ARLEE — Patrick Francis Hartless, 77, passed away peacefully in his home in Arlee surrounded by friends and family on November 5, 2018. Pat was born on January 26, 1941 in DuBois, PA to Frank and Mary Hartless. He was raised and educated in the hills of Pennsylvania until the age of 9 when the family moved to Azusa, CA. Pat graduated from Azusa High School in 1959.
Pat married Jo Miller in 1961, and they lived in California until 1966 when they moved to Montana. They had two children, Patrick Alexander Hartless and Anna Patrice (Hartless) Carter. Pat and Jo divorced in 1977. In 1978, Pat remarried to Lynda Creech and they had one son, Daniel Paul Hartless. They later divorced in 2001. Late in life, Pat found his life partner, Glenda Whitworth.
Pat was first hired by the Us Forest Service as a fire fighter, crewman on June 19, 1959 right out of High School. He was assigned as part of a Tanker Crew assigned to Rincon Ranger Station, Mount Baldy District, Angeles National Forest (NF). Pat moved up during his tenure on the Angeles NF. On June 11, 1960, he became qualified as a Fire Control Aid/Tank Truck Operator and supervising crews. He worked on the Lower San Antonio Ranger Station and the San Dimas Ranger Station. He received his career conditional appointment on October 15, 1961, as a Fire Control Aid, GS-4. He worked on the Angeles NF until April 28, 1962.
On April 29, 1962, Pat started to work for the Pacific Southwest Station and continued there until July 1966. He was hired as a field Forestry Research Technician to work on several fire research field and laboratory studies. His previous position as a Fire Control Aid and experience as a wildland firefighter and Tank Truck Operator on the Angeles NF, Baldy District, were determining factors in his selection of his position. During his time at the Pacific Southwest Station they conducted large planned experimental fires instrumental in prescribed and wildfire behavior studies. In June of 1963, Pat moved to Riverside, CA to work at the new Forest Fire Research laboratory doing research in prescribed fire fuels and the development of Agent Orange. Also, during this time he was a member of a Class 1 Fire Behavior Team on wildfires in Southern California.
Pat transferred from the Riverside Forest Laboratory to the Missoula Forest Fire Laboratory on August 1, 1966. Pat was selected because of his previous experiences in fire control and fire research in California. The Northern Region was embarking on studies of fire use which would entail timing and management of prescribed fire in logging slash at unconventional times of the year. Many of their experimental fires were scheduled within the wildfire season. Pat was involved directly with unit layout, burn preparation and firing operations, pre and post burn measurements on prescribed burn areas as well as collection of data during prescribed fires. He was also in charge of suppression activities when needed to support the research efforts. Pat completed numerous prescribed burn treatments from Coram Experimental Forest, Miller Creek, Priest River Experimental Forest, and Newman Ridge, where are still studied and researched today. Pat also maintained his fire suppression qualifications until he retired in June, 1987 with 28 years of service.
After retirement with the Forest Service, Pat’s other career as an Expert Native American Memorabilia Collector took full stride. He travelled extensively and was the owner of Three Rivers Trading Post in Missoula. He had an extensive collection of authentic Native American crafts, art, and artifacts that are currently in museums across the country from US and Canadian tribes. He was well known in his trade throughout the Midwest, East, and Pacific Northwest. Pat supported the Native American community and was also an ardent participant at local and regional antique and gun shows. Pat could be described as “the sort of person who’s never met a stranger and a friend treasured by many.”
Pat was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He was a board member of the “Weapons Collectors Society of Montana”, and a member of “National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association”. Pat was also a life member of the National Rifle Association; “Society of American Foresters”; Board member of the Metis Lodge; Board member of the Community Center in Arlee; Member of the Metis nation of the United States and Canadian Council.
Pat is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Hartless.
Pat is survived by his three children: Patrick Alexander Hartless (Cheri) of Courvallis; Anna Patrice Carter (Alan) of Hamilton; and Daniel Paul Hartless of Kansas. He had 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters: Jim Harless, Bloomington, CA; Joe Hartless, Ontario, CA; Beth Fremming, Upland, CA; Jeff Hartless, Upland, CA; Mike Hartless, Rollins; Cathy Hartless, Berkley, CA; Frank Hartless, New Port Beach, CA; and Penny Baggett, Perris, CA.
Services were held at the Arlee Community Center starting with a Wake on Thursday, November 8, 2018. Rosary was held on Friday, November 9, 2018, followed by a Funeral Service on Saturday, November 10. Burial was held at the Jocko Cemetery in Arlee.
Please send donations and memorials to Partners Hospice in Missoula.