taking a special interest with his favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts. Many summer evenings and afternoons were spent on the deck listening to Brewer Baseball with family and his best friend Steve Veselak. He and his daughter Erin found great fun in checking out the local American Legion senior games at Kretz Memorial Park. For years, summer's highest priority was spent on weekend retreats with Eileen at Holy Name Retreat House on Chamber's Island up in Door County.
His biggest passion, however was music. He played percussion for several bands including Slidin' On Ice and the MLC Blues Band, St. John's Joyful Noise Life Teen Band and the Northernaires. Every night he would listen to his favorite artists including Bob Dylan, Marty Stuart and the Superlatives, and The Blasters.
Always one to advocate for the community, he lent his heart and voice to countless events including Relay for Life, the Splash-N-Dash Michelle Koss Memorial Race, St. John International Food and Fall Festival, and Antigo's annual Christmas parade.
Professional, passionate, connector of people that he was, he aimed high in everything he did and for seventeen consecutive years, he won the GM Mark of Excellence Award and was a multiple time winner of Langlade County's Top Radio Personality. In 2017, he received a "Friend's of the School District" award.
Survivors include his wife, Eileen, a son, Bret Hartl and a daughter, Erin Hartl all of Antigo; a brother, Daniel (Christine Blazynski) Hartl of Belmont, Mass; and a sister-in-law, Rosemary Hartl of Racine. Sister-in-law, Mary Bradley (Mark Welden) of Albuquerque, NM; Joan Hickey of Green Bay, WI; brother-in-law Jim (Darlene) Bradley of Callahan, FL; Dan (Brenda) Bradley of Green Bay; Mike Bradley of Green Bay; Kevin (Kris) Bradley of Antigo. Several nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, James and Ronald. Father and Mother-in-law, Jerry and Joan Bradley; Brother-in-law's, Terry, Tom & Pat Bradley.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St. John Catholic Church with Rev. Charles Hoffmann officiating.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday all at Bradley Funeral Home. A parish wake service will be held on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
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I worked with Gary at the two Antigo radio stations, WATK & WRLO from September 1977 until April of 1978. I recall Gary's professionalism during his service as News Director and Music Director while we worked together during that timeframe. Gary and I spent numerous evenings together watching football and listening to music at his home. He was a dear friend during my time in Antigo. It is with great sadness that I learned of his passing and I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family, he was fun to both hang with and work with and I note his many contributions to the Antigo community over the years. God Bless, Gary. Glenn (your old pal Glenn) Loest, Kansas City, Missouri
May God comfort and guide you during this difficult time; and may the "peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and your mental powers". Philippians 4:7.
Dear Eileen and family, We just learned about Gary's passing and we were so shocked. It seemed like it wasn't so long ago that we saw him doing his radio show. We wanted to extend our heart felt feelings for you. Gary's care of others, his big heart, and that warm smile always brightened our day. He will be greatly missed. One of our best memories of Gary is that he did the music for our wedding reception back on August 4th, 1990. Even though it was a long time ago, there are still friends and family that still comment on what a great time that was and it was due to Gary's awesome abilities to pick the music for the crowd and to make others happy. Our hearts are heavy for you. May the memories you have give you strength and help you through this time. Wishing you all our love, Dave and Julee Jones
June and I have known Gary for over 29yrs. through Parsons. A fun guy most always with a smile on his face. We did our share of talking about most subjects and could always come up with answers on how to fix things, or at least we though so. He was a good person and friend and will be missed.
Till later Jerry and June
“Tiny” and I worked together at the Baker Canning Co. when we were both youngsters...he was a lot of fun to work/goof off with. Am so sorry to hear of his death. My most heartfelt condolences...will keep him in my prayers.
Memories of gary is stacking rocks right off your back deck n balancing one on the very top. As Eileen n I are sitting there a red cardinal flew down n landed right near it. A man with many talents and an awesome guy to know.
My condolences to the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. He will be dearly missed, he was such a big part of our community.
Sending my sincere condolences and prayers to Gary's family. We all share in your loss. It was always a pleasure to share the stage and a mutual love of music with Gary. He had so many gifts and one I was grateful that he shared with me was his ability to calm pre-show jitters. May your memories bring you comfort in the difficult times and peace in knowing that he will be remembered fondly by so many.
We will always be thankful that we knew Gary through Parsons and his radio broadcasting. His personality surely showed compassion, fun and love of community and his caring for individuals. Our condolences to his family. He will be missed by so many.
Your husband, father was a man all admired I especially, he never had a bad word to say about anyone Gary will always be apart of our community and never forgotten R.I.P Gary prayers for all🙏🙏
My heart breaks for you. I worked with Gary at WATK when I was kid in high school. He was was older but always treated me with kindness. I always remember that great mustache he wore back then and how much he loved music. He had so many albums. Will miss him.
I have been blessed to be treated as a welcomed member of the Antigo/Langlade Community. The most shining example of that kindness often was at the hands of Gary Hartl. He was always one to share a story, a laugh or a thoughtful insight; he had the tremendous ability to listen intently and to add compassion to the conversation. There was never a time that when we finished a conversation that I did not feel better about myself or the cause that was being discussed. It was his gift to many in the community. Having only known Gary for 6+ years and in reading his obituary today he taught me yet another lesson in life. I should have taken the time to get to know him even better than I had. There was still some additional commonality that we had not yet discovered in our conversations. I was happy to learn about those items and remain thankful for the respect and kindness that he so willingly shared. Gary had a wonderful spirit and was certainly capable of sharing it with others.
So sorry for your loss. I was blessed to work with Gary for many years early in my broadcasting career. He brought joy and laughter, and I mean genuine laughter to us all. He was quite the prankster. So many amazing memories. He will be missed but the awesome memories will live on. Tim Unsinn
I respected Gary tremendously! He worked as a car salesmen who treated his customers with respect, which is good on its own merits. But in my mind, he was the voice of Antigo. When he had me on his show for the first time and I touched on the gospel, he reassured me during a break to not be afraid to "go there." Gary highlighted everything positive about our community, but he also wanted people to know about Jesus.
Prayers go out to all the family and friends--classmates since St John I'll cherish the memories--good-by old friend--Born
Sad sad he was a great man, our thought and prayers to the family, we will cherish his memories forever🙏
My thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family. He was a wonderful man with a big heart; a true leader and gem in our community. I am so grateful for his eagerness over the years to help get the word out regarding The Giving Tree. He will truly be missed.~Katie Clay
So sad to lose such a wonderful man in our community. He will be missed at Parsons of Antigo, church, the radio station and much more. Gary will never be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to the entire family.
It has been such a blessing having Gary as the voice of OUR community, he will be so missed.
My deepest condolences to the entire family, he was a great man ~ Bobbi Braun
So sorry for the loss of Gary...what an incredible man- he will be remembered for his kind heart & great personality- our prayers & thoughts are with you all 🙏
Ken & Kitty Fasbender
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