Frederick Douglas Hart, son of the late Samuel Hart and Eliza Bryant Hart, was born May 19, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the third of seven children. Fred entered into eternal rest early Saturday morning, February 13, 2021, in Rahway, New Jersey.
His parents moved to Linden, NJ when he was a baby. Fred attended the Linden public school system. Later, when the family moved to Elizabeth, he continued his education in the Elizabeth public school system. Even as a young child, Fred was always an athlete who played and loved baseball. He could be found sitting near the radio listening to the MLB games throughout his life. His mother, Eliza, a minister and evangelist, raised her children in the church beginning at a young age.
On April 22, 1964, Fred entered the United States Marine Corps and proudly served his country. He received the National Defense Service medal for honorable service during the Vietnam War; as well as the Good Conduct medal. Fred served in the Corps until 1970 and received an Honorable Discharge after completion of his service. He embodied the essence of the “Semper Fi” motto.
In the summer of 1963, Fred met the love of his life, Delois Hargrove. He married her on September 2, 1967. This union was blessed with the addition of a daughter, Tamika, who was their pride and joy. They lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey until 1976 before settling in Roselle, New Jersey.
Fred was no stranger to hard work. He held many small jobs. As early as age nine, he worked as a paper boy, an aide in the local dry cleaners and on a milk truck. He was liked by his employers so much that they went out of their way to help him in any way they could. Fred didn’t believe in being lazy or idle. He worked as a supervisor, at Alpha Wire of Elizabeth, New Jersey, for many years before he served as a manager of the Price Pfister Warehouse in the same city until their relocation to California. Fred also served as the Director of Maintenance for the Newark Housing Authority, where he worked until his retirement.
Frederick was a pioneer in the 70’s when he added to his numerous list of accomplishments being one of the very first Black basketball referees in the state of New Jersey. One of his proudest moments was being chosen, in excess of 2,000 referees, to officiate New Jersey’s 1st Tournament of Champions. He continued to officiate for almost 30 years in many capacities; including being an elite Division 1 referee at the high school and collegiate levels.
Fred was also a proud member of the Acacia Masonic Lodge #23 of Roselle, New Jersey and achieved the title of Most Worshipful Master during his service there. He was remembered as a good worshipful master during his term. He also served as a Shriner of the Golconda Temple #24 of Newark, New Jersey.
Fred was a faithful member of the Union Baptist Church of Elizabeth for many years. He served as an usher, Inspirational Choir member, Men’s Ministry Chairman, Men’s Day Chairman and church sexton. Brother Hart adored and loved his pastor, first lady and the entire Union Baptist Church family. He could be heard, on any given Sunday, in the back of the church joyfully praising the Lord and giving accolades to the words of his pastor and the members. Fred was popular among the children and loved them as if they were his own. He was often referred to as, “Uncle Fred” by them. Fred played the part of Jesus in “The Crucifixion”, a play sponsored by the Inspirational Choir, for many years. He did so until his health no longer allowed him to.
Fred’s life accomplishments were far too numerous to mention, but he was proudest of being the father of this “Scooby,” the grandfather of his “Squiggy” and his “three Hebrew Boys,” an uncle and a servant of the Lord.
Fred never met a stranger. His personality was larger than life. He was charismatic and often the life of the party. However, as a Marine, he was also strict and commanded respect wherever he went. Fred was an avid lover of music and spent hours, as a child, entertaining his family with his Elvis Presley impersonation. He will truly be missed by his family and loved ones. We have lost our loved one, but heaven has truly gained an angel.
Fred endured many ailments in his later years, but his daughter, Tamika, son in-law, Calvin and; especially his sister Christine and cousin Shirley were right by his side until the very end. He longed to spend his last days with his daughter, son in-law and grandchildren and, especially, Delois in Virginia. But his health wouldn’t allow it.
Fred is predeceased by his brothers Leroy and Samuel Hart and his sister Madeline. He leaves to mourn his passing his daughter, Tamika Hart-Sanders (Calvin) of Suffolk, Virginia, granddaughter, IT2 Chyna Hart of the United States Navy, San Diego, California, grandsons Asa, Ezra and Eden Sanders of Suffolk, Virginia, sisters Christine Price of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, June Bullock (Johnny) of Burlington, NJ and Mary Bryant-Ellis (Tyrone) of Jacksonville, Florida, a special cousin, Shirley Avery of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, best friend, Roy Mickens and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends too numerous to mention.
“Servant of God, Well done! Rest from thy loved employ. The battle fought, The victory won.Enter thy master’s joy. “
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