American Patriotic 10

Richard Ridgard Hartley

March 2, 2021


Richard Ridgard Hartley, of Wellesley, passed away on March 2nd at 88,  from complications of Lymphoma.  Dick, or “Commander” as he was lovingly known by his grandchildren and close friends, was born and raised in Hilo on the big island of Hawaii.  He was wholly a child of nature, with the ocean at his door adjacent to a rainforest and the Kilauea volcano.   The eternal majesty of his surroundings contributed to his optimistic outlook on life.  An unassuming individual with unwavering decency and integrity, he had a profound impact on all those who knew him. 

His first love was being in the ocean, and he planned to be a dolphin in his next life.  He was also very musical and played the french horn in the orchestra, band, and County Band as he went through the Hilo public schools. He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  After graduating in 1954 he entered the submarine service, serving until 1959.  He remained in the Navy Reserve and retired as a Commander.  He received his MBA at Harvard Business School and spent most of his career at Polaroid Corporation in manufacturing management.  He loved his work wholeheartedly. 

He was an active member of the community, particularly the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church as a Senior Deacon, The Wellesley Country Club as a Board Member, and the Town of Wellesley as Town Meeting Member.  He will long be remembered as the Commander of Chesterton Road.

He was born to Eric Hartley from the UK and Jean McConn Hartley from Ohio, and had one sister Margaret Hartley Cameron, who predeceased him.  He married Joanne Williams of Wellesley, MA in 1956.  They had a lifelong love affair, and he was a devoted father to their two daughters Pamela Hartley of St. Louis, MO, and Margot Hartley MacArthur of Natick, MA.  He was privileged to have 3 grandsons, Patrick, Jeffrey, and Christopher MacArthur and remained close always with dear relatives in the UK, Hawaii and across the USA.

A graveside burial service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery, 148 Brook St, Wellesley, MA on Saturday, March 13 at 1:30pm preceded by a private church service.  A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Those wishing to remember Dick with a donation in his memory may do so to either of the following: “Brigham and Women’s Hospital for CTCL research,” online at  or by check to:  Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Development Office, Third Floor, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 or The Nature Conservancy (, online please search for Memorial Gift and fill out that form, or call 800-628-6860 to make a Memorial Gift in Dick’s name. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Ridgard Hartley, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
March 13, 2021

1:30 PM
Woodlawn Cemetery
148 Brook St.
Wellesley, MA 02482

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