Gerald "Gerry" Francis Hart
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Gerald (Gerry) Francis Hart, of Mesquite, NV, formerly of Newark, DE, checked out of his extraordinary existence on March 8, 2013 due to complications of Myelodyplastic Syndrome. He was 69.
Born in Grants Pass, OR, Gerry was the fourth of eight like-minded children, all with similar clever smiles and a penchant for delightful irreverence. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Carroll College in Montana, he held a series of odd jobs and joined the Army National Guard. While stationed in Aberdeen, MD, he met Judy Anderson and in 1967, they were married and moved to Wilmington, DE.
Gerry found his calling as an educator and mentor to disinvested and incarcerated individuals at Delaware Skills Center and Baylor Women's Correctional Institution. During this time, he also coached youth athletics for the Cecil County Youth Football League, Caravel Academy and Howard High School of Technology.
Prior to retiring to Mesquite in 2006, Gerry served as a Life Skills Teacher at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution (Gander Hill). His unyielding commitment to inmates provided opportunities for them to live more productive lives and resulted in an extremely low recidivism rate. He supplemented his time at Gander hill as Night Principal for the New Castle County Vocational School District, helping adults overcome obstacles in obtaining their GEDs.
Gerry valued people and devoted his life to his family. He loved sports and spent much of his short retirement on the fairways. He was revered as a giant teddy bear and lovingly referred to as Darth Vader without his mask. Gerry's consummate virtuous force continues with those who loved him most.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Betty Hart, and his sister, Kathryn Marie Hart Hopkins. He is survived by his wife, Judy, daughters Kristin and Megan (Glen Folland), son Kellen, grandchildren Ford and June Folland, two sisters (MaryAnn and Carol), four brothers (Tom, Tim, Larry and John), and many nieces and nephews.
His family will be hosting an open-house in celebration of his life on May 11th. Those touched by Gerry are invited to write to email@example.com or request to join a private Facebook group, "The Legendary Gerry Hart," for more celebration details. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial gifts be made in his name to Newark American Little League, P.O. Box 7766, Newark, DE 19714.
Published in The News Journal on Mar. 28, 2013