Philip Foster Hart, 66, Oregon, died unexpectedly at his home on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.
He was born in Vincennes, Ind., on Nov. 19, 1946 the son of George and Inez (Bell) Hart.
He grew up in southern Illinois and Country Club Hills, a suburb of Chicago.
He married Myrna Lou Hutson in Homewood on Aug.14, 1971.
He served as an infantryman in Vietnam with Delta Company 2/8 of the First Cavalry Division in 1967 and 1968.
During his tour of duty he was awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed on the battlefield as a PFC.
When he returned to the U.S., he trained soldiers for combat as a Staff Sergeant.
Phil was an Northern Illinois University alumnus with bachelor's and master's degrees in education.
Phil taught history in Oregon at Etnyre Middle School for 32 years.
His last 18 years he taught with a very special fifth grade team of teachers.
He really enjoyed storytelling in both history class and social life.
His humor was a gift he shared with family, friends and students. He found humor in the most mundane aspects of everyday life.
During his career, he was a leader in the Oregon Education Association, serving as president and negotiator multiple times. Since retirement in 2005, he served as a board member of Lifeline for five years.
He also enjoyed new adventures and experiences, including trips to Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Florida baseball spring training, and sailing in the Gulf of Mexico.
He always enjoyed family and friends. Those who knew Phil appreciated not only his sense of humor, but his strength of character.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Myrna; sons, Adam Hutson Hart, Rockford, and Ryan Foster Hart, Lake Geneva, Wis.; sister, Jan (J.D.) Miller, Clermont, Fla.; brother, Thomas (Carolyn) Hart, St. Francisville; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at 3 p.m., preceded by visitation beginning at 1 p.m., at Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 110 S. Seventh St., Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name.
Visit www.farrellhollandgale.com to leave online condolences.