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Volunteers converged on the home of Paul and Margaret Hartshorn to cut and stacked 20 cords of firewood last weekend. It was a show of community support for the couple who had lost their son just days before. Submitted photo.

The community embraces the Hartshorn family

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By Ken Vogel

On Saturday Dec. 7, approximately 40 people from the Finland area gathered at the Hartshorn residence to help one of their own. The Hartshorns, along with the entire community are grieving the loss of Davis Hartshorn who died suddenly on Dec. 3. The group came to the Hartshorn’s for the purpose of supporting the grieving famliy and to cut and stack a winter’s supply of firewood.

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“It was one of those things that made me proud to be an American,” said Bob Meyers, a representative of Industrial Maintenance Services, Davis Hartshorn’s employer. Meyers said that word spread throughout the community that Paul Hartshorn was expected to have knee surgery and needed help with the daunting task of cutting firewood. Last weekend a group converged to cut and stack 20 cords.

“Tony Klinker and Jack Nelson brought in some of their heavy equipment; there was a row of guys with chain saws and people stacking on the end. It was like a well-organized assembly line” Meyers said.

Davis Hartshorn was just 32 years old when he died while snowmobiling in Finland. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that they’re still awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death. Meyer said he’d known Davis for several years, describing him as a dedicated employee.

“Every day he came to work happy and went right to work, he was meticulous and was a model that other employees could aspire to.” Meyers went on to say that Davis was the father of two girls and was devoted to his family and that he was a fan of metal music.

“Heavy metal and energy drinks were two of his favorite things,” Meyers recalled.

The wood cutting bee was instigated by Ron Van Burgen of Finland. He originally called about 20 people, but the number of volunteers quickly doubled.

“It is what we do here, we take care of each other,” he said. “Tony and Jack were on the heavy equipment, about 15 chain saw operators, people moving and stacking the wood, it was just impressive”. The job was done in just over three hours. Food for the workers was provided by local businesses and residents, making it truly a community effort.

“We rally around our own up here; it just makes you feel good to be part of the community”. Van Burgen said that Paul and Margaret Hartshorn were greatly appreciative of the outpouring of love by their neighbors.

“I think they were kind of in awe of what took place”.

The community will gather again on Dec. 14 for Davis Hartshorn’s funeral which will be held at the Clair Nelson Center in Finland. Visitation will be 10- 11

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