On Saturday, June 18, in a service at St. Peters Episcopal Church in San Art Bartlett, Photo Courtsey: Daily BreezePedro, we celebrated the life of Reverend Art Bartlett and said our final farewells to a dear friend. ‘Father Art,’ as he was known, was not only a longtime friend of me and my family, but a friend to all, which is what made his life and his legacy so special.
Seafarers and San Pedro “locals” will remember Father Art as the long time director of the Episcopal Seaman’s Center. In 1955 he began volunteering at the Center, operated by the Episcopal diocese’s Seamen’s Church Institute of Los Angeles. His volunteer work inspired him to enter the seminary and make service to seafarers his life’s work.
Under his direction, the center was “home” for many Los Angeles/Long Beach area seamen and a refuge for any seafarer in need.
Father Art’s work among seamen with drinking and drug abuse problems led him to recognize the need for a residential treatment program in the Los Angeles harbor. In 1970 he helped found The Beacon House, a residential recovery programs for alcoholics and addicts which has become one of the most successful recovery programs in the country.
But it wasn’t just seafarers, alcoholics and addicts who Art cared for. He had a passion to help anyone in need and once ran a one-man campaign to collect socks to help keep the feet of the homeless dry and warm during the winter.
In addition to helping those in need, Father Art served his community. His lifetime achievements and contributions are numerous. He served as a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner, supported local libraries, worked to preserve the San Pedro Lighthouse, volunteered at the Assistance League and found time to join the Elks Club and helped change the rules to allow women to become members.
Father Art passed away on June 4th, just a few weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 91 and will be missed dearly by his family, friends and community.