Bruce Wayne “Bud” Hart,(Feb. 3, 1950 – June 25, 2013) a dynamic, generous, and inspirational teacher and community leader passed away on June 25th, surrounded by loving family and friends.
Bruce was born in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. When he was two, his family moved to Sacramento. It was here in California that Bruce fell in love with the life of the outdoorsman. He became an Eagle Scout and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, swimming, and cross country running. He became a lifeguard, swimming instructor, and pool manager during his high school years. He was also the Student Body President of James Marshall High School. He then attended Sacramento City College and received his BA and teaching credential at Humboldt State University.
Bruce taught 7th and 8th grade at Fieldbrook School for 35 years. He was a passionate teacher who was known for his nurturing and guiding nature. His hugs and caring smiles encouraged generations of students and he was always looking for new experiences to inspire his teaching. Bruce was also generous with his time and took his students on trips to his cabin, Sacramento, Catalina Island, Washington D.C., and many other places. He was a basketball coach and a scout leader. He created a Fieldbrook School scholarship in memory of his parents Bruce & Patricia Hart. His hard work, enthusiastic teaching style, and dedication to education were acknowledged by his being named the Humboldt County Teacher of the Year 1986-87 and was 1 of 4 finalists for California Teacher of the Year. He also received the Humboldt County Excellence in Teaching award. This recognition inspired Bruce, along with his wife, to embark on a Search for Teaching Excellence National Tour 1993-94 to interview other award-winning teachers in all 50 states. He created a presentation and guest lectured around the country on Excellence in Teaching.
Bruce spent countless hours in the mountains near his cabin on Mt. Etna as well as on a fishing boat in Alaska. He traveled to Africa with his aunt, worked as a seasonal Forest Service employee on Wheeler Peak in Nevada. He was a member of the Fieldbrook Volunteer Fire Dept. for 30 years and was a Master Mason of the Six Rivers lodge in Arcata. Bruce was an ultra marathon runner and enjoyed ride and ties.
Bruce is perhaps most famous in our community for the wonderful dance classes that he taught with his wife Carey, the love of his life. He estimated at one point that he had taught over 7,000 people how to dance.
Amazingly, Bruce stopped aging once he turned 50 years old and had an annual 50th birthday party for the next 13 years. Bruce continued to enjoy working on his cabin, chopping wood, cooking for large crowds, diving for abalone, hunting, fishing, rescuing animals, and giving to others wherever he could. He also enjoyed giving out warm fuzzies to students and reading the diary of Opal.
Bruce is preceded in death by his parents Bruce Hart and Patricia Hart and his brother-in-law Chris DeMars. He is survived by his wife Carey, three sisters, Sherry Hart of Boulder Colorado, Deborah DeMars of Point Arena, Julie Hart Brown of Somerset, and his brother-in-law Russell Brown of Somerset. He is also survived by his nieces, Tiffany Martin, of West Sacramento and Laura Schnyder of Fort Jones, and his nephews, Christopher DeMars of Sonora and Merle Egeland of Santa Cruz. He is also survived by his seven cats and three dogs.
Donations may be made to the Bruce Hart Gym fund at Fieldbrook School. Checks should be made to: Fieldbrook Educational Foundation (Gym Fund) and mailed to PO Box 2291 McKinleyville, CA 95519
A Celebration of Life event is scheduled for July 20th 7 -10 pm at the Arcata Community Center.