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M. Peter Hart 1924-2010

Nov 23, 2010

MILFORD — Services for Peter Hart were held Saturday, Nov. 20, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Milford.

M. Peter Hart, 86, of Milford, died Monday, Nov. 15, 2010 of pancreatic cancer, at his home. He was the son of James Francis and Anna Dolores Canavan Hart, born Oct. 25, 1924 at home in Des Moines.

He attended St. Ambrose Cathedral Grade School in Des Moines, graduating in 1938, and Dowling Catholic High School, graduating in 1942. In the fall of 1942, he enrolled at Creighton University at the age of 17. At the end of the first semester in January 1943, he entered the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II as a pharmacist’s mate. He was discharged from the Navy in April 1946 and re-entered Creighton University, graduating in June, 1949. As a Navy hospital corpsman, Pete worked in different naval hospitals, caring for the wounded from the Pacific theatre of the war, in San Diego, Long Beach and Banning, CA. During the middle of the war there were 10,000 patients in the Pacific encounter.

He was united in marriage to Mary Isabel Spies of Emmetsburg on June 27, 1949. She died May 8, 1994. He worked in the Security Bank of Storm Lake after their marriage until January 1952 when they moved to Graettinger where he was a manager of the Spies Farm Lands. In May 1961, the family moved to Emmetsburg where he continued to be employed by the Spies Farm lands until April 1, 1966. He then assumed the Executive Directorship of the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc. In 1968 he was elected president of the Iowa Association of Community Action Directors. He served as president for two years.

On Sept. 1, 1981 he retired from the UDMO. His retirement included management of Hart Apartments until June 1, 2000. In May 1981, the family moved to their home at Lake Okoboji.

On May 24, 1986, he was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church. He continued to conduct religious services regularly in the Milford Nursing Home as well as visiting shut-ins. Pete has been an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Milford for the past 30 years. He taught Religious Education to seniors and sixth graders for 13 years. Pete was famous for his generosity in cooking and barbequing for large numbers of family and friends at his home. He took pride in the July 23, 2010 record of serving 110. He enjoyed all lake activities including ice boating, ice skating, sailing, and swimming. He was the speed skating champion in 1978.

Pete and Izzy were the parents of 13 children: Mary and Dr. Gordon Orgler of Denton, SC; Katy and Wally Boever of Lincoln, NE; Peter and Colleen Hart of Emmetsburg; James Hart of Des Moines; Margaret and Mel Molitor of Spencer; Dr. John and Pam Hart of Greenville, SC;, Maureen and Jerry Duhn of Cross Plains, WI; Dr. Joe and Barb Hart of Waterloo; Isabel and Dr. Tim Russell of Remsen; Dr. Fran and Joan Hart of Grand Rapids, MI; Theresa and Dr. Kurt Eckard of West Okoboji; and Dr. Tom and Anne Marie Hart of Wahoo, NE. Their son, Benedict Michael, was stillborn in 1961. He is also survived by 61 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren; his brother, Bernard Hart of Milford; sisters- and brothers-in-law: Mary Sully, John Spies, Tom Spies and Elisabeth Finnegan.

Preceding him in death were his wife, parents and his brothers, James, Fr. John, Joseph, Paul and Larry.

Turner Jenness Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be submitted at turnerfuneralhomes.com.