December 10, 1948 — December 17, 2017
The angels came for Gary Lynn Hart, beloved husband and treasured father, on December 17, a week after he was able to celebrate his 69th birthday. He passed away at The Oregon Veteran’s Home of Lebanon following a lengthy battle with cancer. He found comfort in his faith and left this earth with confidence and a firm testimony, and was steadied throughout his journey because of his assurance through Jesus Christ.
A Lebanon resident all his life, he was “born in the library” (originally a hospital, then a library, and now the Boys’ and Girls’ Teen Resource Center), in 1948. An only child who was a studious and sensitive boy, he grew into a handsome young man who enlisted in the Army and served in the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile Division) from 1968-1970. He touched down in Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam and served in Quan Loi, Song Be and Tay Ninh. He served our country as a Hospital Corpsman (a field combat medic), and was the recipient of two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Till the day he passed, he carried the shrapnel in his side that had not been removed.
During the war, he developed a friendship with a Miss Jeanie Crane; they began exchanging letters and became engaged shortly after Gary returned back to Oregon. Married in 1970, they settled into domestic life and eventually, a child came along, Amy, who adored her dad and always wanted to make him proud. He was an excellent example to his family of the value of hard work, kindness and decency.
Gary worked at the Wah Chang campus in Albany for 38 years, retiring in 2008.
Gary enjoyed fishing, watching basketball, baseball and football (especially his OSU Beavers and Dallas Cowboys), and collecting and trading sports cards.
He was a humble man of deep faith, courage, and devotion, and gave his time and energies to those who were fortunate to have known him or crossed paths with him. In the best sense, he was a quiet, gentle soul who remained true to the hometown values he represented so faithfully.
He will be remembered as a good man, a loyal friend, and somebody who understood people. The war changed him, and he didn’t like to talk about it much, but in his later years he found solace and support in an Albany veteran’s group and made some dear friends who did their best to help each other cope with the aftermath of life after combat.
He was preceded in death by parents Sidney and Dorothy Hart and dear friend Fred Cummings.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Jeanie Hart; daughter Amy and son-in-law Darin Waite; and a large group of cousins who became more like siblings that he cherished.
When someone leaves this world, we reflect on their special gifts that there are now less of in the world. Gary’s were a heart of compassion, a listening ear, and a hand to help those in need. In the days to come perhaps we can all attempt to fill the void that is left.
Gary’s desire would be that all those remaining would view life as precious and use their lives as he did as an example to others as to how they should be – an instrument of God for the good of others. He would say that if there’s something you want to do, don’t wait – DO IT.
The family would like to thank the many wonderful friends and family who were so faithful to visit Gary. They would also like to recognize the caring staff of The Oregon Veteran’s Home of Lebanon for going above and beyond to make Gary’s final days the best quality they could be, and to the wonderful service providers at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances in Gary’s memory be made to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (https://billygraham.org) or to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 20 at Southside Church of Christ in Lebanon. All who knew Gary are welcome to attend.
Arrangements entrusted to Huston-Jost Funeral Home.