Dave Hartzell photo.jpg

Alyce Castellese

Alyce Castellese and Esther Hartzell have established the Dave Hartzell Culinary Scholarship at Monroe County Community College.

The scholarship was created in memory of Hartzell, who was the father of Castellese and the husband of Esther Hartzell. Dave was born March 21, 1928, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas L. and Esther A. (Goodger) Hartzell. He attended Kenosha schools.

“Dave’s dream was realized by taking the MCCC culinary program and starting a new career at the age of 60,” said Esther Hartzell. “Maybe this scholarship will make someone else’s dream come true and keep Dave Hartzell’s memory alive.”

Hartzell’s father was a teacher and counselor and grew up in a home where higher education was considered important. He shared those values with his daughters, who both went on to receive their degrees. Dave enjoyed running into former students and loved hearing about their career paths. He found joy in hearing that many of his former students became doctors, lawyers, judges, pilots and teachers.

Hartzell received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He also continued his studies at the University of Toledo and Michigan State University. After taking an early retirement from Monroe Public Schools, Dave received an associate of commerce degree in culinary skills and management from MCCC.

He first taught drafting for Tubman Jr. High School Augusta, Georgia, where he met the love of his life, Esther L. Cordle. They were married August 16, 1952, in Waukegan, Illinois. They moved to Baldwin, Michigan, for a better paying teaching position. He taught Industrial Arts and coached at Baldwin High School. Coming to Monroe in 1956, he taught Industrial Arts at Lincoln Junior High School and coached. In 1964, he moved to Monroe High School to be Director of Attendance and Discipline, and also taught Driver Education. He later became a counselor at MHS and an Adult Education counselor. He retired in 1986 from Monroe Public Schools. He also served as a U.S. Navy liaison in World War II.

For years, Hartzell talked about wanting to get into cooking as a career. He took an early retirement to enter the Culinary Skills and Management program at Monroe County Community College and graduated in 1988. He was certified in Ohio to teach Applied Food Sanitation and taught culinary part-time at University of Toledo and then at Owens Tech/Community College in the Hospitality Program until he was over 70 years old.

He was a “people-person.” He enjoyed talking to his many friends in the area, and helping people over the years. He was pleased whenever a former student recognized him and stopped to talk. He could strike up a conversation with any stranger and find something in common. He also enjoyed cooking. He especially liked watching his grandchildren grow up and mature.

Dave was a member of Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, Michigan Education Association and Flagon & Trencher. He was a long time member of Christ Lutheran Church.

He was involved in the community, participating in the Traffic and Safety Committee, Escoffier Club and the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel. A lifelong learner, Hartzell always said “it’s never too late to learn.”

Out of the union of Esther and Dave, were daughters Alyce (Paul) Castellese, and Julia (Tim) Van Aken, and grandchildren: Mrs. Melanie Castellese (Brian Dorgiewicz), Bradley Castellese, and Kristine Castellese.

He passed away in Monday, June 6, 2011, at the age of 83.


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