Eric J. Hartfield
Eric Jerome Hartfield, 57 departed this life in the early hours of Friday, November 1, 2019 surrounded by his beloved family.
Eric was born May 8, 1962 in Benton Harbor, MI to Curtis H. Hartfield and Ethel L. (Verner) Hartfield. He attended school in Benton Harbor Public School system until he moved to Kentwood, MI in 1978. During those years he displayed his athletic ability by participating not only in track and field, but also football. He graduated from East Kentwood H.S. in 1980 breaking and holding records in high jump (6’5.75) and long jump (23’3). His high jump record wasn’t broken until 1998 and his long jump record wasn’t broken until 2017. It is one of the longest held records at EKHS. He went on to attend Eastern Michigan University majoring in Biochemistry. While completing his degree he continued to compete in track and field winning the 1983 MAC outdoor triple jump. He graduated from EMU with a degree in Biochemistry. Later he worked as a Sr. Nuclear Pharmacy Technician II.
Eric was a great husband, father, brother and friend. He loved his family and loved being the Hartfield family historian. He loved researching his family tree in McClain, MS. He was an artist, musician, poet, songwriter, and a great cook. He was a track coach at Rogers High School for over a decade coaching and mentoring young people. He loved politics and was the West MI Deputy Director for Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign. He served as City of Wyoming Park & Recreation Commissioner. As a business owner he represented the state of Michigan at the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business in Washington DC. He was the owner of the Gumbo to Go restaurant and sponsored a bus to the Million Man March. As an Artist he participated in the Grand Rapids Art Prize.
Eric is preceded in death by his mother Ethel L. Verner Hartfield and leaves to Celebrate his life, his father, Curtis H. Hartield; his wife, Mary C. Hartfield; his son, Antonio L. Tate (Onteaya); his son, Tryl L. Hartfield (Jasmine); his daughter, Nneka L. Hartfield and his son, Eric L. Hartfield; Grandchildren: Jeffrey, Cordell, Iyanna, Carter, Jones, and Tate. His brothers, John, Kevin, Kerry, Terence and sister Bernadette Hartfield. His ‘play’ sister, Pam Campbell and a host of family and friends.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of Eric J. Hartfield on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 at Revolution 1534 Kalamazoo Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506.
Family Visitation: 1pm – 2pm
Memorial Service: 2pm – 3pm (Light refreshments afterward.)