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Joe Dan Hart

McCrory, AR, 1937 - 2022

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Joe Dan Hart, loving husband and father of four children passed away at the age of 85 at the Woodruff County Health Center. Joe was born on March 6, 1937, in James Bridge, a community near Lonoke, Arkansas, to Jess and Ethel Hart. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Henderson State University in 1962 where he also starred as a defensive lineman for the HSU Reddies football team. He served in the Army National Guard from 1960 to 1962. He became a coach in 1963 and took the head football coaching job in McCrory, Arkansas, in 1969. During his time as coach of the McCrory Jaguars, his teams competed for state titles on a regular basis, reaching the championship game in 1973 and 1979. His teams were known for their toughness, and he always got the most out his players.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Elsie and Lois, his brothers, Doyne, Bob, Johnny, and Pinky, and his firstborn son, Joe Dan Jr. He is survived by his wife, Becky, three children, Donna Wilding and husband Perry of Bartlett, Tenn., Jeff Hart and wife Nichole of Cave Springs, Ark., and Jerry Hart and wife Stacie of Benton, Ark, Four grandchildren, Amy Wilding, Emilee Hart, Aaron Hart, and Joe Ray Hart, and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to coaching, Joe was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener. He loved the outdoors and had many friends and family members that enjoyed hunting and fishing with "Coach Hart". He was a member of the First Baptist Church of McCrory. He is remembered with great affection by his former players and students for the impact he had on their lives.
Pallbearers are Brad Hart, Jarrod Hart, Jerry Jordan, Ronnie Massanelli, Quinton Hall, Ernie Higgs, Alan Griffin, and Steve Wampler. Honorary pallbearers are Charles Vondran, Frank Swanson, and all Jaguar Football players from his 1969 through 1990 and 2000 teams. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 17, at the Thompson-Wilson Funeral Home in McCrory, Arkansas, from 5-7 o'clock p.m. A funeral service will be held on Sunday, September 18, at the McCrory High School Auditorium in McCrory, Arkansas, at 2 o'clock p.m., with Mr. Frank Swanson, officiating. Interment following the service will be at Fakes Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the McCrory First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 423, McCrory, Ark., 72101, or to the McCrory Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 897, McCrory, Ark., 72101.

Published September 17, 2022

Thompson-Wilson Funeral Home/ c/o Jacksons Funeral Home
2642 HWY 64 W., Wynne, AR
Phone: 870-523-5822