January 31, 2013

Joanna Belle Harkness Cartledge, 1922 - 2013

Middle Bass, 2003: Mary Jo, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Tara, Shirley, and Mother.

Joanna Belle Harkness Cartledge of Middle Bass Island, Ohio, born May 26, 1922, died on Monday, January 28, 2013. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Lilian (Brown) Harkness of Vestaburg, PA, and Detroit, MI. She was proceeded in death by her husband of 69 years, Douglas Cartledge, and her older daughter, Amy May Thomas Reidling. 

As part of the war effort in the 1940s, Mrs.Cartledge built Pratt and Whitney engines. In 1941she graduated from the Del-Mar School of Cosmetology.  With her husband she owned several island businesses, including the Erie Island Mirror, Doug’s Ice Fishing, the fishing boat “Way Ahead,” and Island Pottery.  Her final business, Belle’s Dolls, received national and international recognition for a series of 43 U. S. President and First Lady dolls, which she sculpted in porcelain and costumed authentically.  She was a member of the International Association of Doll Artists. For five decades, she served as an election poll worker, and in the 1990s she was recognized by the State of Ohio for voting in every election for fifty years.

Mrs. Cartledge is survived by two sons and her surviving daughter, 8 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Memorial tributes may be made to your local chapter of the Salvation Army (which Mother honored because of the vital services she saw them offering to the destitute during the Depression) or to the Middle Bass Fire and EMS Department, 455 Fox Road, Middle Bass, Ohio, 43446.


Lisa Creech Bledsoe said...

I'm just amazed at how young your mother looks. And this gang of women just shines like a newly-polished bell. Beautiful!

I think it's pretty cool that she did cosmetology in school then went out and started/ran one business after another, including handcrafting presidential dolls! What an astonishing legacy.

I know you miss her dreadfully. And I'm so glad she gave you to the world.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lisa. Her curiosity and delight in the world were amazing. And we are, indeed, a pretty cute little bunch, aren't we?