HADLEY - Robert Allen Hart, 84, died peacefully Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, after a serious illness.
He was born Jan. 19, 1929, and his experiences as a child of the Depression era made for many interesting stories.
He received his bachelor's, master's, and his doctorate at Indiana University, first specializing in journalism and English, then focusing on history; he was also editor of the University newspaper.
After an early career as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Robert taught English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and history at the State University of New York Cortland. He came to Amherst in 1966 as a professor at the University of Massachusetts, specializing in the field of American and Diplomatic History. He educated hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, until retiring in 1989, after which he pursued a career in finance and investing.
Robert was particularly interested in naval history (the photo was taken on the decks of the U.S.S. Constitution), and his published books included The Great White Fleet; its Voyage Around the World, 1907-1909, The Uncertain Crusade; America and the Russian revolution of 1905 (with Arthur Thompson), and The Eccentric Tradition: American Diplomacy in the Far East. He is also the author of numerous short stories, published in various magazines in the mid 1950's.
Robert was a passionate appreciator of music, and especially enjoyed the operas of Wagner, the works of J.S. Bach, and anything by Gilbert and Sullivan. He loved to paint, and his oil landscapes grace the walls of many of his family members; he was also an avid Boston sports fan.
He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth Hart Damon and her husband Richard Damon of Amherst; his sister and brother-in-law Martha and Charles Osborn of Bloomington, Ind.; his grandson Christopher Marcus of Greenfield; and nine adoring nieces and nephews from New Hampshire to Hawaii.
A private funeral will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Grace Episcopal Church.
Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Sept. 17, 2013
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01002