Roy Arnold Hart Sr. was born on October 20th 1939 to Lena Faye Kunkel and William Hershey in Salem, OR. He grew up in Olympia WA with his parents and siblings Jim, Jay, and Charlotte. At a young age Roy often worked alongside his father Bill who was a master carpenter/builder and helped construct the Olympia brewery along with many other structures, the family also operated the gravel pit selling rock for 25 cents a yard. After graduating North Thurston High School Roy left home with his brother Jim at 18 and rode trains all over the country. Soon after he joined the Navy and proudly served his country from 1956-1960. He was a member of the VA-196 attack squadron and piloted AD-4 and AD-6 Sky raiders from many ships including the USS Ticonderoga, Midway, Kearsarge, Bon Homme Richard, Bennington, Hancock and Boxer. His service took him to Australia, China, India, Japan, England, Philippines, Hawaii, and countless other ports. After his service, Roy married Judy Lusua and returned to Olympia, WA, and had two sons Wayne & Travis. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt all kinds of game, and was a life-long supporter of the Elks, Ducks Unlimited (Prize Chairman), and a man of many hats. He worked as a logger clearing forestry for Bonneville power, septic system repairs, pinsetter at a bowling alley, various tasks at sawmills, partnered in a pile-driving business, heavy equipment operator, Olympia police officer and pound master, underground electrical contractor ( Western GEC), built Firestone tires, a commercial fisherman in Alaska, Canada, and Ilwako WA and many other things. He returned to California around 1976 and worked asphalt with Richey Bro's Paving and Randolph Construction. In 1980 he fell in love with and married Barbara McDaniel and had two sons, Roy Jr and Ryan, and went on to obtain his contractor license and establish Hart Paving & Grading in 1988 where he worked countless long hot days in the paving industry to give his family nothing but the best. He later went on to design and construct the Dos Palos Mini Storage in 1997 and later brought on his paving companies office manager as a partner to continue its growth. Roy was an enthusiast of so many things, he loved aviation and owned multiple Cessna aircraft over the years and regularly stopped at the Merced airport to pull his plane out of the hanger and " Punch a hole in the sky" and he happily got to make one more flight earlier this year. He loved to cook (and eat) and always looked forward to the annual Breakfast Lyons cioppino feed with his boys in Atwater.
Roy was a gearhead and always had a passion for classics (quite the collection), hot rods, race cars and was very active with various car clubs and often attended a different car show every weekend winning countless awards and often running with well-known celebrities like James Drury, Dennis LeHane and the Drifters. He sponsored many different racers over the years ( was quite the driver himself, finished top 4 in the '75 Western stock car association tri-state challenge CA-WA-OR) and loved going to the races with his wife Barbara to cheer for their boys all over the valley and he never missed a NASCAR race on the TV Sunday afternoon. In 1995 Roy was awarded the Carnegie Hero medal for voluntarily risking his life to an extraordinary degree while attempting to save the life of another person following an automobile accident on highway 152. Dos Palos American Legion Post 86 was a big part of his life and he really poured his heart into taking care of it and spent a lot of time expressing his pride and love for his country along with his fellow legionnaires. His patriotism pushed him to lead the effort to design, fundraise and build the Dos Palos Veterans Memorial Wall at Marks Elementary School which he was very proud of. It would be an understatement to say that Roy loved to fish, but he simply loved life in general and the people he was able to spend it with. Roy passed quietly in his home on August 27th, 2021 with Barbara and Ryan at his side. He will be remembered as our superman, he was the friend to have, always there when you needed him, and an endless bank of knowledge, wisdom, love, support, encouragement and many other things... and that to often applied to whether he knew you for 30 years or 30 minutes. He will be deeply missed by all who had the opportunity to know him. He is preceded in death by his parents Lena & William Hershey, Brother James Hart & wife (Connie), and his sister Charlotte.
He is survived by his wife Barbara of Dos Palos, brother Jay Hershey of Olympia, sons Wayne (wife Judy) of Madera, Travis (wife Stephanie) of Madera, Roy Jr of Merced, and Ryan of Dos Palos. Grandchildren: Brittany (husband Sergio), Justin (wife Melanie), Andrew, Connor, and great-grandchildren Colton, Madison, Mason, and many other relatives.
Services will be held at 10:00 on Tuesday, September 7th at Fierro Family Funeral Home located at 1702 Golden Gate Ave in Dos Palos. Graveside Service will follow at Dos Palos District Cemetery, 1800 Elgin Ave at 12:00 with a reception to follow.
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