Howard G.”Howdy” Hartzog, hunter, fisherman, nautical knot enthusiast and model maker died Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. Howdy was born Jan. 23, 1945 in Marlin to Howard and Anna Paul Hartzog.
Unaccustomed as he was to public speaking, a favorite intro when Howdy was kicking off an extemporaneous speech in front of a group, his love of story-telling endeared him to a wide range of folks in his time on this earth. He wore a lot of hats, both literal and metaphorical, over the decades and he leaves behind a legacy of kindness and generosity that all who knew him will sorely miss.
He attended schools in Port Lavaca and was a member of the Calhoun High School Fighting Sandcrab football team that played for the state championship in 1960. He played football as a freshman at Baylor University and had many other adventures living in Austin in the late 60s, as evidenced by the photos in the family albums featuring Howdy’s majestic sideburns and groovy sheepskin vest. He and Frances Wedig married in 1971 and settled in Port Lavaca to raise their two children, Anna and Matt.
Howdy worked in the seafood industry, managed a couple of congressional campaigns, spent 10 years with Seaport Bank in Seadrift and was then elected Calhoun County judge for two terms. He was especially proud of his work with FEMA as a congressional liaison during several natural disasters. He was active in the Episcopal Cursillo community, Rotary Club and Boy Scouts.
In his 50s, Howdy finally decided “what he wanted to do when he grew up” and he became an Episcopal priest, serving several small churches in the Diocese of West Texas. After he and Frances moved to California in 2012 to help spoil the grandbabies, he served as an associate priest with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Elk Grove, California. In 2016, he retired to El Dorado Hills to become a full-time, live-in grandpa and fulfilled his dream of getting to see his beloved grandboys every day.
Howdy lived a lot, learned a lot, laughed a lot, loved a lot and was loved a lot.
A celebration of Howdy’s life will be held sometime in the future.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Partners in Ministry, PO Box 256, Edna, TX 77957