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Margaret A. Hart

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Miss Margaret A. Hart, 92, of Ide Road, died Feb. 20, 2004 at Sweetbrook Nursing Home.

She was born in Williamstown on Dec. 19, 1911. She was the daughter of the late Henry Hart Sr. and Kate (Alexander) Hart.

She was a lifelong resident of Berkshire County and attended both grade and high school in Williamstown. She was the first student of color to graduate from North Adams State Teachers College in 1935, now known as Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She went on to receive a master’s degree at Columbia State Teachers College in New York and an honorary doctorate of pedagogy from North Adams State Teachers College.

Miss Hart had a distinguished teaching career which spanned more than three decades at Hampton Institute Training School in Alabama; public schools in Evansville, Ind.; and at the North Junior High School (now Reed) in Pittsfield. She was the first African American to hold such posts.

Her teaching and community service spanned more than five decades. She received numerous honors and awards over the years, including a portrait honoring her at Pitt Park on the west side of Pittsfield.

A scholarship has been established in recognition of Margaret A. Hart’s outstanding contributions to MCLA and Berkshire County. Miss Hart was a lifetime member of the NAACP. She was also a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown.

She leaves two brothers, Dr. Thomas A. Hart Sr. of Washington D.C., and James Y. Hart Sr., president of Hart Construction Co. and his wife Mary of Williamstown; a sister-in-law Barbara Hart of Williamstown; nine nieces and eight nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers Henry Hart Jr., William F. Hart Sr. and Allen W.P. Hart; a nephew James Hart Jr. and a sister-in-law Adalyne Hart.

The funeral will be held from the First United Methodist Church of Williamstown on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. Friends may call at the First United Methodist Church from 2 to 4 p.m. when the family will be in attendance. Entombment will take place in the Sherman Burbank Memorial Chapel with the burial to take place in East Lawn Cemetery in the spring.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to the Margaret A. Hart Scholarship Fund at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts through the office of the George M. Hopkins Funeral Home, 61-67 Spring St., Williamstown MA 01267.
Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 23, 2004
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