John Hartley was a well- known and beloved figure in Carrboro, frequently seen at Weaver Street Market, Open Eye Cafe, the gym or simply walking along the street. His Hartley Construction office has been located on Weaver Street for more than 16 years. A handsome man of some physical stature, he radiated great warmth through his beautiful smile and sparkling blue eyes.
John D. Hartley, esteemed architect and builder, died Fri- day morning, June 3 at home surrounded by family and friends. He was 65.
As a resident of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Hillsborough area for more than 30 years, John was a very active member of this com- munity that he held dear. He leaves a legacy of beautiful homes and residential developments always designed with an acute awareness of their relationship with the envi- ronment and the elements.
Known for a distinctive style, Johnâ€™s homes include the use of passive solar, natural lighting and green building practices. He was deeply influenced by the earth- based spirituality and artistic sen- sibilities of African and Native American cultures and had a passion for wilderness. His approach to designing and building was a reflection of his approach to life. He engaged the elements present in the landscape he was working with, employing the beauty of nature and natural materials.
Johnâ€™s passion for encouraging community found its way into his developments. He leaves his signa- ture communal gathering spaces throughout the area. Among these are a stone circle at Stone Knoll, an 11-circuit labyrinth at Starfield and an outdoor amphitheater at Heart- wood. Other developments include Twin Oaks, Forest Knoll, Oxbow Crossing, Turtle Pond Farm and many single-family residences throughout Orange, Chatham and Durham Counties, as well as con- dominiums in Carrboro, and the Maple View Agricultural Center on Dairyland Road.
One of the projects closest to Johnâ€™s heart in recent years has been the soon-to-be-completed dharma meditation hall at the WonBuddhist Temple on Old N.C. 86. This project blends the threads of his life as an architect, community builder and spiritual seeker.
Born to Clifford and Viola Hartley on Dec 26, 1945, in Birmingham, Ala., John grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Wash- ington, D.C. He was a graduate of Clemson School of Architecture. He served in the Peace Corps in North Africa, where he also trav- eled extensively in the early â€˜70s, then lived for a time in Washing- ton, D.C., with his then wife Barbara, before moving to Durham, N.C. In 1978, the year his son was born, he built his first home in Chapel Hill. Since 1994 he resided with his wife, Lynne, in a beautiful home and earth sanctuary behind the Maple View Dairy Farm in Hillsborough.
John loved biking, kayaking, swimming, drumming and cir- cling up with his beloved menâ€™s group, Old Men With Bongos. He also loved adventuring with his son, Mike, and walking around the farm with his wife, Lynne, and dog, Benny.
He is survived by his wife, Lynne Jaffe; son, Michael Hart- ley and daughter-in-law, Matilda Bode; brother, Rick Hartley, and his wife, Anita; and nieces, Tracy Hartley and Carrie Butler.
A service honoring Johnâ€™s life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 11 at the Carrboro Century Center.
In lieu of flowers the family re- quests that contributions be made to:
The Won-Buddhist Temple Dharma Hall Expansion Fund, wonbuddhismNC.org;
Joshâ€™s Hope Foundation, joshshopefoundation.org; and The Haw River Assembly, hawriver.org.
Online condolences and tributes can be made at www.caring-bridge.org/johndhartley