Retired Bishop Hart of Pennsylvania Dies

Episcopal News Service. May 11, 1978 [78137]

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Rt. Rev. Oliver J. Hart, Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania from 1943 until his retirement in 1963, died May 4 in Orange Memorial Hospital, Orange, N.J., of injuries suffered in a fall April 22. He was 85 years old. Since his retirement he and Mrs. Hart had made their home in Castine, Me.

When Bishop Hart was elected bishop coadjutor of the diocese on May 12, 1942, he was on military leave from the rectorship of Trinity Church, Boston, serving as a captain in the Army Chaplains' Corps at Fort Dix, N.J. He was consecrated Oct. 16, 1942, and succeeded to the position of diocesan bishop in July, 1943 on the death of the Rt. Rev. Francis M. Taitt, then bishop of the diocese.

Bishop Hart was born in York, S.C., and educated at Hobart College, General Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary. He had received honorary degrees from six colleges and universities and two divinity schools.

After two years as curate at St. Michael's Church, Charleston, S.C., 1917-18, he spent two years as an army chaplain with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Then he was called to Christ Church, Macon, Ga., first as assistant minister for two years and then rector, from 1920 to 1926. In the next 16 years he was successively rector of St. Paul's Church, Chattanooga, Tenn., 1926 34; St. John's Church, Washington, D.C., 1934-40; and Trinity Church, Boston, 1940-42.

Mrs. Hart, who survives him, is the former Mary McBee Mikell. He is also survived by one son, Oliver James, Jr., of Springfield, Pa.; and two grandsons.

The funeral service was at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, Pa. on Tuesday, May 9. Memorial contributions may be made to the Diocese of Pennsylvania or to Castine Community Hospital, Castine, Me.