Cover photo for Jennifer Martha Hartley's Obituary
Jennifer Martha Hartley Profile Photo

Jennifer Martha Hartley

May 6, 1953 — May 24, 2020

Jennifer Martha Hartley

Jennifer Martha Hartley, 67 of Gaylord, passed away on Sunday, May 24, 2020 at Hiland Cottage in Petoskey.

Born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan on May 6, 1953, she was the daughter of Austin J. and Martha J. (Colby) Hartley.

Jennifer spent many years living in the Gaylord area, where she worked at Hidden Valley and where she also assisted her husband doing bookkeeping for his construction business.  She loved Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where she lived for a number of years, eventually returning to Gaylord.

Strong in her faith and a devout Christian, Jennifer attended the former Gaylord Community Church.  She was also an officer in the veterans support organization, Forgotten Eagles.  Blessed with a green thumb, she enjoyed tending to her beautiful flower gardens.  She was also an animal lover and she enjoyed taking care of the animals on the small farm on which she lived.  An avid dogsledder, she loved her dogs; she bred Siberian Huskies, once having more than 40 of them.  Jennifer also enjoyed trips to Tennessee, especially Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

She is survived by her children, William “Will” (Kourtney) Olter of Gaylord, Gary “Jake” (Jill) Olter of Elmira, Stephen Halvorson of Gaylord and Daniel (Kathleen) Tope of Rapid River; grandchildren, William, Alyssa, Andrew, Alexis, Levi, Leanna, Logan, Lydia, Lance and Dane; great grandchildren, Daphne, Leroux and Owen; a sister, Anita VanDesteene; brothers, Mark Hartley, James (Theresa) Hartley and William (Jennifer) VanRyckeghem; several nieces and nephews; and her lifelong friend, Marianne Sargent.  She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Kerry Hartley and Matthew VanRyckeghem.

In keeping with her wishes, her family will remember at a gathering this summer.  Those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions in her memory to help with pancreatic cancer research at

Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jennifer Martha Hartley, please visit our flower store.


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