Ori­oles’ big­gest fan sees 100th birth­day

Record Observer - - Community - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CH­ESTER — Henry T. Hart­less, an Ori­oles fan since the Ori­oles knew what play­ing ball was about, cel­e­brated his 100th birth­day Oct. 21 at Ar­ca­dia As­sisted Liv­ing. Born Oct. 20, 1917, Hart­less is a life­long fan of the Bal­ti­more team and cel­e­brated in style with friends and fam­ily, even re­ceiv­ing the des­ig­na­tion of “Most Valu­able Fan” from the team.

A for­mer res­i­dent of Gra­sonville, Hart­less is well­known in the community, not only for his ded­i­ca­tion to the Ori­oles, but also for his ser­vice to his church and fam­ily.

“You are truly an in­spi­ra­tion to us all by your ex­am­ple of love for God, fam­ily, and coun­try,” said daugh­ter Joyce Henne. “You ex­ude kind­ness, com­pas­sion, and gen­tle­ness .... Thank you for show­ing us the way.”

For the last three years, Hart­less has been a mem­ber of the Ar­ca­dia As­sisted Liv­ing community in Ch­ester. Donna Em­ble­ton, the pa­tient ad­vo­cate at Ar­ca­dia, said Hart­less loves singing in their weekly groups and is par­tic­u­larly fond of the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

“He re­ally belts it out on Sun­day morn­ing,” she said.

Hart­less’ fam­ily trav­eled from parts of Mary­land, Vir­ginia and North Carolina to be with him on Satur­day and to cel­e­brate this mile­stone birth­day. Chris­tine Ca­nary, the ac­tiv­i­ties co­or­di­na­tor at Ar­ca­dia, said they had been plan­ning his party for a while. She reached out to the Ori­oles team, wrote to Smucker’s and Bal­ti­more City, and ap­pealed to the Res­i­dents of Centreville and Kent Is­land Hap­pen­ings Face­book pages to see who might be in­ter­ested in help­ing Hart­less cel­e­brate the big day.

In ad­di­ton to the recog­ni­tion from the Ori­oles, Hart­less re­ceived a Cer­tifi­cate of Recog­ni­tion from Bal­ti­more City Mayor Cather­ine Pugh, “in recog­ni­tion of [Hart­less’] 100th birth­day and the many lives touched along the way ... in cel­e­bra­tion of this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion and con­tin­ued longevity.” Hart­less was a 34-year em­ployee of the City of Bal­ti­more.

The “To­day” show also high­lighted Hart­less in their Smucker’s birth­day high­light, which was very ex­cit­ing for all the res­i­dents to see on tele­vi­sion, Ca­nary said. And Hart­less re­ceived an abun­dance of Ori­oles themed gifts from the community.

His fa­vorite gift though, said Ca­nary, was a hymn book. He had been ask­ing for some­one to bring him a hym­nal, she said, and the Bap­tist church he at­tended lo­cated the orig­i­nal hym­nal he had ded­i­cated to wife Alice Hart­less years ago.

Jesse Poole, daugh­ter of Ar­ca­dia’s owner Donna Poole, said she was very pleased to have ev­ery­one gather to cel­e­brate Hart­less’ spe­cial day.

“Henry is also the res­i­dent corn hole board cham­pion,” Poole noted with a smile.

Said Hart­less, ever hope­ful of his fa­vorite team, “They didn’t do too good this year, but they’ll be bet­ter next year.”

And his se­cret to liv­ing to the no­table age of 100? “Just take it one day at a time,” he said.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Sur­rounded by fam­ily from Mary­land, Vir­ginia and North Carolina, Henry Hart­less of Ch­ester cel­e­brates his 100th birth­day on Satur­day, Oct. 21.

Henry Hart­less, life­long Ori­oles fan, cel­e­brates his 100th birth­day.

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