Don Bartlett, business owner and life-long resident of New Mexico, passed away peacefully at his home in Roswell on September 22, 2021.
Don was born in Cottonwood, NM on July 24, 1930 to Van Melvin Bartlett and Letha Belle Eaker Bartlett. He is preceded in death by his parents and his two brothers, Quentin R. Bartlett, L.V. Bartlett, and his sister, Delores Bartlett Burns. He is also preceded in death by Sadie, his wife of 53 years.
The family farmed in Lake Arthur, Hagerman, Cottonwood and Arrey, NM until settling in Artesia in the late 40’s. Don graduated from Artesia High in 1949, and on September 3, 1949, married Sadie Mae Ditto. Don worked at the refinery in Artesia, and joined the National Guard in 1957, where he met many life-long friends. One of those friends became his partner in many business ventures for over 50 years – Dennis Mahaffey.
In the late 50’s, Don & Dennis formed a partnership and bought the A & W Root Beer Drive-In in Roswell and managed that business until the late 60’s. They later purchased the Tastee Freez franchise for Southern NM and West Texas. They sold the franchise in the late 90’s and moved into Real Estate, opening Bama Realty. Don and Dennis ended their partnership in 2011 after 54 years, but never ended their friendship. Don continued to sell real estate with Exit Realty until 2013. He loved to golf, go fishing and even participated in the Senior Olympics in his retirement until he was 85.
Don was most proud of his service in the National Guard over the years and after his retirement at the rank of Colonel, he continued working with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) of NM – serving as Chair of the Roswell Committee for over 15 years. He also started committees in Carlsbad and Hobbs and served on many state level committees.
Don was a member of Grace Community Church and served as a deacon. He thought of his many friends in the church as his family and loved them all. He was very proud of the Children’s Center and we would ask that in lieu of flowers, a donation to the church be made in his honor. Don also supported the work of the Assurance Home and their valuable contribution to the children of the community and donations to the Home would also be appreciated.
Don is survived by his two daughters, Kimberly Bartlett of Roswell, and Lydia Bartlett Frank of Santa Fe. He is also survived by his nephews and nieces, Robert C Bartlett of Denair, CA; Don M Bartlett, of Live Oak, CA; Ed Burns of Olympia, WA; Doug Ditto of Amarillo, TX; Janie and Tim Givens of Houston, TX; Kay Smith of Carlsbad, Chuck Ditto of Colorado Springs, CO; Barbara Hanes of Roswell. He is also survived by his cousins, Dan Bartlett of Roswell, John Bartlett of Hobbs, Mike Bartlett of Roswell, Eric Bartlett of Odessa, TX; Marion Bartlett of Levelland, TX; Gail Graham of Vali, AZ; Dennis Colclough of Artesia; and Vicky Keeling of Hobbs.
A special thanks to the staff of Encompass Health Hospice that took such good care of Don in his last days – Tori, Leslie and Elvira. We would also like to thank Dr. Thomas Wulf and NP Dawn Wulf for their care and friendship over the years.
Don lived a happy, full and long life and his compassion, humor and friendship will be missed by all who knew and loved him. We are assured he has joined Jesus and all who went before him in a glorious eternity.
A Viewing will be held at Lagrone Funeral Chapel on Saturday September 25th, 2021 from 3PM-6PM. A graveside service to fallow on Monday September 27th, 2021 at 11AM, at South Park Cemetery.