HAMILTON — Colonel (R) William L. Hart, 73, of Hamilton, passed away Sunday, May 12, 2019, at home. He was born on Sept. 21, 1945 in Phoenix, Arizona, the son of the late Robert S. and Pauline Hart.
Bill was raised in Phoenix and attended Brophy College Preparatory, where he established his love of education, including language and history, and the Jesuit Mission which served as the foundation of his lifelong pursuit of knowledge and faith. After graduating from Brophy, he attended Arizona State University, in Tempe, in order to remain close to his widowed mother and sister, Susan. While at ASU, he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity, played on the university football team and majored in history, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University, graduated from the FBI Academy and earned a business management fellowship from Stanford University.
Upon graduation from ASU, Bill received an ROTC commission as a Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps in the Arizona State National Guard, launching his lifelong military career. After a few stateside assignments, and a short stent managing a moving van line, Bill volunteered for deployment to Vietnam and later returned on the very last flight leaving the Vietnam War on March 29, 1973, from Ton Son Nhut, escorting an honor guard and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam staff. After two company commands in Vietnam, he later commanded three companies in Korea where his love of caring for and leading soldiers forged into a lifelong commitment to selfless service to all service men and women establishing the foundation of his leadership philosophy. Universally recognized for his leadership, Bill was hand selected to serve as the battalion commander of the 95th MP Battalion, Manheim, Germany, and later as the commandant of the United States Disciplinary Barracks and then garrison commander, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Between commands, he served in key policy and operational personnel positions to include chief, colonels division. His expertise in detainee operations resulted in recall to active duty, and deployment to Afghanistan, in 2006, after a 10 year retirement, to establish a terrorist confinement facility crucial to the global war on terror. Bill’s legendary service was permanently memorialized as a Military Police Corps Hall of Fame inductee in September, 2018.
Upon his initial retirement from the Army in 1996, Bill worked in the private security field as a regional manager in Kansas City and later established a private security firm located in Houston, Texas. During this time, he also served as the national council of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial president, established a biographical book company, established a cookie company and served as the COO for a drug testing company. After retiring from his active duty service recall in 2007, Bill continued his dedicated service to soldiers, deploying to Iraq while establishing the law enforcement professional program which was successfully used to counter the IED threat in the global war on terror, saving countless lives. During this time, Bill battled, and won the fight against stage 4 tonsil cancer. After recovering from cancer, Bill again went on to serve soldiers, this time raising funds through the military recreation program for recovering wounded soldiers and, until his death, as a consultant maximizing AAFES operations responsible for raising funds for the military MWR programs.
Bill is survived by his wife Carol of Spring, Texas; four daughters, Laurie and husband Tom Morgan, Amy and husband Eric Odom, Kristen and husband Chad Elley, Erica and husband Matt Breese; his son, Bob and wife Kerryellen; his sister, Susan; six granddaughters and five grandsons, all of whom were his greatest achievements and biggest source of joy.
Bill is greeted by his parents, Bob and Paulie, and his grandson, Joshua and his Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Visitation will be held Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m., at St. Francis Catholic Church in Hamilton with Father Jim Connor officiating. A military burial service will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia at a date to be determined.
The family requests memorials be made to National Military Family Association (NMFA) www.militaryfamily.org.