Charles Fenton Hart, Jr., 81, joined his Heavenly father on Dec. 18, 2020. He was born on Nov. 26, 1939, in Enid, Oklahoma, the oldest of four children to Charles F. Hart and Crystal Lucille Hart. He and his family moved to California during the Dust Bowl. He had fond memories of working and living on the Scripps Ranch in San Diego with his family as a young boy, for a brief time.
He graduated in 1958 from Hoover High School in San Diego, and joined the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962, where he served as a refueling technician. It was through the Air Force that he came to El Paso, and fell in love with his future wife, Kay Congdon and with the city itself.
After his service, he attended Texas Western University (later University of Texas at El Paso), and tried everything from theatre to serving as a campus police officer. He also helped put himself through school working as a mechanic, and was a member of the Rim Twisters Motorcycle Club where he raced Triumph dirt bikes. He discovered his calling was education, and graduated with his bachelor’s in 1966 and master’s in 1968.
He served as a teacher in various disciplines at Andress and El Paso High, and then as Activities Director for Bowie High School. He later worked as Pupil Services Director for El Paso Independent School District for many years.
In 1997, he was hired by Canutillo Independent School District as assistant superintendent and was named superintendent one year later.
His hands-on dedication to the students and teachers found him at most sports, academics, agriculture, and arts events for every grade level, and he did his best to make every member of the district know they were valuable assets to the Canutillo community.
In September 2001, he was selected as Texas Superintendent of the Year, and was so committed to the pursuit of education, even after his official retirement from Canutillo in 2005, he went on to briefly serve as interim superintendent for Socorro Independent School District, as well as serving on the boards of both Region XIX and Teacher’s Federal Credit Union.
His community involvement included being active in his church family as a longtime member of Trinity First United Methodist Church, and volunteering with the Southwestern International Livestock Show and Rodeo.
He also remained an active supporter of UTEP from athletics to academics, and was a Gold Nugget award recipient in 2005.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay Congdon Hart in 2008, and is survived by his son and daughter-in law, Charles F. Hart III and Susan and their sons Charles Rio and Dusty River; and his daughter and son-in-law Lisa Kay Tate and Rick, and their daughters Molly Kay and Erin Laurel. He is also survived by his brothers James Hart (and wife Pat), Mark Hart (and wife Griselda), and sister Mary Lou (and husband Mike), as well several nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.
He was buried in Fort Bliss National Cemetery with military honors on Dec. 30, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Wounded Warrior Project or to Hospice of El Paso.