Myrna Lou Hart (Hutson), 72, died after a long struggle with blood cancer at University of Chicago Medicine surrounded by her family on March 31, 2022. She was born in Chicago, IL on June 12, 1949, the daughter of Kenneth and Zelma (Reynolds) Hutson. She grew up on the south side of Chicago and Country Club Hills, a suburb of Chicago. She married Philip Foster Hart in Homewood, IL on August 14, 1971. They raised two children together, Adam and Ryan.
Myrna was an NIU alumnus with a bachelor's degree in education and a master’s degree in reading instruction. She taught in Oregon for 33 years, teaching for 6 years as a fifth grade teacher at Etnyre Middle School and 27 years as a reading specialist at Jefferson Elementary School, working with kindergarteners through third graders. She absolutely loved helping young children build their literacy skills, and more importantly develop a love for reading. She believed reading allows people to expand their understanding and perspective on life. Myrna had an incredible capacity to truly respect small children and connect with them wherever they were developmentally. To her last day, she talked about her love for all of the students she was charged with educating and mentoring. She sincerely enjoyed the collaborative educational process with colleagues, but more importantly the friendships created over the years.
Since retirement in 2004, Myrna had been involved in PEO and Democrats of Ogle County. She also dove into new adventures, including trips to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where her youngest son started his education career. She enjoyed traveling to new places in Florida with Phil as well. After he died in 2013, she got involved in Serenity Hospice and Home grief group, which became invaluable for her, both in terms of her own grief and for forging new friendships. She adopted a new dog, whom she named Molly and loved unconditionally. A few years after Phil’s death, she started making annual trips to Colorado, where her oldest son moved in order to pursue natural resources management. Myrna treasured family and friends, and lovingly welcomed two daughters-in-law. She absolutely loved welcoming her first grandchild in 2019 and developing a loving relationship with him. Those who knew Myrna appreciated her kindness, and her ability to listen to people with true understanding.
She is survived by her sons, Adam Hutson (Yorlene Zuniga) Hart of New Meadows, Idaho; Ryan (Elizabeth) Hart of Lake in the Hills, Illinois; grandson Liam Hart; beloved in-laws Thomas (Carolyn) Hart of St. Francisville, IL, and Jan (J.D.) Miller of Clermont, FL; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 41 years, Philip Hart; parents Kenneth Hutson & Zelma Ferguson; half-brother Gene Case; beloved stepfather Carl Ferguson; and father and mother in-laws George (Newt) and Inez Hart. Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 2:30 PM, preceded by visitation beginning at 1:00 PM, in the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 110 S. 7th St., Oregon, IL. Face masks are strongly encouraged at the visitation and service to protect those who are immunocompromised. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in her name which will support literacy education at Oregon Elementary School, or donations can be made to Serenity Hospice and Home of Oregon. Myrna’s remains will be laid to rest with Phil’s at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.