Thomas Hart passed peacefully, Friday, August 15. He lost his struggle with ALS, which was diagnosed only a few months ago. During this short time his children, loving friends, and his companion for the past six years Winnifred Perman, a longtime resident of Sequim, Washington surrounded him. Born in Massachusetts on January 1, 1937, Tom was the only surviving child of Clifton and Evelyn Hart. In his pre-teens, his family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Tom met Patricia Jeanne Callaghan, his wife of fifty-three years until her death in March 2008. Their two children, Glenn Alan (Carol) Hart and Lynne Hart (Mark) Wilcox of Anchorage, Alaska, and daughter-in-law Karen Hart of Sequim, survive him. Tom was adored by his grandchildren Jason Alan Hart, Mathew James McCourt, and Merissa Gargiulo, and his great-grandchildren Cole McCourt, Liam Hart and River Gargiulo. He was preceded in death by his son, Tommy Clifton Hart. Tom Hart's life's passion was aviation. Better known as Captain Tom Hart, he served in the United States Navy. Following his military service, he began his career as a commercial airline pilot, and flying became his hobby in retirement. He loved flying. Tom made his home in Sequim, Washington, after his retirement from Flying Tiger Line and Reeve Aleutian Airways in 1997. Though he came to Sequim, Washington to retreat from the career world, slowing down was certainly not part of his retirement plan. His roots were firmly planted in Sequim, but he did not let any grass grow under his feet. Tom mentored young people in aviation with the Port Townsend Aviation Museum, was a member of Quiet Birdmen, and taught many to fly as a flight instructor. He also conducted biannual aircraft reviews, and worked with experimental aviation. With compassion and generosity, Tom chose to see the good in everyone that traveled in his circle of life, and he was quick to forgive. While everyone is dealt cards of misfortune in their lifetime, Tom chose to play the card of giving and caring for those around him. Tom was a longtime caregiver for his ailing mother. He dedicated many years to his wife, Patricia's battle with cancer. Without hesitation, he came to his son's side during his cancer recovery. Many other friends experienced his kindness and open heart. Beau & Bell, his feline companions for more than 15 years, and White Socks, the stray cat that paid Tom nightly visits, will miss Tom's love and generosity. In lieu of flowers, gifts are suggested to the ALS Association (alsa.org), Peninsula Friends of Animals (http://safehavenpfoa.org/), and Port Townsend Aviation Museum (http://ptaeromuseum.com/) A Celebration of Life will be held August 30, 2014, 10 a.m. - 12 noon, at the John Wayne Marina, 2577 West Sequim Bay Road, in Sequim. An open house will follow at Tom's home from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
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Published in Alaska Dispatch News on Aug. 22, 2014