Thomas M. Hart Sr., 88, Ashley passed away Friday at the Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, as a result of a fall at home. He was born in Sugar Notch on Aug. 20, 1921. Mr. Hart was a son of the late Michael A. and Mary A. Riley Hart.
Thomas was a graduate of Sugar Notch High School and Wilkes College, with a degree in Business Management & Accounting.
He was a U.S. Army Air Corps (Air Force) veteran of World War II, having served in the South Pacific for more than three years from 1942 until October 1945 with the 380th Bombardment Group, which was proudly known as “The Flying Circus.”
Mr. Hart was employed by the Internal Revenue Service as a treasury agent until his retirement in 1976, after which he successfully ran a tax business in Ashley for more than 30 years.
He was a member of St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, Ashley, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister, an adult altar server and on various church committees, including chairing past church festivals.
Mr. Hart was a founding member of The Ancient Order of Hibernians, St. John Neumann Division II, where he served more than 25 years as Treasurer.
In 1983 he was named “Hibernian of the Year”. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a past Grand Knight of Council 12089 of The Knights of Columbus of St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church. Thomas was a member of the Men of Malvern, the Ashley American Legion Post 673, and the Catholic War Veterans Post 274, Hanover Township.
Mr. Hart was a devoted fan of University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football and the New York Yankees.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Alice DeMuro, Margaret Sukowski, Mary Reese and Celia Fiorucci.
Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Josephine B. Hart, the former Josephine Baiamonte; sons, Thomas M. Hart Jr. and wife, Fiona, Michael Anthony Hart and wife, Pamela; grandchildren, Thomas M. Hart III, Michael A. Hart II, Jonathan T. Hart, Kaitlyn M. Hart, Patricia Jo Hart and Tyler E. Hart, two great-grandchildren; sister, Betty Fisher; sisters-in-law, Frances Mergo and Angeline Schutz; brother-in-law, Benjamin Baiamonte, 20 nieces and nephews and numerous grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Military funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 9 a.m. from the George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 N. Main St., Ashley. A Mass of Christian Burial is at 9:30 in St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, with the Rev. Thomas O’Malley, officiating. Entombment will follow in St. Mary’s Mausoleum, Hanover Township.
Family and friends may call on Monday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Thomas’ memory to St. Leo’s/Holy Rosary Church, 33 Manhattan St., Ashley, PA, 18706.
Published in Times Leader on Aug. 30, 2009