Burns Derrell Hart, known as Derrell by all and a longtime resident of Oxford, OH, died peacefully at the age of 78 on June 5, 2018 at Woodland Country Manor after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sandra Maxwell Hart, his daughters Lee Carson Hart (Lisa Dush) and Lynn Catherine Hart (Danny Sack) both of Evanston, IL. His grandchildren, Jesse Derrell and Louis Henry Dush-Hart and Ellen and Anna Sack, will miss him dearly.
Derrell was born in Norman, Oklahoma on June 27, 1939 to Benton Burns and Ethel (Jimmerson) Hart. He was devoted to his aunt Mildred Carl Hart and his granny Louella Jimmerson. He is survived by his brother William Gerald (Betty) Hart of Louisville, Colorado and his sister Barbara Johnson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Derrell earned his bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX; served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1961 – 1963 at the Presidio in San Francisco, CA,; earned his master’s degree from Miami University; and received his Ph.D. from Purdue University.
Derrell began his long career in university student affairs in 1963 at Miami as a Freshman Advisor. He moved to DePauw University in 1966 and then returned to Miami to serve as Director of Freshman Programs. He soon took on additional responsibilities and became Dean of Students and then Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. His abiding professional mission was to support undergraduate retention through intense first-year experiences and ongoing academic and social support and guidance.
While raising their family, Derrell and Sandy loved showing their daughters the country during summer car trips. Derrell only occasionally read the newspaper while driving deserted roads and was partial to stopping by diners with packed parking lots in hopes of finding the best country-fried steak in the county. In retirement, Derrell and Sandy expanded their itineraries to visit many countries across the world and join in family gatherings. Derrell’s other favorite past times included bicycling, exercising at the rec center, reading and closely monitoring both the stock market and any nearby used car lot.
The Hart family thanks the staff at Woodland Country Manor for providing Derrell with unflagging loving care during his final years.
A casual and joyous celebration of Derrell’s life will be held on Sunday, June 24 from 3:00 – 5:00 at Miami University’s Marcum Center, and the Hart family welcomes people who knew Derrell to join. Derrell will be buried at Read Hill Cemetery in New Boston, TX.
Memorial contributions to honor Derrell may be made to Miami University’s Robert Etheridge Center for Reflective Leadership, or the Oxford Community Foundation.