Facebook Twitter

Obituary: Edward LeRoy Hart

SHARE Obituary: Edward LeRoy Hart

Edward LeRoy Hart

1916 ~ 2008

Edward LeRoy Hart, 91, of Provo died March 9, 2008 in Provo, Utah. He was born December 28, 1916, in Bloomington, Idaho, to Alfred Augustus Hart and Sarah Cecilia Patterson Hart. He married Eleanor May Coleman December 15, 1944, in Washington, D.C. Their marriage was solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple August 8, 1945. She preceded her husband in death on December 24, 1990. He married Leah Yates Bryson April 30, 1993; she also preceded him in death on August 11, 2001. He married Frances Cannon Lee on June 7, 2002.

He attended schools in Bloomington and Paris, Idaho, and was graduated in 1939 from the University of Utah, receiving a Rhodes Scholarship the same year, postponed because of the outbreak of World War II. He received an M.A. from the University of Michigan, 1941. He attended Oxford University on his Rhodes Scholarship, receiving a D.Phil. degree in 1950. His wife, Eleanor, and son, Richard, accompanied him there, and his second son, Paul, was born there. He taught three years at the University of Washington before going to Brigham Young University in 1952, where he taught until his retirement in 1982, except for time spent as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley (1959-60) and Arizona State University (1968), and as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in Pakistan (1973-74). After retirement he continued to teach one Honors class a year in Shakespeare until 1995. While Rhodes scholarship representative at BYU he prepared seven successful candidates for Rhodes awards. He wrote or edited seven books, one of poetry, and one of biographies published by Harvard University Press. He published numerous poems and scholarly articles and received numerous professional awards, including the BYU Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award, 1968; the Utah Academy Redd Award in the Humanities, 1971; the BYU P.A. Christensen Humanities Lectureship, 1983; and a BYU Presidential Citation: 1998. He received fellowships and grants from the American Philosophical Society and from the American Council of Learned Societies. He was a Fellow of the Utah Academy and past president of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, of the Association for Mormon Letters, and of the BYU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Modern Language Association of America, and was a charter member of the American Society for 18th Century Studies. Among his poems, a number have been set to music and performed by groups including the Tabernacle Choir: one, "Our Savior's Love," is in the most recent LDS Hymn Book.

He was a middle distance runner, half-mile run Idaho state high school champion, 1935, and twice conference mile-run champion at the University of Utah, where he was also captain of the track team, 1939. He served four years as a U.S. Naval Intelligence officer during World War II, stationed in Washington, D.C., Pearl Harbor, and at the end of the war in Japan as a translator and interpreter.

He served eight years on the Board of the Utah Arts Council and as Chair of the Literary Committee, during which time he instituted several new awards in the annual writing competition, including the publication prize. He was instrumental in the publication of the updated "Utah: A Guide to the State," 1982.

He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many capacities, including that of bishop of a BYU ward for eight years (1980-88). At the time of his death he was a High Priest in the Oak Hills Second Ward in Provo. His family always came first with him, and he took great pride in the accomplishments of wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His hobby was rock collecting, an interest shared by his family in expeditions to many parts of the state and the West.

He is listed in Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Contemporary Authors, Directory of American Scholars, Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, and Who's Who in Writers, Editors & Poets.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Cannon Lee Hart, two sons, Richard Hart (Lynette Westendorf), Winthrop, Washington; Paul Hart, Mount Pleasant, Utah; two daughters, Barbara Hart Dixon (Paul B. Dixon), Lafayette, Indiana; Patricia Hart (Jim Elicker), Lafayette, Indiana; nine grandchildren; ten great-grand-children; one brother, Douglas B. (Bonnie) Hart, Logan, Utah; and two sisters, Lillian Carr, Charlevoix, Michigan; and Norma Anderson, San Lorenzo, California. He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, and two sisters. He is also survived by ten stepchildren: Jane Fenton, St. George; Maralyn Colton (David), South Jordan; Wendell C. Lee (Joan), Riverton, Utah; Russell Lee (Lisa), Lehi, Utah; Stephen Lee (Diane), Roy, Utah; Michael Lee (Macie), South Jordan, Utah; Bonnie Snarr (Terry), Pocatello, Idaho; Lee Bryson (Jennifer), Kaysville, Utah; Carolyn Rodgers, Centerville, Utah; George Bryson (Sue), Caliente, Nevada, and by loving step-grand-children and step-great-grand-children.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Oak Hills 2nd Ward Chapel, 925 E North Temple Dr, Provo, Utah, on Friday, March 14, 2008. Friends may call Thursday, March 13, 2008 from 6-8 p.m. at Berg Mortuary, 185 E. Center Street, Provo and also Friday, March 14th at the Oak Hills Chapel from 9:45-10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery beside his wife Eleanor. Condolences many be sent to info@bergmortuary.com. Contributions may be made in his name to the Hart-Larson Award in care of the BYU English Department.