John K. “Jack” Hartman


John K. “Jack” Hartman of rural Powell, Ohio, died Thursday, March 9, 2023 at age 77.

An emeritus professor of journalism and member of the Journalism Hall of Fame at Central Michigan University and a distinguished alumnus of the Ashland, Ohio, City Schools, Hartman was known for his 20 years of service on the Bowling Green, Ohio, Board of Education, his two books about the national newspaper USA TODAY and his visiting professorship at King Saud University.

John Kenneth Hartman was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Ashland. He graduated from Ashland High School (1963) and earned three degrees from Bowling Green State University: a bachelor’s of business administration in journalism (1967), a master’s in radio-TV-film (1977) and a doctor of philosophy in interpersonal and public communication (1986).

His career highlights included: sports editor, Ashland Times-Gazette, 1968-1971; public information officer, Ohio Department of Transportation, 1971-1974; instructor of journalism, Bowling Green State University, 1977-1979; copy editor, Toledo Blade, 1980-1984; professor of journalism, Central Michigan University, 1984-2015; and columnist, Columbus Free Press, 2015-2023.

Hartman is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kay Lynn Franks Hartman, his childhood sweetheart. They were married on June 11, 1967, at First United Methodist Church in Ashland. He is also survived by three daughters Kimberly Hartman Brueck (Jeremy) of Green, Ohio, Alicia Hartman Wolshire (Jayson) of Dublin, Ohio, and Jacqueline Hartman Ashley (John) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; by seven grandchildren: Isaac Edward Kinaitis, Ian Matthew Kinaitis, Adam Jayson Wolshire, Ella Hartman Wolshire, Aiden Timothy Brueck, Samantha Harper Ashley, and Paige Sophia Ashley, and by two sisters Ruth Arlene Hartman Morr (William) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Nora Kathryn Hartman Kelting (Michael) of Newton, Kansas, and by his cousin Patricia Morris of Lake Tahoe, California. He was preceded in death by his parents Harvey Hamill Hartman and Kathryn Jane Timmons Hartman.

The family will receive visitors Friday, March 31, 2023, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Rutherford Funeral Home at Powell, 450 W. Olentangy St., Powell, Ohio, 43065. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice or those listed in the online obituary at!/Obituary.

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