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Daniel M. Hart
23 May 1937 - 24 Dec 2007
© Davis Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Daniel M. Hart was born in Cushing, Oklahoma on May 23, 1937, the second child of Ulys and Wanda Hart.

His father was the Cushing Chief of Police.

Danny grew up in Cushing and graduated from Cushing High School in 1955.

He joined the National Guard while in high school and after graduation enlisted in the U.S. Army on 7/22/1955. He studied languages as a part of his military training and served in Germany during the Berlin Crisis as an interpreter on the German/Russian border. When he returned to the U.S. he received training in the Guided Missile Program and was stationed at White Sands Missile Range where he was on the first military crew to work on the Red Stone missile. During the 60s he was trained as a helicopter pilot and served three tours of duty in Viet Nam. He served his country with distinction and was highly decorated receiving many awards and medals. Among those are the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (First Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (2D thru 8th), Army Aviator Badge, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, and 4 Overseas Service Stars. One of his commendations was for special bravery displayed when Danny stayed behind with his helicopter, taking heavy fire, to rescue fallen comrades. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire carrying wounded soldiers back to his helicopter all the while ignoring his own severely fractured ankle. He managed to get his damaged helicopter and the wounded back behind American lines on this and many other occasions and saved many lives during his career. He later served as a helicopter instructor pilot and maintenance test pilot. He retired from the Army in 1975 as a CW03 after 22 years of active duty.

Danny returned to Cushing and worked as an EMT-AMD/Firefighter in Cushing and later as a Medical Equipment Clinical Instructor in the private sector.

He graduated from Nursing School in 1992 and worked at the Cushing Hospital from 1993 to 1997, when he retired completely.

Danny was active in both the local VFW and American Legion, volunteering many hours in assisting veterans to secure medical and VA benefits. He was also a member of the Veteran Helicopter Pilots Association.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Cushing Class of 1955 Foundation and the fantastic meals he prepared for the class reunions were enjoyed by all. Danny was also known to be an “anonymous philanthropist” seeking out individuals needing assistance and freely giving to them without expectation of thanks or praise.

Danny had an unquenchable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. As his many friends will verify, you could set down with Danny over a cup of coffee and discuss any topic. He could always tell you something you didn’t know.

He was an avid reader with many interests ranging from military history, guns, philosophy, home improvement, carpentry, solar energy, the study of religions and cuisine.

He was a talented and creative chef; he enjoyed preparing meals for family and friends and teaching others his culinary secrets. Danny delighted in introducing people to unfamiliar foods.

He was a gifted photographer and art affectionado; he studied art and enjoyed visiting museums and was proud to be acquainted with numerous accomplished artists, including several of his children and grandchildren.

Danny was a warrior. He fought his last battle with cancer bravely and with the same dignity and intensity that he displayed in the previous battles in his life. He has now been deployed to heaven to serve the Commander in Chief who wears the miter of eternity.

He was surrounded and supported by his family and close friends and now knows the answers to all his questions. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

Danny is survived by his wife, Cindy Hart of the home, his former wife and mother of his children, Pat Hart of Cushing, OK; five children, daughter Margie Morris of Mustang, OK, daughter Marilyn Vassar of Stillwater, OK, daughter Jean Idalski and her husband Duane of Cushing, OK, daughter Dana Wright-Penrod and her husband Steve of McAlester, OK and his son, Daniel Hart II and his wife Salina of Stillwater, OK, one brother Robert Hart of Crossville, TN and one sister Nancy Greenwood of Knoxville, TN, 22 Grandchildren and 17 Great Grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his father and mother, Ulys and Wanda Hart.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Cushing, Oklahoma on Monday, December 31st at 2:30 p.m.

Viewing will be at the Davis Funeral Home in Cushing on Saturday from 1-8 pm. The family will receive visitors in the Floyd Family Center east of the funeral home on Sunday from 2-5 pm.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on February 6th, 2008 with Full Military Honors.

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