Edward G. Hart Jr., 76, business owner, World War II veteran

April 22, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Edward G. Hart Jr., a businessman and World War II veteran who was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries suffered while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, died of a heart attack Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.

The lifelong city resident was returning to Baltimore from his winter home in Florida. He was 76.

Mr. Hart founded Hart Industries Inc. in 1969 after working nearly 20 years in the packaging industry. The Owings Mills business employs about 40 people, including Mr. Hart's two sons, in the manufacture of packaging products. He retired in 1992.

Drafted into the Army infantry as a student at Loyola College, Mr. Hart arrived in Europe shortly after D-Day.

"He was a very proud veteran and a real history buff on World War II," said a son, Timothy J. Hart of Cockeysville. "He was interested in all the historical details of the war, particularly about the Battle of the Bulge. It left a lasting impression on him, especially because a lot of the friends he made there were fatally wounded."

In his retirement, Mr. Hart enjoyed traveling with his wife, Patricia, who survives him.

The couple, married 47 years, traveled the world, and she accompanied him when he returned to France for the 50th anniversary celebration of D-Day.

"He was very moved by the reception given the vets and the gratitude, particularly in the small French towns," Timothy Hart said.

Mr. Hart was a 1943 graduate of Loyola high school. He graduated in 1948 from Loyola College, where he played baseball. He remained active in both schools' alumni associations throughout his life.

An avid golfer, Mr. Hart often gave lessons in the sport to his grandchildren.

"He was enthusiastic about high school sports his whole life and attended all his grandchildren's games," Timothy Hart said. "It was one way that he spent time with them. He was a very involved grandfather and knew all 10 of his grandchildren very well."

In the 1960s, Mr. Hart was a volunteer in the Baltimore City Fire Department Auxiliary and was named an honorary fire chief for his efforts.

"He was always supportive of the city's firefighters and very interested in helping them serve the community however he could," Timothy Hart said. "My father had a deep commitment to his country and to his community."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St. Mr. Hart was a longtime member of the parish and served as a lector there for 30 years.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by another son, Edward G. Hart III of Ruxton; two daughters, Mary Carol Tazwell of Alexandria, Va., and Elizabeth Ann Hart of Baltimore; two sisters, Peggy Bergin-Hubbell of Arlington, Va., and Ellen M. Hart of Baltimore; and 10 grandchildren.

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