Charles F. Hart Jr.
November 26, 1939 – December 18, 2020
Charles Fenton Hart, Jr., 81, joined his Heavenly father on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.
He was born on Nov. 26, 1939 in Enid, Oklahoma, the oldest of four children to Charles F. Hart and Crystal Lucille Hart. He and his family moved to California during the Dust Bowl. He had fond memories of working and living on the Scripps Ranch in San Diego with his family as a young boy, for a brief time.
He graduated in 1958 from Hoover High School in San Diego, and joined the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962, where he served as a refueling technician. It was through the Air Force that he came to El Paso, and fell in love with his future wife, Kay Congdon and with the city itself.
After his service, he attended Texas Western University (later University of Texas at El Paso), and tried everything from theatre to serving as a campus police officer. He also helped put himself through school working as a mechanic, and was a member of the Rim Twisters Motorcycle Club where he raced Triumph dirt bikes. He discovered his calling was education, and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in 1966, and Master of Education in 1968.
He served as a teacher in various disciplines at Andres and El Paso High, and then as Activities Director for Bowie High School. He later worked as Pupil Services Director for El Paso Independent School District for many years.
In 1997, he was hired by Canutillo Independent School District as Assistant Superintendent and was named Superintendent one year later. His hands-on dedication to the students and teachers found him at most sports, academics, agriculture, and arts events for every grade level, and he did his best to make every member of the district know they were valuable assets to the Canutillo community.
In September of 2001, he was selected as Texas Superintendent of the Year, and was so committed to the pursuit of education, even after his official retirement from Canutillo in 2005, he went on to briefly serve as interim Superintendent for Socorro Independent School District, as well as serving on the boards of both Region XIX and Teacher’s Federal Credit Union.
His community involvement included being active in his church family as a longtime member of Trinity First United Methodist Church, and volunteering with the Southwestern International Livestock Show and Rodeo. He also remained an active supporter of UTEP from athletics to academics, and was a Gold Nugget award recipient in 2005.
No matter what he achieved, he was a humble, gracious individual who valued the service he did for others more than any awards or accolades.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay Congdon Hart in 2008, and is survived by his son and daughter-in law, Charles F. Hart III and Susan and their sons Charles Rio and Dusty River; and his daughter and son-in-law Lisa Kay Tate and Rick, and their daughters Molly Kay and Erin Laurel. He is also survived by his brothers James Hart (and wife Pat), Mark Hart (and wife Griselda), and sister Mary Lou (and husband Mike), as well several nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.
He loved his family more than anything in this world, and he regarded his dear friends as family.
He will be buried in Fort Bliss National Cemetery with military honors on Dec. 30 with his childrens’ families present, and an informal celebration of his life will be planned for a later date when people are able to gather together in larger groups.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Wounded Warrior Project, or to Hospice of El Paso who treated him and his family with selfless kindness during his final days.
After his retirement, he chose just one charity to give to: Wounded Warrior Project, and wrote many letters to service men and women injured in duties. He liked to remind them “not to give up hope, as we live in an age of medical miracles.” Even when his own time was coming to a close, he still talked about plans to visit family, or travel, as no one knew what the future holds.
He will be dearly missed by everyone whose life he touched, and his family hopes his favorite Bible verse will remind them that every day on Earth is a gift:
Psalm 118: 24 — “This is the day that The Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Charles F. Hart Jr.
Cecilia Coronel McGovert
December 29, 2020
I was a student from Bowie High School when Mr. Hart was the Activities Director.
Fifty years after graduation, I still remember the life lessons from Mr. Hart and how they positively influenced my life. There were many, but I distinctly remember when he challenged me to become a better leader by making decisions that might not be popular, but they were the right thing to do.
He was an educator, mentor and friend that I will always hold in the highest regard.
My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and students fortunate enough to have Mr. Hart in their lives.
Rest In Peace Mr. Hart.
Dan and Frances Wever
December 23, 2020
Charles was an educator and an educational administrator. He handled problems using common sense and was seldom wrong. He helped us with a problem with one of our children and back then remarked that while the action was not something normal, it was for the benefit of the student, so he did not care what people might say. It was a pleasure knowing and working with you. Thank you, Mr. Hart, and may you Rest in Peace!
December 23, 2020
Oh so many memories race through my mind. I remember how beautiful Kay was and how handsome CHARLIE was at their wedding reception. He was the most fun uncle in the world and he let us kids do the most fun things. He adored Kay and I loved sitting up with him listening to his stories about how they met and fell in love. I was thankful to be able to be there for his folks when his father was ill. He was always joking about finding me a rich old rancher to marry and they welcomed Blake with outstretched arms. He taught me the cowboy wave and would put his cowboy hat on my head and let me drive his truck! Kay was more like a sister to me than my aunt and Charlie was adored by my sister and I. I’m forever grateful for all the fun memories I’ll treasure forever! My love wraps around his kids and grandkids. I was blessed beyond measure to share this family. Yes Charlie, give Kay a huge Ol’ hug from me!!! You both are very missed.
December 23, 2020
My brother was also my hero...he was someone I looked up to. I fondly remember the days of our youth, growing up in our house at the dead end of Dwight St in San Diego. Those were the days of playing in the canyon behind our house, building forts and having a great time. One day, Charles (that's what I called him) bought an old Harley Davidson, some motorcycle boots and a black leather jacket and took me for a ride on it. All I had to hang onto, was the belt loops on his weathered Levi's... that was the greatest thrill of my life at the time. He was the greatest big brother and I truly loved and adored him...so many loving memories.
Carmen M. Guzman
December 22, 2020
Mr Hart was a generous, hardworking man. He always was willing to help the Canutillo community in any way he could.
When we would go to lunch with Kay, if he didn’t want her to voice her opinion, he would nudge her with his boot on her ankle, but sometimes it was my ankle he would nudge. I would tell Kay and we would both start laughing. So many fond memories and He will be missed. Rest in Peace, Charlie and give a hug to Kay for me!