IN MEMORY OF:

COLONEL DEAN S. HARTLEY JR., USMC RET.

8/3/1920  -  3/19/2010

This is but a small tribute to one of the finest men I have ever known, my friend and mentor retired Marine Corp Aviator, Colonel Dean S. Hartley  Jr., USMC Retired.  Dean was the senior collector in the US, with a history of Nihonto study and collection which spanned well over fifty years. Dean was instrumental in forming almost every sword club in the US, and was President Emeritus of the JSS/US up until his death on March 19, 2010. Over the years, the Col. treated me like a son, sharing his incredible knowledge as well as opening his vast collection for my study. Dean and I  became quite close, in fact, he once disclosed to me that outside immediate family, I was the only person to see some of his possessions.  Many could not get past his gruff Marine exterior, but underneath was a kind and gentle soul. 

Dean had an incredible passion for Japanese culture and art, especially Nihonto.  In his last couple of years, even with a notable decline in his eyesight and cognition, his eyes would light up and a smile spread across his face every time I would take a new sword for him to see.  Even in his last months, it brought him great pleasure to view a new sword.  It was as though our roles had reversed, where once he had shared with me when no one else would take the time, I was able to return the favor. 

You are gone my friend but not forgotten. 

 

 

 

 

DEAN HARTLEY, KENTARO YOSHIKAWA (NTHK), MR. HARIOKA (BOSTON MUSEUM), MR. OKA