Remembering Brian Hartzell
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Brian Hartzell has passed away.
Brian’s first project with Southway was the Thomas Pumphrey House in 2000, where he was the Superintendent. When he initially joined the Southway team, Brian was clear to say that he was maybe going to work with us for only 1 ½ -2 years. Ultimately, that turned into 21 years. Brian’s skills at managing to a schedule and solving problems were unparalleled. His attention to detail and relentless pursuit of Southway’s values of Quality, Dependability, and Integrity were what made it easy for him to grow into becoming our first General Superintendent. In that role, he would always say that he was most proud of his “farm team,” the Assistant Superintendents in whom he saw great promise for rapid growth. He loved to mentor young people and was excited by the thought of watching them grow.
Brian loved construction; he thrived in being “in a hot kitchen” in the thick of activity. He was an exceptional leader, in that he commanded the respect of all who stepped on “his” jobsite, he was firm and fair, and he was always seeking ways to improve himself. He was nicknamed “MacGyver” because of his uncanny ability to craft unique solutions to difficult problems with simple parts and pieces.
Many of us have great memories of our time with Brian. He played a very important role in helping us become who we are as a company today. Brian talked about how proud he was of what Southway had grown to become, and he was very thankful for the career and life that our industry was able to provide for him and his family. Brian had a great mind for business and investing, and in Willy’s eyes he was in many ways the personification of the American dream. He was a self-made success. He worked hard, saved diligently, and was forever inquisitive. He loved to learn how things worked and researched things relentlessly until he had a complete understanding of the topic of his interest.
We have lost a mountain of a man.
He is survived by his wife Shari and the apple of his eye, his daughter Marilyn. Please hold Brian’s family in your thoughts and prayers.