December 1, 2015
Date of Service: December 5, 2015
Interment Location: Garden of Freedom
Lt. Col. Roy James (R.J.) Hart, Jr., U.S. Air Force (Ret.), age 87, of Elizabethton and formerly of Marietta, Georgia, passed away peacefully on December 1, 2015 at the Johnson City Medical Center, following a brief illness.
Mr. Hart was born December 29, 1927 in Carter County in the “Turkeytown” Community. He was the son of the late Roy James Hart, Sr. and Charlsey Lacy Hart. In addition to his parents, Mr. Hart was preceded in death by his first wife, Ethel Feathers Hart in 2011.
Mr. Hart was a 1946 graduate of Elizabethton High School and graduated from ETSU in 1950, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force through the Aviation Cadet Program in 1951 and received his Pilot Wings in 1952. He served in the Korean War and while stationed in Okinawa, Japan, he flew F-86’s on many missions.
In 1958, Mr. Hart settled in Marietta, Georgia and began work as an aeronautical engineer for Lockheed Georgia, helping to design and test every model of the C-130 through the H, as well as the C-141. He retired from Lockheed in 1987. During his career with Lockheed, Mr. Hart continued his military career in the Air Force Reserve. He retired in 1980 culminating his service of 28 years as a Lt. Colonel.
Mr. Hart, along with his late wife, Ethel, was a founding member of the East Marietta Christian Church in Marietta, Georgia and later was a member of the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia. Most recently, Mr. Hart became a member of the First Christian Church in Elizabethton
Mr. Hart is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart, Audrey Greene Isaacs Hart, of the home; a son, Gary Lee Hart and wife Sondra, of Chattanooga, TN; two brothers, Kyle Hart and wife Myrna, of Elizabethton, and Stacy Hart and wife Marty, of Omaha, NE; his grandchildren, David, James and Lindsay Hart, all of Chattanooga, TN; a step-daughter, Keely Isaacs Batchelder, of Elizabethton; and a step-grandson, Matthew Batchelder and wife Michelle, of Maryville, TN. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Very special friends include, Harry and Gail Cook, John and Alice Frasier, Earl and Eloise Cunningham, Wayne and Evie Stoltz, and Don and Carol Hiers, all of Marietta, Georgia.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to the nursing staff of the Neuro-ICU and 2200 floor of the Johnson City Medical Center and Dr. Scott Dulebohn for the care given and shown to Mr. Hart. Special thanks to Michael Klaus, minister, John H. Smith, minister, Dr. Eddie Fine and wife Billye Joyce Fine, Evelyn Laws Hart, Jeremy and Michelle Fine, and Bill and Gaye Lee Jones.
A service to honor the life of Lt. Col. Roy James (R.J.) Hart, Jr., U.S. Air Force (Ret.) will be conducted at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 5, 2015 in the Chapel of Peace at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton with Dr. Eddie Fine and Michael Klaus, ministers, officiating. Music will be provided by Gene Estep, organist, Gary Hart, soloist, and John H. Smith, soloist. The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM in the funeral home chapel, prior to the service on Saturday.
The graveside and interment will follow immediately after the service at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Full military honors will be accorded from the Air Force Honor Guard from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. David Batchelder will honor Mr. Hart with the playing of TAPS. Active pallbearers will be his grandsons, David and James Hart, his nephew, Michael Hart, Randy Tadlock, and Steve Dunlap. Honorary pallbearers will be the Contemporary Class of Mt. Bethel Methodist Church of Marietta, Georgia and the Willing Workers Class of First Christian Church, Elizabethton.
Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers, may make donations in memory of Mr. Hart to the Special Projects Fund of First Christian Church, 513 Hattie Avenue, Elizabethton, TN 37643; or to Wreaths Across America, P.O. Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton is serving the Hart family. Office 423 542-2232, Obituary line 423-543-4917.