Mary Louise Hart, age 94, of Alpena passed away Saturday, February 18, 2023, at My-Michigan Medical Center of Midland.
Mary Louise was born on October 22, 1928, in Centerville, Iowa to the late Thomas Cyril and Ruth (Wardell) Evans. She married James M. Hart on August 26, 1951, at The First Presbyterian Church in Centerville, Iowa.
She graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in music education. She later pursued graduate studies at the University of Iowa focusing on music education with her primary instruments being piano and organ.
She was an active member and organist of First United Methodist Church for over 60 years. Her years of service were a true labor of love and celebration of the role of music in worship.
After teaching four years in Iowa, she and Jim moved to Alpena. Mary Louise taught music in Alpena Public Schools for 20 years. She, with her close friend and colleague Jan Best, developed an American adaptation of the internationally recognized Kodaly music education curriculum for use in the Alpena Public Schools. She was an active member of AAUW and Delta Kappa Gamma. As a pianist, she accompanied many of Alpena’s musical organizations, including the Rotary Club, Alpena Civic Theater, Thunder Bay Theater and Thunder Bay Arts Community Chorus for which she played for over 50 years.
Mary Louise and Jim met in high school when Jim auditioned for the choir for which she played. It was the beginning of their partnership in music that spanned seven decades. Mary Louise was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She touched the lives of many people through the years as an educator, pianist and organist. Her mission was to bring music to the community. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mary Louise was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years and is survived by her three sons: Thomas (Martha) Hart, Steven (Liz Almann) Hart, and Bruce (Hollee) Hart, her four grandchildren, Allen (Kristen), Ashley (Mia), Michael (Ciera) and Christopher (Eva) Hart, four great-granddaughters Elise, Ada, Louise and Nina Hart and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church from 12 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. with Rev. Robert Nystrom officiating. Arrangements are being handled by the Bannan Funeral Home.
Interment: Evergreen Cemetery
For those planning an expression of sympathy, consider the James and Mary Louise Hart Memorial Scholarship with Northeast Michigan Community Foundation. The scholarship was established by Mary Louise, her family and friends to support a high school music student attending the summer music camp of his or her choice.