OREGON – Philip Foster Hart, 66, of Oregon, died unexpectedly Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at his home.
He was born Nov. 19, 1946, in Vincennes, Ind., the son of George and Inez (Bell) Hart. He grew up in southern Illinois and Country Club Hills, a suburb of Chicago. He married Myrna Lou Hutson on Aug. 14, 1971, in Homewood.
He served as an infantryman in Vietnam with Delta Company 2/8 of the First Cavalry Division in 1967 and 1968. During his tour of duty, he was awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed on the battlefield as a private first class. When he returned to the United States, he trained soldiers for combat as a staff sergeant.
Phil was a Northern Illinois University alumnus, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Phil taught history at Etnyre Middle School in Oregon for 32 years. His last 18 years, he taught with a very special fifth grade team of teachers. He really enjoyed storytelling in both history class and social life. His humor was a gift he shared with family, friends and students. He found humor in the most mundane aspects of everyday life. During his career, he was a leader in the Oregon Education Association, serving as president and negotiator multiple times. After retirement in 2005, he served as a board member of Lifeline for 5 years.
He also enjoyed new adventures and experiences, including trips to Argentina, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Florida baseball spring training; and sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. He always enjoyed family and friends. Those who knew Phil appreciated not only his sense of humor, but his strength of character.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Myrna; sons, Adam Hutson Hart of Rockford and Ryan Foster Hart of Lake Geneva, Wis.; sister, Jan (J.D.) Miller of Clermont, Fla.; brother, Thomas (Carolyn) Hart of St. Francisville; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by the memorial service at 3 p.m., Jan. 19 at Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 110 S. Seventh St., Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
Visit www.farrellhollandgale.com to send condolences.