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'He left a legacy'

Hart mourned after losing cancer battle

Pallbearers carry the coffin in which John Hart was laid to rest up the stairs to Notre Dame Church for his funeral service Friday, June 4. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
June 06, 2010
He always put others before himself.

Whether in his job as security director for Harrington Memorial Hospital, or as a Sturbridge police officer, he was always serving others in some way, shape or form.

It is fitting, then, that so many of those whose lives he touched came out last week to pay their respects to public safety officer, businessman and family man John Hart, 57, of Millward Road in Charlton, who died May 29 after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Hartford, Conn., Hart was well known in Worcester County for his role with Harrington role and his service on the Tri-Epic Emergency Preparedness Committee. He was also a Sturbridge police officer for more than 20 years.

Hart, a tall man with a disarming smile, was always helping others in some way — whether on his police beat or helping his children in their endeavors.

Sturbridge Police Chief Thomas Ford was just one of the people whom Hart touched. As a newly sworn-in 21-year-old part-time officer in 1985, Ford was assigned to ride with Hart, a new full-time officer, to learn the law enforcement ropes. The pair would discuss how to better respond to calls they had been dispatched to.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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