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.

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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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