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Gudrun und Bernd Schoenwald

It hurts to have to accept, we never will meet you again, never will enjoy your hospitality, generosity and helpfullness when visiting you and rita, we never will meet you in Germany where we met you the first time and than some times in Lafayette and often in Fernandina Beach . You have been part of our family. you will be deeply missed. we are grieving with Rita, Natalie, Chris and their families and your beloved dog Ellis. You will be always in our thoughts. RIP, lieber Claude

Ron & Carol Therriault

Our condolences, enjoyed many years of golfing, will miss my old partner. Carol remembers his dry wit at the golf course snack bar. partner. Carol will allways

Christine Schönwald

Uncle Claudes always supported me when I was in USA. He built me a very special beautiful box for transporting my surfboard back to Germany. Also he gave me his brandnew pick up for driving. We were several times together at the hardware store because he was always renovating something. I remember very goog of his Donut Shop. He renovated the shop fully by himself. I loved his Donut Shop. He was the best dog dad ever. It is my prayer that God will comfort you and my aunt Rita, Nat, Chris, Nick, Chrissi, Scot, your whole family and specially Ellis your beloved dog.

Margo Story

Sincere condolences to Rita & the family. May the eternal light shine upon your loved one.

Claude Albert Hartley


Claude Albert Hartley, 77, of Fernandina Beach, FL passed on Sunday, April 28th, 2024 with his family by his side. Born on October 27th, 1946 to Warren Hartley and Viva Overman Garrison. He grew up in Lafayette, IN and graduated from Lafayette Jefferson High School.
After high school, Claude joined the United States Army and was stationed in Ettlingen, Germany. There he met his wife Rita Ketterer and they were married in May of 1968. Together, they settled in Lafayette, IN to raise their family.
Claude was a mechanical contractor. He opened Tippecanoe Sheet Metal in 1976. He sold his business in 1992 and moved to Fernandina Beach, FL to retire. Retirement was short-lived and he bought Sandy Bottoms Beach Bar & Grill in Fernandina in 1995. He worked side-by-side with his family in the restaurant for more than 2 decades.
He was an avid golfer and had a real love for the game. Claude and his wife enjoyed traveling and cruising. And his favorite trips were when they could combine traveling and golf with his longtime golf buddies. They had so many exciting trips to various golf courses in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. He also had a passion for antique corvettes. There was never a time when one drove by, that it didn’t catch his eye. This led him to owning several of his own corvettes over the years. His lifetime hobby of building and fixing things never ended. He did many renovations at the restaurant, built houses for his family, and always had an idea on how to make things work.
Claude is survived by his loving wife, Rita, of almost 56 years, his children Natalie Thelemann (Philip) of Fernandina Beach, FL, Christopher Hartley of Fernandina Beach, FL, and Nicholas Hartley (Barbara) of Boca Raton, FL, and his sister Glenda Hartley Cory of Lafayette, IN. He was also a proud grandfather to 7 grandchildren, Scott Thelemann, Christina Thelemann, Kylie Norris (Justin), Brayden Hartley, Noah Hartley, Gracelyn Hartley, and Aubrey Hartley. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and his beloved dog, Ellis.
A service will be held at St. Michaels Catholic Church in Fernandina Beach with a reception to follow on Thursday, May 16th , 2024 at 1pm.
Rather than flowers, donations can be made in Claude’s name to the Nassau County Humane Society, Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, or St. Michael’s Catholic Church.


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