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Mike Hart

January 30, 1942 - November 8, 2018

Mike never met a stranger. Because of the diversity of industries in which he worked and years of volunteer and elected service, he had many friends throughout the Salem and Keizer communities.

His real passion was the community and he was involved in many organizations over the years.  Mike love kids. He served on the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors for nearly 45 years including as an officer and President of the Board. He was named outstanding Board Member more than once and continued to be active on the Board until he was no longer able to participate.  He was instrumental in getting a branch of the Boys and Girls Club placed in Keizer and joined the Keizer Rotary to create a link between the Rotary Club and the Keizer branch of the Boys and Girls Club. He was a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. He enjoyed playing Santa Claus and did so for many family members, friends, and community organizations including the Women’s Crisis Center (now The Center for Hope and Safety).  He has been an Advisory Board member for the Center for many years.  Mike also supported the Girl Scouts.

He was active with the Salem Chamber of Commerce Greeters and served as an Ambassador for the Chamber for several years.  Mike joined the Jaycees in St. Helens and became very active in the organization.  In Clatskanie, he served as the local Jaycee chapter President and was recognized as Junior First Citizen by the Clatskanie Jaycees.  While in Clatskanie, he was also active in United Way and volunteered as a Little League umpire.  After moving to Salem, he continued to be active in the Jaycees and was recognized as Junior First Citizen by the Salem Jaycees and named one of five Outstanding Young Men of Oregon. The Oregon Jaycees recognized him for his work as state chairman for Operation Threshold, an alcohol awareness program. The U. S. Jaycees also recognized Mike for his work by awarding him the Seiji Horiuchi Memorial Award, given to outstanding State Chairman.  Mike was awarded with the JCI Senate #23396 for his dedication and contributions to the community and the Jaycee organization.

In 1970, he met and married the love of his life, Betty Kennedy.  In 1976, Mike and Betty bought a home in Keizer.  When Keizer became an incorporated City, Mike ran for the original City Council. He came in 7th and was appointed to the Council a few months later when the Council was expanded from 5 to 7 members.  He served on the Council for ten years.  In the late 1990’s, Mike became involved with the Keizer Fire District, serving first on a long-range planning committee for the District then running for the Board of Directors, on which he served for 11½ years.  He was very supportive of the District and the Firefighters.
Mike loved sports! He was an avid Duck fan and held season football tickets for many years. He was able to continue attending Duck games until the time of his death. He was also active in the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club, a group that supported local high school and college sports. He served as President and was recognized by them for his long service to the organization. Also, Mike was an “owner” in a local Fantasy Basketball League that provided many years of fellowship with his Jaycee buddies.

Mike was born Michael James Hart, Jr., on January 30, 1942, in Tacoma, Washington, to Michael J. Hart and Rosalyn Perkins Hart.  At the time of Mike’s birth, his Dad was on his way to Australia to be deployed in the South Pacific with the U.S. Army.  When Mike was 2½ years old, his Mother died suddenly from polio. During the remainder of the war, Mike lived with his paternal grandparents. In June of 1946, Mike’s Dad married Rita Smith. They added three more boys to the family (Larry, Jim, and David) and a girl (Linda).

Mike and his family lived in the Portland area until he was 10 years old when his Dad was transferred to Okinawa for a year and the whole family accompanied him.  On their return to the States, Mike’s Dad was stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma. Mike graduated from the Bellarmine Catholic high school in Tacoma in 1960. He enlisted in the Army when he turned 18 during his senior year and went to boot camp at Ft. Ord in California immediately after graduating.  While in the service, Mike worked in supply at Scofield Barracks on Oahu and reached the rank of sergeant.  He had considered making the Army his career, but after three years, he was ready for civilian life.
Upon leaving the service, Mike moved to Portland, where his family had relocated.  He worked for a finance company that took him to St. Helens and later to Clatskanie.  He left Clatskanie for Salem in early 1970 to work for the Oregon Jaycees as their Executive Director.  After leaving the Oregon Jaycees, Mike worked in sales, mostly at various radio stations, ending his career at KBZY in 2004. He was the Executive Director for the Salem Softball Association in the early 1980’s.
In the spring of 2006, Mike became ill and needed more help than Betty could provide at home.  He moved into a foster care home in Keizer operated by Sweet Bye N Bye.  He lived there until April 2014 when he moved into residential care facility operated by the same company. Mike peacefully passed away on November 8, 2018. The family would like to thank Sweet Bye N Bye for the love and care they provided to Mike for so many years.

His parents and his sister Linda preceded Mike in death. He is survived by his wife Betty, his brothers Larry of Woodburn, Jim (Joyce) of Eugene, Dave of Wilsonville, his aunt Jean Volz of Portland, and many nieces and nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion, and Polk Counties, 1395 Summer Street NE, Salem, OR 97301.

Visitation will be Wednesday, November 14, from 4 to 8 pm at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.  A Recitation of the Rosary will be 10:00am Friday, November 16, 2018 followed by a 10:30am Funeral Mass at St. Edwards Catholic Church (5303 River Rd. N) in Keizer.  Mike will be buried at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

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So many thoughts of Mike and of course Betty.  May he be at peace and enjoy being active, as he has always enjoyed being,  again in Heaven.  It was a pleasure to have known Mike.  Betty, my friend,  my heart is heavy for your loss and I am here for anything that you might need. 

Our condolences to Betty and the family. Participating with them in their service to the Keizer Fire District was an honor for Bob and I. May he Rest In Peace. May God comfort the family in this time of grief. 

Mike was such an amazing, caring, involved, loving and friendly man. I'm very sorry I can't be there to lend support in person, but my love, thoughts and prayers are with you, Betty.

Betty, I'm so sorry to get this news. Mike was a great guy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dean and i send you sincere and heartfelt sympathy, what a love the two of you shared and what a life the two of you led.  There are no two people who have given so much to so many.  I hope that you know how much he was loved and also how much you are loved.   Such generosity of time and spirit, such giving hearts.  We celebrate Mike' life.  He was wonderful and I know that he will be missed by many.   I hope the good memories and thoughtfulness of good friends and family will bring you comfort and peace in the days and weeks to come 
Blessings, prayers and love to you and to the rest of his family,
Dean & Carolyn


Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It is hard to loose a loved one.

Mike was one of those rare persons who always left you feeling better for having encountered him.  He will be missed by everyone who knew him and many others who he helped without their knowledge.

My condolences to Betty and the family. My memories of Mike include seeing him at Salem Greeters over many Fridays and how kind and sweet he was. He always remembered me and asked lots of questions. He was a dear man.

Betty, I am so sorry. I’ll be praying that God will comfort you as you mourn the loss of your husband and friend. He sounds like he was an amazing man! 

Mike Hart made a positive difference for our community. Getting a brand new city up and running is no small task and his decade of service helped set the successful course our city has taken, living out 'pride, spirit and volunteerism.'
Together with Betty, you two have blessed our lives. 
Thank you, Mike and may God bless you with His eternal love.

Hugs and prayers from down south, Betty. Theresa and I will also miss Mike, but will always treasure the many memories we share particularly those Duck games. May God bless you as you go through this difficult time.