Obituary ~ John Samuel Hart, 1946-2010
John Samuel Hart passed away Oct. 19, 2010, at the University Hospital in Edmonton at the age of 64 years. The following is the eulogy delivered by his nephew, Robin Gordon, of Vancouver.
Thank you all for being here today to honour and celebrate the life of my uncle, John Samuel Hart.
John was born Aug. 23, 1946 to Harry Samuel and Margaret Irene Hart at High Prairie Providence Hospital. John grew up on the family farm in Big Meadow, only minutes down the road.
My mother Peggy remembers him swimming in the creek and getting bloodsuckers stuck all over him. In the summer, he would build rafts and in the winter he would ice skate and go tobogganing with his sister and the neighbourhood kids. There was no TV so he, his sister, and their friends had their fun outside, or when it got too cold, they came inside and played Monopoly.
From Grades 1-6 John attended the one-room Nordin schoolhouse about 1 1/2 miles east of the farm. After Grade 6 he went to Prairie River School in High Prairie.
John left school at age 16 to work in the forestry industry in which he worked most of his life, mainly at Bissellís and Buchananís.
In the spring of 1973 he met his future wife, Donella, while he was helping a friend tow a broken down truck. Although it was love a first sight, circumstances prevented a quick union, but eventually love prevailed and they were wed Feb 15, 1975 in Peace River.
On Feb. 13, 1978 they adopted their eldest son, Raymond Samuel, at the age of five weeks. While preparing to adopt a sister for Raymond, John and Donella were blessed with news that Donella was pregnant with their son Jonathan, who was later born on Jan. 16, 1981. He was soon to be followed Oct. 8, 1982 by James. They were later blessed with the arrival of their beautiful daughter, Debbie, on July 22, 1987.
John spent his life close to home, living for a number of years in Enilda, before returning to the family homestead in Big Meadow.
Anyone who knew John knew his family was the most important thing in the world to him. He was absolutely devoted to Donella, his children and his granddaughter Mishyla. John didnít concern himself with politics and other B.S.
He worked hard to provide for his family, working at the mill, hauling water, driving taxi, and whatever else it took to put food on the table.
I remember my Uncle John as a strong but mostly silent man, with eyes that shined, and a heartfelt laugh that bellowed from the belly.
In the words of his son, Jonathan, he never showed a lot of emotion but he was always there, from shoveling the creek for skating or signing a loan.
John would never hesitate to help a neighbour or a friend.
If you did something stupid heíd give you heck, but heíd be there the next time to help you out of whatever mess you got yourself into.
It is so terribly sad he left us at such a young age. There are so many who will miss him greatly. There will be a big hole in our lives without him.
John is survived by: his loving wife, Donella Marie Hart; his sons, Jonathan and James; his daughter, Debbie; granddaughter Mishyla; his sister, Peggy; his brother-in-law Ross; several nieces and one nephew; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, loved ones and friends, and his close-knit community.
He was predeceased by: his mother Margaret in 1967; his father Harry in 1989; and, tragically, his eldest son Raymond in 2000.
A celebration of Johnís life was held at the Big Meadow Community Hall Oct. 15, 2010, with Pastor Don Porter officiating. The eulogist was Robin Gordon. Honourary pallbearers were Walter Krystal, Robert Lemay, Harvey Nielsen, Harold Peterson, Lynn Sandquist and James Walker.