Gordon Hart

January 11, 1925 - May 26, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI

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Life Story / Obituary


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Gordon Lester Hart made his life debut in the 1920’s decade which was a time that was given the name that never left history books: “The Roaring Twenties.” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, “The Great Gatsby,” was published in this year, and even today is enjoyed by high school students everywhere as they gain some perspective of the rich era. Calvin Coolidge marked the 30th president in office, and he was well respected by the majority during his time. Throughout this year, families were able to visit the first Sears Roebuck and Company store if they happened to be in the Chicago area, otherwise, it was still a well-known catalog shopping experience. Christmas gifts purchased from Sears would now be wrapped and secured with the invention of Scotch Tape.

Early in the year of 1925, Cornelius & Anna (Marcusse) Hart gave birth to their last son. In Tallmadge Township, Michigan in the comforts of the family farmhouse, Gordon Lester Hart was born on January 11, 1925. He was the little brother amidst his three other brothers and his only big sister.

The family farm was located near the Grand River, and his childhood was filled with many memories. There was never a lack for something to do, whether it be chores around the house or simply exploring the great wide world right there on the farm. There was a dirt path that wound around the cornfields and led to the banks of the Grand River. There were cows and fluffy little yellow chicks squawking in an incubator inside the barn. Gordon earned his education up through the 8th grade, but he stopped before proceeding to high school because the family's farm needed more of his attention. He spent many hours selling produce at Fulton Street Market. He learned his love for music from his mother Anna who played hymns, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater and Chopsticks on the player piano.

Irene Vegter found a special place in Gordon's heart, and the two planned for a winter wedding. On a particularly snowy evening, the couple became Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hart as they exchanged vows on December 1, 1949.

The newlyweds settled into married life in an apartment above Gordon's parents' home. This was convenient, as he continued to help work on the family farm. Irene soon found out that she was expecting their first child, and so they eventually moved to a home on Knapp which would be where they would raise their family for the rest of their years. To help support the growing family, Gordon worked at the corner gas station for a few years. Gordon enjoyed tinkering with just about anything broken determined to find a way to repair or restore it. This natural knack led him to convert his garage into a shop where he started a fix-it business. While it was predominantly a small engine repair business, he worked on anything that needed fixing. He sharpened skates, reel mowers, knives, appliances. He also valued the Snapper mower, saying it was the Cadillac of all mowers, so this passionate belief helped him with the decision to begin selling them himself. A perfectionist at heart, a determined hard worker and one who was never satisfied unless the job was meticulously completed, he kept his shop in perfect order and always returned any items repaired to the owners looking like new. He believed in investing in the best and always taking care of it - whatever it might be.

As the Hart family matured, they went on many camping adventures together throughout the years, exploring the state of Michigan and all its beautiful campgrounds. They spent many hours boating out on the lake while Gordon taught his children to water ski. They eventually bought a cottage on Gun Lake along with some of Irene's family. Many wonderful family and friend gatherings were hosted there. Later in life, he and Irene purchased a motorhome which they used to see even more of the great state of Michigan.

When Gordon sought time for relaxation or personal interests, he played card games of Canasta, Rook, and Dominoes, and he loved music and was quite musical. He sang, played the guitar and the harmonica which he called a "mouth organ". In fact, he loved to perform on stage. He was able to fulfill this desire as part of the Christian Campers Club which played at many places. He taught his children and grandchildren to play the guitar. His favorites included "Because He Lives", "How Great Thou Art", "What a Day That Will Be" and "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder". Gordon also had parakeet companions named "Mikey" throughout the years and taught them how to speak! Gordon and Irene were longtime members of Bethel Reformed Church.

Together, Gordon and Irene were blessed with a son and two daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The year of 2012 proved to be difficult, as this was the year during which Gordon was forced to say goodbye to his wife, Irene.

Time proved to make life more challenging for Gordon, so he was moved to Fulton Manor for the help he required to live each day more comfortably. He resided there for the last five years. After 92 years, Gordon said his final farewell to this world on May 26, 2017.

A private service was held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pregnancy Resource Center Education Department.

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