Winchester Press – obit – Roy Hart

Roy Hart

Roy Hart, a resident of the Chesterville areafor the past 72 years, passed away at the Dundas Manor NursingHome in Winchester on Sat., July 19, 2008. He was 89.
Roy was born in Whittlesey, England on May 20, 1919, the onlyson of Ernest R. Hart and May Cox. The family farmed in Englandbefore moving to Canada in 1935 when Roy was 16 years old. Royimmigrated to Canada first and he went to work for a dairy farmerin Eastern Quebec. It was a tough job, but he hung in there untilhis parents came a year later. Eventually they all found employmentworking for the Ballantyne family on the seventh concession ofChesterville, more recently known as Don’s Road.
Roy and his dad worked on the Ballantyne farm looking after horses,cattle, and crops, and his mother looked after the household.
It was during those years he met a young girl, Marion McConnell,who also worked at the Ballantyne household. They were marriedon Aug. 17, 1942 and together they had three children: Mark, Brenda,and Lee. Following their marriage Roy and Marion bought theirown place, about half a mile east of the Ballantyne farm. It wasan old house then, with an old barn, and only about 60 acres ofland. Eventually Roy and his father bought more land and builtit into an operating dairy farm.
Roy loved to farm and it remained his career and his life formore than 40 years. Due to health issues and age, and the factthat none of his kids wanted to farm, he sold the cattle in thelate ’70s. A short time later, like many area people, he wentto work as a guide at Upper Canada Village, which launched a wholenew career for him.
He worked in different areas, but he enjoyed being a guide atthe sawmill the most, demonstrating how the 200 year old water-poweredoperation worked. He also learned a new skill as a cooper, workingwith wood to make hand made pails and barrels, axe handles, walkingsticks, and other wooden tools. This, his first and only governmentjob, was right up his alley. It was seasonal, he had no particulardeadline to get any work done, and all he had to do was show upevery day and visit with people. Roy liked to visit.
Roy retired from the Village in 1984 and for several years enjoyedtravelling. He and Marion went on a number of bus trips and sawmuch of North America. He made one trip back to England to visithis home territory. They tended a big garden at home. Roy hadcreated a little wood working shop where he could work on projects,and he loved to go fishing.
He enjoyed reasonably good health up until the last few yearswhen arthritis sidelined him, making it increasingly difficultfor him to be as active as he would have liked, but he alwaysnoted that a lot of people were worse off than he was.
Most notably he was a good and gentle man. Not just a gentleman,but a gentle man. Usually calm and easy going he rarely got flusteredor angry. He loved his animals. He was a very compassionate herdsmanlooking after his cattle over the years. When he sold his owncattle, he was glad to rent out the farm to friend Tony Logtensand see Tony’s cattle in the fields every summer. It was not onlyimportant to make use of the grass, but Roy liked to see cattlein his fields. He also loved his dogs and he never met a dog hedidn’t like. In the last 20 years or so he didn’t have cattleof his own, but he always tended to a small herd of barn cats.
Roy was a person of great trust. He treated people the way hewanted to be treated. He was honest, well meaning, and enjoyeda good laugh. He was always there to do his part, to help outfriends and neighbours. He was a person of great humility, a manwith an “aw-shucks” manner, and was a patient and skilledcraftsman. He loved visiting with family and friends, and he enjoyeda good game of euchre.
He was just a mild mannered dairy farmer from south of Chestervillewho never made a lot of money, but when it came right down toall things that really mattered in life, the love of his family,the respect of his friends, and a community-wide reputation asa good, decent, honourable, and gentle man, his bank account wasindeed full.
Roy is survived by his loving wife of almost 66 years, Marion,his children Brenda (Walter Conrad) of Carp, and Lee (Angie) ofCalgary, his daughter-in-law Connie Hart of RR1 Chesterville,seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceasedby his son Mark. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburgon Wed. July 23. The funeral service was held at the WilliamsburgUnited Church on Thurs., July 24 with Rev. Elaine Beattie officiating.Interment followed at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville. Thepallbearers were grandchildren Chris Hart, Greg Hess, ShannonHess, Amanda Hess, Allison Hart, and Nathan Hart.
Donations to Williamsburg United Church, Winchester District MemorialHospital, or Dundas Manor would be appreciated by the family.