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Longtime Substitute Teacher with Family in Rumson, Patricia A. Hart, Dies at 86

Services begin on Friday.

Patricia A. Hart (Photo: Courtesy of the Hart family)
Patricia A. Hart (Photo: Courtesy of the Hart family)

The following obituary was submitted by the Hart family:

Patricia A. Hart, 86, lived a life filled with all of the joys and blessings anyone could ask for, with few sorrows but no regrets, and so we celebrate her life.

Born in beautiful Long Island City, NY she had an idyllic childhood; and, while attending Wagner College, met and fell in love with George Hart. They were married in 1948. After a little more than a decade in Fords, NJ, they moved their growing family to Middletown. 

She lost the love of her life in 1986 and devoted the remainder of her life to her family and her community. As a longtime substitute teacher in the Middletown Township School District, she taught her last class in June of this year, believing that the daily interaction with her students, kept her young.

Known for her kindness, patience and her three Rs — respect, responsibility and resourcefulness — former students would go out of their way to greet her at any chance encounter.

Always ready for an adventure, Pat loved to travel, visiting Ireland, Italy and the former Soviet Union, to name a few. Returning from one of these trips frequently resulted in a teaching moment, taught to any grandchild within earshot.

Normally these mini lessons in geography, culture and art were followed up with her often used mantra, "The more you read, the more you know, the more you know, the smarter you are …"

Nothing brought her more joy than to be with her family. Whether it was Summers at Chapel Beach Club, cheering on a grandson at a sporting event or shopping for “the good bargain” at Marshalls with her granddaughters, she was in her glory to be with them and was so very happy to see her grandchildren grow up to be such fine young men and women.

She spent the last three months of her life at Manor by the Sea in Ocean Grove. True to her nature, she never knew a stranger for more that ten minutes. Even as her illness reduced her physical strength, her charm and grace brought her many new friends. Her family wishes to thank everyone at the Manor for their kindness and the stellar care she received.

She was predeceased into Heaven by: her parents P.J. and Mary A. Flynn; her beloved daughter-in-law Patricia M. Hart; her sister- and brother-in-law Elizabeth and Jack Watkins; and the love of her life, her husband, George B. Hart, Sr., whom she missed every day for the last 27 years.

She is mourned and will be missed by her children: Barbara Reed, of Ocean, George B. Hart Jr., of Howell; Robert Hart and his wife Pam, of Rumson; Patricia Hart Zackman, of Little Silver; Joanne Okerbloom and her husband Len, of Gilbert, AZ; Marianne (Merry) Velcamp and her husband Joseph, of Rumson; and her nephew Bill Watkins and his wife Elizabeth of Alvin, TX.

She will be remembered as a teacher, a cheerleader and a friend by her most treasured grandchildren, Casey Reed and his wife Kristen, Beau Reed, Jennifer Martin and her husband Michael, Michael Hart, Amy Hart, Colin Hart, Kerry Hart, Ryan Hart, Scott Zackman, George Zackman, Sara Okerbloom, Aly Okerbloom, Kate Velcamp, Emily Velcamp, P.J. Velcamp, Jack Velcamp, her newborn great-grandson Travis Kole Helton and her cherished students of Middletown. 

Remember, be good to one another …

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Holy Cross School Auditorium, 30 Ward Ave., Rumson. Then we will take one more ride up the coast road for her interment at the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Middletown. 

She requested that in lieu of flowers, you make “a contribution for a student to further his or her education."


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