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Lee Edward  Hartman, Jr.
  • In lieu of flowers the family asks that well-wishers give their father a call to check in.

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“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lee late last month, and my thoughts and prayers have been with his family since.I met him just once...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Gil - Brooklyn, NY

“Lee was a good man and a great friend. He was wise, insightful, funny, kind and generous. He had a big heart and a brilliant mind, which were in...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: David Horwitz - Austin, TX

“I was shocked and very sad to learn of Lee's death. He was a very good friend since about 1962. He was always a buddy; kind, smart, and...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: ken jacobs - san rafael, CA

“Lee was a shinning light to all whom he touched. I remember the weekend his uncle Dr. Sam took a group of us from Beaumont to see a play that Sara...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Tony Pecora McAdoo - FL

“I had the pleasure of working with both Lee and Sara at the TEXAS EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION. I always counted Lee as one of the very best Department...Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Bill Grossenbacher - Austin, TX

“While I was the Assistant Regional Director , Houston Region TEC/TWC I had several occasions to work directly with Mr. Hartman. He was affine man and...Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: Randolph W. Walker - San Antonio, TX

“I have known Lee since 1962. Lee and I have sprawled on the floor of the Tau Delta Phi house, heads together, far drunker than we ought to have been...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Marty Morris - McAllen, TX

“Lee was such a cool dude. A really genuine person and so nice. I met him in 2005 while traveling in Israel and we spent time talking and enjoying...Read More »
8 of 11 | Posted by: Kevin Tarr - Los Angeles, CA

“I worked for Lee in the early 90's at the old Texas Employment Commission. We became good friends over a shared interest in obscure history books. ...Read More »
9 of 11 | Posted by: Karen Cox - Austin, TX - Friend

“May the peace God gives sustain your family during this difficult time.Lean on one another as the days ahead become to hard to bear alone.Share your...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: D.Sigler - Mobile, AL - Friend

“So sad to learn of the passing of Lee. I got to know Lee while keeping his old Caddy on the road. He was a customer of mine at Balcones Exxon. Lee...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Brian Ebnet - austin, TX - Friend


Lee Edward Hartman, Jr.
August 15th, 1943 - August 28th, 2014

Lee Edward Hartman, Jr. passed away on Thursday morning after suffering a stroke at his home in Austin. Lee was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, on August 15, 1943 to Dr. Lee Edward Hartman and Nona Cook Hartman, a schoolteacher. Just three years, old he moved with his parents and big sister Sara to East Texas, where his father worked as a physician and surgeon in a number of small towns including Newton and Vidor, before settling in Beaumont, where they lived for several years and were proud members of the city's historic Jewish community.

Lee attended high school in Houston after the family movced there when Dr. Hartman left general medicine to practice psychiatry. Lee made his way to Austin in 1961, enrolling in the University of Texas and pledging Tau Delta Phi fraternity. Austin would remain his home for the rest of his life.

As a young man in his 20s, Lee served in the United States Marine Corps (though as he put it he "was never within a hundred miles of a shot fired in anger"), became president of his fraternity, was a counselor at Echo Hill Ranch summer camp in Medina, Texas, and graduated from law school at the University of Texas. After graduation, he went to work for the state, first at the welfare department and later as the head of appeals for the Texas Employment Commission, where he retired in the late 90s. He was for decades a member of Congregation Agudas Achim.

Lee was a voracious reader, mainly of history books, and was a self-taught scholar of great knowledge and intellect. He was also a die-hard fan of the Longhorns and deeply loved the Tigers of LSU, his father and uncle's alma matter. He also had a much more painful love for the Houston Astros and earlier, the late Houston Oilers.

Lee was known most though for being an almost unnaturally kind-hearted and good-natured man. He made friends with people he met in even the most casual circumstances, mainly because of his sharp wit and infectious sense of humor. And though he was not a physician like his father, he took great care of loved ones who fell ill and were in need, and he cherished the caretaker role.

He was remarkably close to his sons Avram and Benjamin, who miss him greatly. He is survived by his sisters Sara Hartman and Marie Geisler, his nieces Sara Geisler and Gabrielle Chuchro, his nephew Rafael Geisler, his daughter-in-laws Ricky Ben-David and Kristin Moseley, and his granddaughter Lielle. He also leaves behind his dog, Bama, whom he loved. The family will be sitting shiva at the home of Joanne Senyk, his ex-wife and the mother of his children and their sister Tiffani. In lieu of flowers the family asks that well-wishers give their father a call to check in.

May his memory be a blessing.