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David S. Hangartner
November 27, 1984 ~ September 3, 2022 (age 37) 37 Years Old
David Scott Hangartner, 37, of Machesney Park, IL, departed this world to join his father, Terry Hangartner, in heaven on Saturday, September 3, 2022, after a short illness. David "Dave" was born in Rockford on November 27, 1984, the son of Terry Hangartner and Joan (Doug) Van Kessel. David attended Rockford Lutheran High School, Rock Valley College and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers apprenticeship program. David greatly respected the military and law enforcement since childhood. He had a lifelong dream of becoming a police officer, and joined the Winnebago County Sheriff's Explorer program while in high school. David enlisted in the United States Coast Guard after high school at the age of 19, and was stationed on bases located in Santa Barbara, Pacifica, and San Francisco, California, Newport News, Virginia, and did a short tour in Bahrain. David patrolled the Pacific coast on the USS Blackfin, while stationed in Santa Barbara, patrolling as far south as Mexico. He was trained in scuba diving and medical aid. While in San Francisco, David was responsible for maintenance of the rescue helicopters for Coast Guard ocean rescues, with the highlight of that assignment being selected for the base security detail for Vice President Cheney. In Virginia, David received electrical training to perform maintenance on electrical generators and traveled to eastern seaboard ports to repair generators when the ships came into port. David was proud to serve in the military, following his grandmother and grandfather, Patricia and William Schmidt, who served in the Navy during World War II. David returned to Rockford after five and half years of service in the USCG after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
In a very short time, he met the love of his life and soulmate, Terri Hitzke, having reconnected via Facebook in 2010. David and Terri shared their love of animals, Legos, travel, and the Rockford social clubs as members of the Lombardi, Verdi, American Legion Clubs and Lyran Society, where he served as treasurer. David and Terri had a special bond with their Akita puppy, Remy, and their deceased fur babies, Samson and Roxy, who were awaiting him in heaven. David and Terri loved the challenge of building the largest Lego sets that they could find, and at one time had an entire room of shelves with completed Lego sets on display. During their twelve years together, David and Terri traveled to beautiful tourist destinations all throughout the country, having visited Indianapolis, IN, Las Vegas, NV, San Francisco, CA, New Orleans, LA, Biloxi, MS, and their favorite trip of all, traveling the Pacific coast of California. In addition to their solo trips, David loved his annual family trips to Wisconsin with Terri, Donald and Sue, making memories that will last a lifetime. David's family meant the world to him. When summer came, you could find him swimming in his beloved brother Bradley's pool. David would always tell stories about growing up with his brother and sister to Terri, as these were meaningful memories to him. David also got a big kick out of having his niece and nephew (Gracie and Grant) spend the night and play video games together. He also had a big spot in his heart for his nephew, T.J., as well. David was also grateful to his cousin, Mike Johnson, who he enjoyed visiting for fireworks and target shooting on his property in Roscoe.
In the past year, David had been instrumental in the care of his mother-in-law, Sue Hitzke, spending almost every day providing medical care for Sue and support for his father-in-law, Donald Hitzke. He valued his very special bond with Sue and Donald, and they will miss David, who they loved like their own son. David had a wide variety of interests and talents. He greatly enjoyed seeing live music concerts, including Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Buffet, and many others. Elton John was his absolute favorite performer. A highlight of his life was being able to join a few select fans live on stage at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, with Elton John himself for “Saturday Night's Alright” not once, but twice. David also loved singing karaoke at the Filling Station in New Milford and other bars in the Rockford area, and whenever he was on vacation. His number one hit karaoke song was “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. David was also a musician and a proficient drummer. During high school, he played the drums for the Lutheran High School chapel band, and was also the drummer in his own band "Stone Boy" for several years. David was a pop culture genius and movie buff. He knew almost every actor, actress, and movie you could think of. His favorite movies included Backdraft, Goodfellas, Heat, Ghostbusters, UHF, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. His favorite TV shows were The Shield, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, The Office, King of the Hill, Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, and Southland.
David’s family would like to thank his beloved friends, Kyle Brengle, Shannon Carmichael, John Guvara, Zach Ingardona, Nick Law, Mikey Liptak, Alex Romero, and Dolores Sweeney for the many laughs, good times, and support. Their love through the years made David’s short life richer by their friendship. Finally, David was affectionately known throughout the community by his many nicknames including Slim, Dad, Squishy B., Davie Dearest, and Dave the (Sea) Turtle.
David is survived by his fiance, Terri Hitzke; mother and step-father, Joan and Doug Van Kessel; mother and father-in-law, Sue and Donald Hitzke; brother, Bradley Redington; sister, Trisha (Ramon) Posada; niece, Grace Vyborny; nephews, Grant Redington and TJ Posada; his uncle and godfather, Scott (Marianne) Hangartner; and many wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins. Predeceased by his father, Terry Hangartner; grandparents, Patricia and William Schmidt, and Lolita and Walter Hangartner.
Funeral service will be held at 12:00pm, Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Honquest Family Funeral Home, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Loves Park, IL 61111, with visitation at 10:30am until the service. Donations in his honor may be sent to the family to be used for a memorial banner in Machesney Park.