MCPO ARMON HARTLIEB U.S. Coast Guard
, Retired Armon D. "Cactus" Hartlieb passed peacefully Sept. 26, 2013. Master Chief Petty Officer Hartlieb was born Nov. 11, 1922, in Elmore, Ohio. He was one of 15 children born to Bessie Calgrove and Benno Hartlieb. Chief Hartlieb grew to be a strong, handsome young man in Depression-era America. The family traveled extensively in the early years in his inventive father's first-of-its-kind motor home. They ultimately settled in North Carolina, where he learned hard works, hunting, fishing and simple country living. He joined the U.S. Conservative Corps, later "mustered" out into the U.S. Coast Guard (his truly great career love). His first station, New York. His first assignment, the frightening task of answering a telephone, which he had never experienced. He moved west, leaving the U.S. Coast Guard briefly to become a master cowboy. He rode for many ranches in the southwest, and many tales to tell. Re-upping in the U.S. Coast Guard and relocating to San Pedro, Calif., he met the great love of his life, Violet Loretta Kennedy (her family, originally Texans, later homesteading out of Williams, Ariz., where Violet was born). Changing careers again, Cactus, Violet and their two eldest sons moved back to Williams, where he worked "Skinning Cat" (Arizona construction). A dislike of "breathing" red dust and a love for the U.S. Coast Guard brought them back to San Pedro, where a future decorated and colorful career in the U.S. Coast Guard was pursued. He served in both theaters in World War II
and, subsequently, also the Korean War
. He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard many years "4-0 across the board" in 1968. He obtained his master skipper's license and piloted sea-going Tugs for Todds shipyard, retiring honorably again. After raising five children and several travels camping across the United States, he moved to Mesquite, returning to the desert, mountains and country he so deeply identified with. What can be said in summary of a man as "Cactus?" He loved his country, God and children and their children. A true patriot, Red, White, and Blue, he never left the helm, steering a straight course honest, brave and self-reliant. He was a loving son, brother, father and husband. He was a master cowboy, sailor, waterman, chief botswains mate, skipper, singer, musician, songwriter, poet, storyteller "extraordinaire," woodsman, inventor, dancer, man of great faith and a ladies man. He never broke, despite many severe hardships and heartaches. He maintained a tender romantic heart despite life's trials. He saw this country at its best. He was the best this country has produced. He was part of this land, he often said. He also said there really wasn't much difference between the ocean and the desert. He learned and held wisdom of woods and sea. He knew our God on a personal level. He is survived by six children, Jimmy, Albert "Buddy," Donald, Robert, Tami and Donna Marie; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. His kind will not be seen again, and he will be greatly missed. Our clan knows he was met by his angel and our precious mother, Violet, and raised to Heaven in glory. He would want to especially thank friends and family that showed love for a truly loving man. Cactus and our family thank all physicians and medical staff in Las Vegas and Mesquite, who provided exceptional care and heartfelt friendship throughout the years. He loved all his doctors and held them in the highest respect. He had special affections for his friends and physicians, Dr. Sheldon Freedman and Dr. Ken Landow. No services will be scheduled.