David C. Van Hart, 84, of Kattskill Bay, NY, formerly of Elizabeth, NJ passed away on Sunday Feb. 11, 2018. A graveside service will be held at Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church, New Hope, PA on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.
David was born in Elizabeth, NJ to J. Ely and Helen Carter Van Hart. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth and went on to get a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Masters in Education from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. While an undergraduate at Rutgers, David was on the JV and Varsity Crew. For many years, he was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (now Third Westminster) in Elizabeth serving as a Church School teacher, Elder, Clerk of Session and Treasurer.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958 and was active in the Army Reserves until he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Following active duty, David worked for Esso (now Exxon/Mobil). It didn’t take long for him to realize that he had a passion for teaching and working with young adults. He changed careers at age 30 and for over 40 years, David taught Math and Computer Science at Jonathan Dayton High School, Springfield NJ. He was a Key Club Advisor and assisted the Athletic Department with afterschool sports.
Following his retirement from teaching, Dave moved to his lake home on Kattskill Bay, NY where he was inseparable from his black labs. Dave was active in the Glens Falls, NY Kennel Club and was a member of Therapy Dogs International. He loved training and coaching his dogs Berry and Breezy in agilities and was a proud papa when they won awards at competitions. He volunteered with Breezy (a certified Therapy Dog) at a local elementary school where children could curl up next to Breezy and read to her.
Above all Dave loved being with his family. Before retiring from teaching, he spent his summers at the Ocean Beach NJ Marina onboard his Chris Craft cabin cruiser. It was a favorite place for family and friends to gather and many good times were had and memories made cruising on the Inland Waterway and Long Island Sound. After moving to Kattskill Bay, Dave continued his love of boating and welcomed the opportunity to take family and friends out on beautiful Lake George.
Whether it was holidays or birthday celebrations, Dave wanted the family to be together. “Family Gatherings” with dinner at 5:30 were a highlight for him, and he made countless roundtrips to NJ so that he wouldn’t miss out on the get-togethers. He beamed when he told his doctor this past Fall that there was going to be a family gathering in NY to celebrate his 84th birthday. A great time was had by all!
Dave was predeceased by his parents and his brother (J. Ely Van Hart, Jr.) and two beloved dogs, Bailey and Berry. He is survived by his nieces and nephews, Deborah Van Hart Meslar, Thomas Hall Van Hart, Scott Ely Van Hart, and Pamela Van Hart Steinwand, his great nephews and great niece, Matthew Van Hart, Joshua Van Hart and Melissa Van Hart and his very good friend Gregory Woods who is giving his surviving dog Breezy a loving home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in David’s name may be made to Woofs for Warriors, PO Box 2246, Glens Falls, NY 12804. This is an organization that helps Veterans in the Lake George, NY area get emotional support dogs,
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