Obituaries — February 18, 2010


Mrs. Ruth M. Hart, age 96, of Rockford passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. She grew up on Godfrey Street in Grand Rapids and was a 1931 graduate of Lee High School and then attended Davis Tech.

It was the time of the Great Depression, and her father had lost his job. He purchased the property on Young Avenue in Rockford where he farmed as a means of feeding his family. On September 11, 1937, Ruth married Pyrle “Peak” Hart. The Depression shaped Mrs. Hart’s life. She was always well organized and well prepared.

In 1951, she and her husband turned the farm into the Hart’s Christmas Tree Farm. The farm has produced enjoyment for hundreds of thousands of people during the Christmas season.

For 12 years, Mrs. Hart worked for the brokerage firm of DeYoung-Larson-Tornga. After her children were in school, she worked at the Rockford Paper Mill until her retirement at the age of 65. This was a job where she enjoyed the great relationships with her co-workers.

Mrs. Hart was a “doer” not a “sitter.” She was the hub of the wheel that kept everything going. She and Peak loved to travel, visiting all 50 states and touring Europe several times.

Always there, Mrs. Hart was the caregiver of her total family. She is survived by her children, Marilyn Hart-Tardy and her husband, David Tardy, Kriss and Gerald Slot, Tom and Gwen Hart, all of Rockford; six grandchildren, Amy Gillis, Julie and David Parrish, Rebecca Slot, John and Jamie Slot, Kim Hart, Nick Hart; two great-grandchildren, Seth Gillis, Isaac Parrish; and two nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Pyrle “Peak” Hart; her daughter, Phyllis Ruth; sister, Audrey; and two brothers, Earl and Red. A special thank you is extended to the angels at Pilgrim Manor for their tender love and care given to Mrs. Hart.

The service for Mrs. Hart was Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Ila Flo Barfuss, chaplain of Pilgrim Manor officiating. Interment was in Grandville Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the endowment fund at Pilgrim Manor.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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