Lawrence W. Hartzell -- Obituary --
Dr. Lawrence W. Hartzell, 65, of Berea, Ohio, formerly of Youngwood, and former chairman of the music theory department at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory and director of many local musical productions, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008, of complications from cancer at Southwest General Health Center's Hospice Services. He was born July 1, 1942, in Mt. Pleasant, to the late George William and Helen (Fidler) Hartzell. He started taking piano lessons from the late Emma Roberts when he was 5 years old. He attended elementary and junior high schools in Youngwood and graduated from Hempfield Area Senior High School with the Class of 1960. He enrolled at Baldwin-Wallace College and graduated in 1965 with a major in music theory and trumpet. He earned his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas and taught at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, before joining the Baldwin-Wallace faculty in 1973. He founded the Electronic Music Studio at Baldwin-Wallace and established the MIDI Multimedia Computer Lab at the Conservatory. He was recognized with Baldwin-Wallace's Gigax Award (1994) for scholarly research and the Strosacker Award for Excellence in Teaching (1995), the college's highest honor. Hartzell retired from Baldwin-Wallace in 2006. He twice chaired the music theory department, from 1974 to 1980, and from 1985 to 2003. His love of musical theater prompted him to spearhead the college's efforts to rebuild Baldwin-Wallace's musical theater program. Hartzell won much acclaim for his musical direction of productions throughout Northeast Ohio. They included the Berea Summer Theater, the Halle Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, Porthouse Theatre in Cuyahoga Falls and Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. His favorite musical was "My Fair Lady." Before his death, he was completing a book on the life of the play's composer, Frederick Loewe. He was known as an expert on Ohio Moravian music and the award, in part, recognized him for his book, "Ohio Moravian Music," published in 1988. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists. He played for the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Berea and was choir director at Lakewood Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Native American Flute Society. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, P.C. and Lulu (Peffer) Hartzell; his maternal grandparents, Lawrence R. and Ima (Morgan) Fidler; an uncle, Ernest M. Johnson; and a cousin, Pamela Sue Johnson. He is survived by his wife, Vickie (Bowman) Hartzell; two sons, William Hartzell and wife, Jodi, of Berea, Ohio, and Adam Hartzell, of San Francisco, Calif.; a brother, John R. Hartzell and wife, Karen, of West Alexander; a grandson, Keith Hartzell, of Berea, Ohio; and an aunt, Ellamae Johnson, of Youngwood.