John Hart

John S. Hart
Evansville, Indiana
John Samuel Hart was born the son of Lawrence Everett Hart and Opal Frances (Mullin) of Maunie, Illinois on July 23, 1924. He was their only child and after his parent's untimely passing, he was taken in and raised by his mother's sister, Dulca and her husband Rufus Rose. He grew up together with his many cousins whom he loved as siblings. As a child, he was baptized at Maunie General Baptist Church.
As a young man, John was a superior athlete excelling in football, basketball, baseball, and track earning varsity letters in all. He graduated valedictorian of Maunie High School and joined the U.S. Naval Forces in 1942.
During WWII, he served as a gunner's mate on the USS Cowell as one of the Seventh Fleet taking part in every major campaign battle in the Pacific. His ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its part in the capture and occupation of Okinawa from April 1 to June 17, 1945. After the war, John returned home to his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Eliza James. He said that was the happiest time of his life. They married on January 16, 1947 and from this union were blessed with four children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
He worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier for much of the downtown and west side areas of Evansville from 1955 until he retired in 1984.In his spare time, he was in bowling leagues, played and coached baseball, and played music for local establishments. He was also a member of VFW Post #3851 in Carmi, Illinois.
A self-taught musician, John played guitar and sang with a pure, natural talent. He performed at the CK Newsome Center with the Carson Lowery band and with his son Alan at nursing homes around the Tri-State for many years. He was a strong willed, vibrant man who delighted in making people smile and laugh. Other hobbies included following IU basketball, the St. Louis Cardinals, genealogy, gardening, fishing, traveling, and keeping in touch with extended family, school friends, and war buddies.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Eliza "Sally" James (Huff),his children David Hart of Indianapolis; John "Sam" Hart II, Alan (and wife Elaine) Hart, and Barbara Hart, all of Evansville, IN; Grandchildren Julie Buente, Lynsey Fields, Sarah-Elizabeth Hart, and Isaac Hart; and Great-Grandchildren Julian and Sylvia Rose Buente, Beau and Luke Fields.
The Hart family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Sinha and nurse Amy, VNA nurse Cindy Reese, and The Charlier Hospice Center nurses for their care and compassion. We are grateful for the extension of time he was given; just like him it was priceless.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2pm to 6pm at Sunset Funeral Home in Evansville. The funeral service will be Monday at 11am where he will be laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations may be sent to the VNA.

Funeral Home

Sunset Funeral Home and Memorial Park
1800 St. George Rd. Evansville, IN 47711
(812) 477-5316

Published in Courier Press on Apr. 12, 2014