Hart, Russell

Written by David Green.

Russell Neal Hart, 88, of Morenci, Mich., died Feb. 4, 2008, at Provincial House in Adrian.

He was born Sept. 7, 1919, in Tecumseh, Mich., the son of Harold and Caroline (Heck) Hart. He married Helen Durjan on April 21, 1943, in Morenci, and she preceded him in death June 23, 2007.

Russell moved to Morenci in the 1930s. He was employed at Parker Rust Proofing for 37 years, retiring in 1981.

He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was proud to have survived the Battle of the Bulge where he was a 90mm anti-aircraft gunner. He was a member of the Morenci American Legion Post #368, the Morenci Kiwanis Club and the Morenci United Methodist Church.

Russell is survived by two daughters, Barbara (and Ken) Vallieu of Hillsdale, Mich., and Esther (and Tom) Gilbert of Onsted, Mich.; one son, Roger (and Lisa) Hart of Tecumseh, Mich.; nine grandchildren, Brian (and Mary) Vallieu of Midland, Mich., Kristin (and Geoff) Malosh of Pittsburgh, Pa., Matt (and Beth) Girdham of Bollingbrook, Ill., Joline Girdham of Bollingbrook, Ill., Jeff (and Kay) Gilbert of Onsted, Joe (and Rachelle) Gilbert, Jeremy Gilbert, Sarah Hart and Anneka Hart, all of Tecumseh; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Louise Godfrey of Wolverine, Mich., and Donelda (and Harold) Potts of Prattville, Mich.; and one brother, Harold Hart of Boulder, Colo.

Besides his wife, Russell was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter; two great-granddaughters; two sisters, Eleanor Pilbeam and Hazel Hunt; and five brothers, Edwin, David, Donald, Richard and Earl Hart.

Funeral services are scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday at Eagle Funeral Home-Charles Fink Chapel in Morenci with Rev. William VanValkenburg and Rev. Rich Burstall officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery in Morenci,

Visitation is scheduled from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee or the Rex Riley Scholarship Fund.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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