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Sharon Hartzell

Posted: Friday, Sep 16th, 2016




Lovingly adored wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and former Atascadero resident Mary Sharon Dempsey Nagle Anliker Hartzell passed away August 19, 2016 after a long standing battle with cancer. Sharon had just celebrated her 75th birthday the month before with many of her friends and family at her home in San Antonio, Texas.

The second of five children to Olive and Theodore Dempsey, Sharon was born at the Atascadero General Hospital July 7, 1941. The family was ranching east of San Miguel, CA. Her father was also a carpenter and was soon drafted to work for the War Department. He was doing construction work at various sites in New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. The small family was able to follow him to his work sites. Maybe this was where Sharon got her traveling bug? After WWII the family settled in Watsonville, CA. where her father’s family lived. Sharon began her musical training and perhaps love of music there. She and her sister walked across town to “Iva’s” house twice a week for piano lessons.

Wishing for a larger place of their own, in 1951 the family returned to the Paso Robles area and purchased land in Atascadero “where the weeds grow the tallest” said Sharon’s mother. Plans were drawn up and the family began building their home. Sharon remembered doing a lot of painting, dirty work and being the head “gopher”.

During her High School years among many other activities Sharon loved journalism, drama, and band. As part of the marching band, she participated in the grand opening of Disneyland in 1955! She graduated from Atascadero Union High School in 1958.

Sharon married her high school sweetheart Robert (Bob) Nagle in 1959 and together they had three children – Robert Jr, Cheri and Russell. Although the couple divorced 10 years later, they remained friends until Bob’s passing in 2012.

Sharon made a new life for herself in Phoenix, Arizona. She married James (Jim) Anliker in 1970 and their son Mark was born later that year. They ran a successful trucking business together, among their many adventures during their 22-year marriage, which also included moves to southern California and Iowa before returning to Arizona in 1982.

Cowboy Gerald Dean Hartzell moseyed in to Sharon’s life in 1993 after being introduced by mutual friends in Cottonwood, Arizona. The two ended up working together at the Wit’s End Guest Ranch in Durango, Colorado. And in June of 1995, they were married there…on horseback! Later that year the couple moved to Dean’s hometown of Woodward, Oklahoma. By 1996, they established the Hartzell Cowboy Sports Arena, hosting various rodeo events and their famous 4th of July celebrations. They moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2010 to be near son Russ and his family.

Sharon loved to travel and some notable adventures included trips to South Korea, Germany, Hawaii, and all along the East Coast. She typically traveled for family events, such as reunions, births of grandchildren and the like. She loved her family dearly and they her, even if she whooped them in Scrabble. Like her mother Olive, Sharon also played the piano and organ beautifully, sharing her talent at Lutheran Churches in San Luis Obispo county and Woodward, OK.

Sharon was loved for her kindness and respected for her fortitude, especially as she fought cancer a handful of times since 1989. Cancer may have taken her hair or parts of her body, but never her spirit. A friend wrote, “The world has lost a gracious lady but heaven has gained a shining star.”

Sharon is survived by her husband Dean Hartzell of San Antonio, TX, sister Olive Ann (John) Dorman of Atascadero, aunt Erma Brownlee of Brownstown Charter Township, MI, children Robert Nagle Jr of West Sacramento, CA, Cheri (Joann) Nagle of Lake Arrowhead, CA, Russell Nagle of San Antonio, TX and Mark (Karen) Anliker of Phoenix, AZ as well as step-children Christine Hartzell of Berkley, CA and Jerry (Jessica) Hartzell of Woodward, OK. Sharon is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, step-sisters Donna Allaire of Atascadero and Linda (Stuart) Bernstein of San Jose and step-brother Ross (Kathy) Rougeot of Atascadero.

Sharon is safely in the arms of her Lord, as are those of her family who preceded her in death: Her father and mother, Theodore and Olive Dempsey Rougeot, stepfather Donald Rougeot, brothers Eugene, Theodore,and George, and first husband Robert Nagle.

Per her wishes, there were no services. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or some other cancer research organization in her honor.

For the complete article see the 09-16-2016 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-16-2016 paper.


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