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Mickey Hartinger, spouse of AFSPC founding father, dies at 79

Mickey Hartinger, (left), spouse of Gen. (Ret.) James Hartinger, speaks to a celebration of Air Force Space Command’s 35th Anniversary at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 18, 2017, as Senior Amn. Megan Richards (center), and Tech. Sgt. Beth Guidry (right) look on. (US Air Force photo/Dave Grim)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Mildred Etta “Mickey” Hartinger, wife of Gen. (Ret.) James V. Hartinger, first former Air Force Space Command commander from 1982 to 1984, died at the age of 79.

As spouse of the “founding father” of AFSPC, Hartinger stood beside her husband during the last years of his distinguished military career.

Hartinger nobly continued her support to AFSPC long after her husband retired from active duty and even after his death in 2000. She was no stranger to the AFSPC Headquarters building, which is appropriately named after her husband. Whether she was presenting an award or proudly attending an anniversary celebration, she was an ever-present reminder of her husband’s legacy. 

Current AFSPC Commander, Gen. Jay Raymond, said, “Mrs. Hartinger was an inspiration and great influence to us all; and a dedicated supporter of Air Force Space Command.  Her charismatic personality and selfless service to our military community will greatly be missed.” 

Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, said, “She always showed the greatest enthusiasm for our Air Force.  Her husband, Gen. James “Grrr” Hartinger, was present at my USAF Academy graduation and I fought in Desert Storm with their son. She was the matriarch of a great Air Force family and she will be missed dearly.”

One way the Hartinger legacy lives on is through the Hartinger Award, which was established in 1984. It is one of the highest honors any space professional can achieve. It is presented each year to a person who has made a significant contribution to the Unities States military space mission. Mickey Hartinger often attended the award ceremony each year; initially with her husband, and representing him after he had passed. 

Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd.  A reception will follow at the Olympian Plaza Reception and Event Center, 975 S. Union Blvd. Cremation is planned and she will be interred in Middleport, Ohio with her husband. 

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Gateway Presbyterian Church, 731 Castle Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 (www.gatewaypres.org), The Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington DC, 20090-6011 (www.alz.org), or Space Foundation, 4425 Arrowswest Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80907 (www.spacefoundation.org/donate). 

For additional information, see the obituary at: www.shrineofremembrance.com/colorado-springs-obituaries/