OBITUARY: Popular CCHS Cross Country Coach
- Deceased's name: Thomas Seymour Hart
Thomas Seymour Hart, 68, of Concord, died peacefully at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on December 29, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife Christopher Jane Corkery of Concord; his daughter and son-in-law Rebecca Hart Olander and Jon Olander of Florence, MA; his sons Patrick Hart of New York City and Eamonn Hart of Washington, DC; his grandchildren Monica Hunter-Hart and Max Olander of Florence, MA; his sister Hilary Hart of Valatie, NY; and his brother Rick Hart and brother-in-law David Chura of Leeds, MA.
He was the son of Richard Seymour Hart, Jr., and Catherine Helfrich Hart. Mr. Hart was born in Mt. Kisco, NY but the family soon moved to Riverside, CT, where he spent the rest of his childhood. He attended Kent School, graduated from Greenwich High School in 1962 and attended Trinity College, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and graduated in 1966. He then attended Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1967. He began his first teaching job in Pelham, NY, the next fall.
After three years of teaching, Mr. Hart moved to New Haven with his first wife, Marcia Fee. Their daughter Rebecca was born there in 1971, while Mr. Hart attended Yale Divinity School.In 1972, after his first marriage ended, he moved to Cambridge, MA working for a while as a scooper for Baskin Robbins on Bow Street where, he insisted, he had invented the mint chocolate chip frappe with vanilla syrup. He then began a life in the book business. He started to work at the Harvard Book Store in 1972, becoming manager in 1975. In 1978 he worked for a year as a sales representative for Random House before becoming paperback editor at Houghton Mifflin. While employed there he also edited Houghton Mifflin’s poetry series, bringing into print such poets at Baron Wormser and Tom Sleigh. Later, in 1986, he edited the GK Hall fiction series, reissuing in paperback works by well-known authors such as Mavis Gallant and Francine Prose.
In 1979, Mr. Hart married the poet Christopher Jane Corkery at Appleton Chapel in Harvard Yard. The couple lived first in Somerville and then in Dorchester, where their sons were born -- Patrick in 1983 and Eamonn in 1987. In 1983, he started his own literary agency, Thomas S. Hart Literary Enterprises, which he would continue to manage for the rest of his life. He represented authors such as naturalist John Janovy, sportswriter Peter Gammons, essayist and novelist Luis Urrea, novelist Alan Hewat, and Concord young adult fantasy novelist Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.
In 1985, Mr. Hart began a long and happy teaching career at Concord-Carlisle High School and in 1994, the family moved to Concord. During his time at CCHS, Mr. Hart served at various times as Chair of the English Department, and member of the Concord-Carlisle Teachers’ Association negotiating team. He shared his love of American literature with his students, often taking them to Walden Pond to discuss the works of Henry David Thoreau. For 16 years he was head coach of the girls’ cross-country team, a job in which he took great pleasure, as he did in his friendships with his fellow coaches. Mr. Hart was named Boston Globe All-Scholastic Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 2004.
He loved his career at CCHS, and imbued his whole life with a passion for running, writing, and reading authors from Thoreau to George R.R. Martin. Over the years, he had his writing published in Marathon and Beyond, Runners’ World, and other venues. He enjoyed countless walks and runs in the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, recently publishing “Great Meadows Gallery,” an essay about his experiences there, in the Kenyon Review. In 2004 his entry on Thoreau was published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Mr. Hart played the guitar with joy and enjoyed listening and playing the music of artists from Ben E. King to Fountains of Wayne.
An avid Boston sports fan, he held season tickets to the Red Sox from 1976 to 2002, a period bookended by several World Series appearances, which he had the misfortune of missing by a year or two. In the mid-seventies, he took up distance running, and competed in the Boston Marathon several times.
Mr. Hart retired in 2010 and spent the last few years traveling with Christopher on wonderful trips that included a drive across the country, weeks in Maine, and travel to France and Italy. He continued to write, and had completed a book of his own essays, First You Run, Then You Walk, to be published in 2013. He loved making music, running, curling up with a good book, playing Scrabble, chess, cribbage, and other games, and savoring the adventure of life. Above all, he loved the company of friends and family.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Family Parish in Concord on Saturday, January 5th at 9:30 AM. There will be visiting hours on Friday, January 4th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund, CCSF, (www.ccscholarshipfund.org) 34 Walden Street, Unit 217, Concord, MA 01742.
Arrangements under the care of DEE FUNERAL HOME OF CONCORD, Susan M. Dee and Charles W. Dee, Jr., Funeral Directors.
To share a remembrance in the online guest book, please visit www.deefuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund, CCSF, (www.ccscholarshipfund.org), 34 Walden Street, Unit 217, Concord, MA 01742.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, January 4th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord Center.
Funeral will be held on Saturday, January 5th from the Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord Center at 8:30 AM followed by a funeral Mass at 9:30 AM in Holy Family Parish, Monument Square, Concord Center.