Barbara Weeks Hart and George H. Hart Memorial Fund

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funds_hartLove at first sight is not just a Hollywood cliché. It does happen in real life, and those who knew Barbara and George Hart, will tell you that their love for and dedication to each other was an inspiration for all.

Barbara and George Hart spent a lifetime together, living in many communities and working to further their passions. She loved flowers and the pleasure they bring; he loved the water and sailing and the thrill of the open seas (and Long Island Sound). It was only natural that they settled in Old Saybrook, where their personal and professional lives would leave an indelible mark on the shoreline communities.

Both were quite accomplished in their professional careers and in their volunteering efforts. Barbara began her career in General Electric’s Engineering Department during World War II and later worked in the Public Relations Department of Wesleyan University. Barbara used her expertise to edit the Old Saybrook Historical Society newsletter for 14 years. She enjoyed the beauty of her surroundings and was a Life Member and past President of the Essex Garden Club.

George demonstrated his love of the water and sailing on many levels. He rowed bow at Tabor Academy when they won back-to-back gold medals in 1936 and 1937 at the Henley Regatta in England and went on to serve in World War II in the Coast Guard Picket Patrol. After the war, he formed his own yacht design business and was a founding member of the Essex Yacht Club. A designer of the Fleetwing racing sloop, George was legendary for his skills on the water and he successfully raced in many area regattas.

Barbara and George found time to volunteer and to support their neighbors in need by working with many nonprofits and delivering Meals on Wheels. This passion to offer help with the small needs of daily life such as visits, meals and transportation, particularly for those fighting cancer, brought George to the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in the fall of 2011. George wanted to honor the legacy of Barbara’s life after she lost her battle with cancer, by establishing the Barbara Weeks Hart and George H. Hart Memorial Fund. This Fund will continue Barbara’s and George’s legacies of giving and caring by providing support to organizations offering services to cancer patients in the fifteen towns of Middlesex County.

“Barbara and George served as a testament that dedication, hard work, and having fun along the way will certainly leave a legacy for others to strive. They were married 62 years and adored each other.

Having survived Breast Cancer twice, I could not have imagined being told by my physician that, because of my lack of insurance or funds, that “there is nothing more we can do.” I am fortunate enough to have had insurance coverage during my lifetime, yet I know first-hand that circumstances arise that prevent us from being treated.

I am extremely proud that my Uncle George chose to establish the Barbara W. Hart and George Hart Memorial Fund with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. His legacy and his generosity will live on for a long time providing support to those struggling to manage the financial and emotional aspects of the battle with cancer.

Thank you all so very much for your support of this most worthy cause. Your generous donations will go far in helping others less fortunate.”

~ Patricia Hart Johnston