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Jay Hantelmann (1947-2022)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 9/13/2022 at 10:38:56


Jay Hantelman, 75, Dubuque, Iowa, passed onto eternal life Sept. 8, 2022. Now there’s no more pain and sorrow, as he defied many odds. We said goodbye with tears of sorrow as the angels took him away.

The wake for family and friends will be at the Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Dubuque, on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Masks are required. Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Masses accepted and said for the repose of Jay’s soul. American Legion Post #6 will afford military honors ceremony, with flag, taps, and rifles.

He lived his entire life in Dubuque, except for his Navy (Vietnam) years. Son of Fred and Mary. He’d never abandon (he raised solo) his precious three children: Carisa (Dean), Sara (Dave), Heather (Phil); and grandchildren: Trevor, Cassidy, Charlie, and the happiest, smiliest child Charlene ever saw- baby (Jay’s godson) Sammy. He married Charlene in the Catholic Church in 2001 (over 20 ¾ years ago). Early on, their anniversary was three day trips, it’s what you make of it- Charlene just desired love, trust, and respect; she desired their 25th anniversary, Jay prayed for 10 more years. He told her “she was the best thing that happened to him, and she worked harder than the rest put together, people don’t work like that.” She replied, “They do where I come from.” He told her, “I married right this time, I don’t know of anyone who’d do for me what you do. “ “All that she did for him, he hoped when her time comes that she’d have someone to take care of her that way.” He told one doctor he wanted her there “because she was the brains of all the medical.” He said he “hated to leave her behind.” Charlene asked God why this was His plan, but she refuses to lose her faith because of God’s devastating plans and what Jay had to endure. Heartbreaking! He loved God to the end. He felt going to Catholic school, getting to Heaven, kindness, and being HEALTHY, without despairing earthly struggles is a plan!!! He forgot the “Our Father” (remembered the “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be”) through all of this and asked Charlene to help him each day with it (only took two times), this last week, all were by him saying it: kids, brothers, cousins, etc. So many “true friends” praying for him, with support, encouragement, and love.

Charlene phoned the kids every day, some days 4+ times, and it became too much, they then called and stated, “ it’s been a week!” Charlene and Jay were relieved the last week when the kids took the night shift so Charlene could have relief, as Charlene and Jay did not want him to be alone. THANKS SO VERY MUCH KIDS!!!! Charlene felt she had trustworthy help. I’m sorry for all the anguish each night. I wish life came with a big eraser. Nice we had each other. Life’s journey no one knows, we thank Jay for all the memories. We don’t know how much time we have- use it wisely- it’s “so” fragile. Jay was a wealth of knowledge, mentor to many, extensive leader. He will live on in our hearts. Sara gave Charlene a card, “Thank you for making my father happy.” Before dating Charlene, Jay wanted someone to move into his house (and make it a home) so he wouldn’t have to move, and one that goes to Catholic Church – he said, “Charlene won’t miss Mass.” (Jay missed Mass this last bout, two Sundays in hospital, and two other times). Charlene said, “I’m in my 50’s and if I don’t know right from wrong and have morals and values by then, I never will.” The Holy Spirit appeared to him saying, “Everything will be alright” and he met Charlene at Resurrection that night. He started then wearing the blessed cross that he gave to their oldest grandson Sept. 4th . Jay asked Charlene to bring back, from Spain, the chain as what he desired as a souvenir from her trip.

In Jay’s early life he was a Cub Scout, delivered the Des Moines Register, and TH, Civil Air Patrol Team, marching band with bass drums, clarinet, saxophone; camping, hunted with his dad, brothers, David and past years with Steve, and friends; worked at Schwartz Garage in Galena and Elizabeth in high school, Midwest Wheel & Rim, ’66-’68. He attended Catholic School kindergarten- college, receiving his Associate’s Degree with the Tri-College program (Loras, Clarke, and University of Dubuque- finished after Vietnam with the GI Bill), attending University of Dubuque’s flight program (he had to quit because of family obligations). He was honored as a Veteran with UD’s Veteran’s Center 9/16/17. He kept his pilot’s license to the end. He played bass guitar in a band till Vietnam. He served his country 4 years, honorably for all of us, with duty and respect: Memphis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Alameda, Hunter’s Point, San Diego- shipping out to Vietnam on his birthday! He was a “Planes Captain” of the Ships Sky (aircraft), he fixed and refueled the planes, flew mail (very important to Vets) from the Midway (2 ½ years on it) to his land base in Da Nang, flew with some night missions in South Vietnam and Thailand, flew PAC pilots, spare parts, replacement personnel, and one stretcher patient, was a VIP transport, was in Color Guard for Chief of …. Jay was “Plank Owner” of the Midway. He and Charlene are lifetime charter members of Squadrons & Shipmates Inc. and a St. Lo member (Jay’s dad was on a previous Midway receiving a Purple Heart). They attended reunions in San Diego twice, they loved California. Charlene said, “There’s more to see than highway, trucks and Redwoods.” They traveled to D.C., Seattle, also with a cruise, Dayton, OH, Pensacola, Great Lakes, New York, Virginia Beach, … A nun, Doug H., and Jay founded a support group at which Jay facilitated and in later years Charlene did also.

Jay worked 30 years at Deere, 12 at Tandem Tire, he enjoyed motorcycles, Corvette Club, boated on the Mississippi, and St. Croix with Charlene and the kids, and grandson. After he raised the kids, he worked hard to pursue his passion to rebuild his high school ’39 Chevy, Catholic Church of the Resurrection parishioner since ’75 – active with the Parish Festival, Capital Campaign of Resurrection’s 2.9 Million renovation, now donating extremely generously to Catholic education for the new school, city water board, helped his mom for 10 years after his dad died- Charlene helped almost every day the last 8 months; after his mom’s death, he and Charlene with the Home took care of his sister Carol 17 years till she passed on, he and Charlene helped his aunt almost every day for 7 months- no wonder he was TIRED!!! Jay and Charlene treasured get togethers with the children, grandchildren, and wonderful aunt Ruth, loving uncle Roger, etc. Jay gave more than he received. He bravely fought the fight, lost the race, but kept the faith. “FOREVER WAS NOT LONG ENOUGH!!!”


Dubuque Obituaries maintained by Brenda White.
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