OBITUARY

William G Hart

June 24, 1922April 4, 2019
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William Gardner Hart, Sr. age 96, of Universal City, TX went to be with the Lord on April 4th at home surrounded by family.

Dr. Hart was born on June 24, 1922 in Pawtucket, RI to Katherine (Moriarty) and Phillip Hart. He attended Gorton High School in Warwick, RI and upon graduation enlisted in the Navy serving in the South Pacific during World War II. After returning home, he earned both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in entomology from the University of Rhode Island on the GI bill. Mutual friends introduced him to Mary Louise Thibodeau during this time where she was working as a nurse. They became great friends and later married.

Dr. Hart was a state entomologist for the state of Rhode Island until he accepted a position at Virginia Chemical Company where he worked for 10 years developing treatment methods for tobacco pests. He then moved to Honolulu, HI where he worked as a research scientist for the USDA. In 1965, he was offered a position with the USDA to head a research laboratory in the Rio Grande Valley where he remained until his retirement at age 66. He did extensive work in remote sensing which was used to detect crop infestations by local growers saving them thousands of dollars each year. During this time, he furthered his education earning a Doctoral Degree from Texas A&M University in College Station. He was a principal investigator on the Skylab satellite which was sent into space by NASA during the early 70s. Being a child of the Depression, he was extremely frugal. He was active in the Knights of Columbus in Virginia, the Holy Name Society, and hosted a local Catholic television talk show at that time. He also taught classes as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion College.

He is survived by his son and daughter and their spouses, William Jr. and Myra Hart, and Anne (Hart) and Daniel Cavazos; grandchildren William G. Hart III and wife Shirley, step granddaughter Morgan Taylor, Jonathan Cavazos, Mary Katherine(Cavazos) Flores and husband Mathew, Elizabeth (Cavazos) Rubio and husband Gabriel, Emily Cavazos, and Thomas Cavazos; four great grandchildren William Hart IV, James Hart, Madelyn Flores, and Mia Flores.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Rosary Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Interment Wednesday, April 10, 2019
REMEMBERING

William G Hart

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Biography

Today, we are here to celebrate my dad’s life. My dad was born in 1922 in Pawtucket, RI, a child of the depression where his dad was employed as a pharmacist and his mom was a homemaker. People were struggling to make ends meet, but he said his mom, my grandmother was a fantastic cook and you could look in the ice box and think there was nothing to eat and she would make a great meal out of very little. His Dad worked long hours, but he said my grandmother had a great since of humor and quick wit. There was always a lot of laughter in their home. He along with his three brothers Ken, Everett, and Phillip lived a happy life although it was tough at times.
One of my dad’s greatest gifts was his gift of storytelling. We heard stories about them hunting for quahogs (hard shelled clams) along Narragansett Bay and then taking them home to my grandmother to make homemade clam chowder. I also love some of the animal tales he told. They had a Boston terrier at one time and a little Persian cat who loved to play chase. The dog would grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and drag it down the stairs one step at a time, so you would hear the thud on each step, only to hit the bottom of the stairs and race to do it all over again. They had an Airdale terrier that my grandmother trained on paper in the basement in the dead of winter. My Dad fondly remembers the dog going with the boys to the baseball field only to see it run all the way back home, scratch on the basement door and run down into the basement to do his business.
My Dad went to Gorton High School in Warwick, RI and upon graduation enlisted in the Navy serving in the South Pacific during World War II. After returning home, he earned both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in entomology from the University of Rhode Island on the GI bill. Mutual friends introduced him to my mom Mary Louise Thibodeau during this time where she was working as a nurse. They became great friends and later married.
My Dad was a state entomologist for the state of Rhode Island until he accepted a position at Virginia Chemical Company where he worked for 10 years developing treatment methods for tobacco pests. He then moved to Honolulu, HI where he worked as a research scientist for the USDA. In 1965, he was offered a position with the USDA to head a research laboratory in the Rio Grand Valley where he remained until his retirement at age 66. He did extensive work in remote sensing which was used to detect crop infestations by local growers saving them thousands of dollars each year. During this time, he furthered his education earning a Doctoral Degree from Texas A&M University in College Station. He was a principal investigator on the Skylab satellite which was sent into space by NASA during the early 70s.
When my parents lived in Virginia, he was active in the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Society, and hosted a local Catholic television talk show at that time. He also taught classes as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion College.
Being a child of the depression, he was very frugal. He would like to go to the store with my mom, and he would look very carefully for a long time for something he needed before making a decision on what to buy. He was a simple man who never wanted for much. He was an avid golfer until he turned 90. My brother remembers on the last hole of golf he ever played, he parred the hole. He also helped my husband Dan coach the OLPH girls middle school basketball team when our daughters went to OLPH. It was such a fun time! As he got older, he was content to be at home watching sporting events.
By and far, his favorite pastime was rooting for the Boston Red Sox baseball team. I truly think he was their biggest fan. He never missed a game. When they won the pennant in 2004 after the 86 year curse, my Dad told me “now I can die in peace.” He was 81 at the time. He lived 15 years after that World Series win to see the team win the Series again in 2007, 2013, and 2018.
He was always encouraging growing up. He had a laid back way about him who often taught morals through his storytelling. Growing up, I remember him telling me the story of Horatio Alger, an American writer from the mid 1800s who encouraged readers to work hard, persevere and have a can-do-spirit. This translated into one time when I was applying for a job and he reminded me of the story of Horatio Alger. He said when you interview for the job, you want to make it sound like you can almost walk on water. I just wish I had the confidence in myself that he had in me.
With my parents, it was like the energizer bunny meets the tortoise and the hare…..my Dad being the tortoise. My mom had a way of lighting a fire underneath him that I think helped to keep him going. He said to me just last week because of my mom’s encouragement, he said many rosaries and chaplets. Although he didn’t express it too much, I think he missed her terribly and was lost without her.
I want to thank my husband Dan for his undying support and our son Jonathan for his consistent care for his grandfather….day and night. It was not easy, but we just didn’t have the heart to put him in a nursing home. I would also like to thank my brother Bill and nephew Bill and all our children for your continued prayers during this difficult time. Additionally, I would like to thank all those gathered here tonight for your thoughts and prayers on behalf of my dad and to the Blessed Sacrament community for their continued prayers for my dad and our family as well. I will be eternally grateful for everyone’s support.