May 10, 1928 - June 4, 2019
Born in Beck Prairie, Texas
Resided in Monterey, California
He is survived by his daughter Kathleen (Kelly) Douhan of Fresno, daughter-in-law Mary Hart of Salinas, grandchildren Matthew of Monterey and Micole (Jennifer) Simis of Ladera Ranch, and Heather and Trace Hart of Salinas, great-grandchildren Addison, Spencer, Emery and Sydney Simis, sister Christine (George) Wall of The Woodlands, Texas, “adopted” grandson Michael Gray, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings, his wife of nearly 60 years Barbara Hoover Hart, and son David.
After high school in Calvert, Texas, Don served in the 11th Airborne 187 Parachute & Glider Infantry regiment in Hokkaido, Japan. After his service duty, he attended Baylor University. In 1948, his brother Jack Hart founded Royal Packing Company in Salinas with Ted Nelson. A year later Don moved from Texas and joined them in the lettuce business.
Don served as president of the Central Arizona Grower-Shipper Association in 1967 and chair of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California in 1977.
Don was a member of Nite Caps and Salinas Elks Lodge #614 and a former longtime member of Corral de Tierra Country Club.
An avid pilot in his younger years, Don accumulated thousands of hours of flight time in his Bonanza flying himself around to the many lettuce growing regions of the Southwest.
At his request, a private family service will take place at the Garden of Memories Mausoleum in Salinas where he will join his beloved Barb.
Don’s family thanks the kind staff of Hospice of the Central Coast and Ileini’s Care for the gentle care they gave him in his last days of life.
An endowed financial aid scholarship fund for students of agribusiness has been established in Don and Barb’s names at CSU Monterey Bay. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to that fund or to the donor’s favorite charity.
Salinas, CA US 93901