John D. Hartz, 85, developer who built scores of houses in Washington area

Wednesday, September 29, 2010; 5:53 PM


John D. Hartz, 85, a developer who built scores of houses in the Washington area, died of complications from bladder cancer Sept. 21 at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. He was a Hume resident.

Mr. Hartz started his construction business in the early 1960s. He built the Falkland Farms development in Prince William County and many homes in Bethesda, Manassas, Warrenton and Culpeper.

John Dressler Hartz was born in Elyria, Ohio, and grew up in Bethesda. His father was the president of the Colonial Ice Cream Co., which had a plant in Washington near the Capitol.

He attended the private St. James School in Maryland and Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania before enlisting in the Marine Corps during World War II. He served in the Pacific.

He attended the University of Virginia, then opened a restaurant in Bethesda before starting his construction business.

At his farm in Hume, Mr. Hartz had more than 500 head of cattle and grew wheat, corn, oats and orchard grass. He hauled his wheat harvest to the old Georgetown flour mill.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Mary Anne Moffett Hartz of Warrenton; five children, Catherine Hartz and Bruce Hartz, both of Hume, Craig Hartz of Quinque, Va., Douglas Hartz of Washington, Va., and Donna Pressler of Anchorage; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

- T. Rees Shapiro

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