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Col. Elwin B. USMC Retired Hart


1925 - 2020
Col. Elwin B. USMC Retired Hart Obituary
Col. Elwin B. Hart, USMC, Retired Elwin Hart loved life, baseball, golf, political discussion and a little drink at the end of the day, but most of all he loved his family and the Marine Corps. He left home at an early age and grew to manhood during wartime, learning the values of the Marine Corps. What he learned he taught others, either in a classroom or by example, and tried to improve it in that passing. Elwin left us on January 14, 2020, in the company of four generations of family. He was beloved for his character and kindness. Elwin was born June 5, 1925, in Waldo, Arkansas, to Bert Lee Hart and Ina Mae McMahon Hart. He was the first of three children. At fifteen, he graduated from Fair Park H.S. in Shreveport, LA., excelling in journalism, debate and tennis. Three days later, with his father's approval, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was a combat radio operator on Guadalcanal and the island of Tarawa where he maintained the only radio contact with the command ship for the duration of the battle. After electing promotion to sergeant over an offered medal, Elwin spent the remainder of the war as an Intercept Operator (Japanese Code) in Hawaii. In 1950, he advanced to Officers Candidate School. He was a Captain in Korea and a Major in Viet Nam. His final post was as Superintendent of the Communications School at Quantico, VA. In 1974, he retired from the military and moved to Washington State. He served in Pierce County for more than 5 years as director of Law and Justice Planning Office and (briefly) as Pierce County Sheriff, he then served as Deputy Director of the Washington State Gambling and Lottery Commissions for over 5 years. Elwin met his first wife, Gladys Pease Hart, while stationed on Bainbridge Island, WA. She was serving in the Navy during WWII. During their 63 years of a very happy marriage, they adopted three children. Gladys passed away in 2008. Later, Elwin moved to Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way, WA. He remarried in 2012, to Nancy Mullen Kling, also a resident at Village Green. It was the first wedding in the retirement community. He was active in the community, made many friends and wrote his memoir while there. Entitled Did I Do Enough, (Nancy Said Yes), it summarized his wonderful life. Elwin is survived by his beloved wife Nancy, his sister Yvon Hart of Seattle, his brother Roger Hart of Phoenix, daughter Marylee Hart of Knoxville, Tennessee and sons Robert Hart of Alabama and Tom Hart of Spokane, grandsons Logan Hart and Damon Hart, and nieces Leslie Hammond, Lisa Cubbins, Elaine Cubbins' and nephew Tom Doodigan. Elwin is lovingly remembered by Nancy's children Kristi Fredricks of Federal Way, and Edward Kling of Honolulu, her grandchildren Todd Fredricks (Crystal) and Marki Stover (Brian) and two great-granddaughters. Elwin is to be interred in Tahoma National Cemetery with military honors. He requested no funeral, but his family and friends will celebrate his life with food, drink and laughter in the near future.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Feb. 5, 2020
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