James L. Hart was born in Madera Calif. June 15, 1940 to Donald B. Hart and Kathryn L. Hart, 3-years later his sister Diana Hart-Wyatt was born. He attended all his schooling in Fresno, Calif. In June 1959 He graduated from Roosevelt High, where he was an outstanding distance runner. He received the “Harry Coffee Award” in Track in his Senior year. He set or broke records in distance running as well as breaking the pull-up record.
In 1957 he went to work for Calif. Div. of Forestry, as a seasonal Firefighter. In 1960 he promoted to Fire Engineer, at East Fresno Sta. 8, then Fire Capt. In 1970. He Worked 44-years for what became Cal-Fire, assigned all of his career in Fresno with what became known as Fresno Co. Fire Prot. Dist. He spent 10-years as Capt. of Sta. 88 during the Paramedic program which was the busiest station in Cal-Fire during several of those years. In 2001 He retired at Clovis Sta. 85 Where he had promoted to Capt. in 1970. He retired April 19, 2001. After he retired he moved to Oregon after having open heart surgery. After moving to Oregon he joined the Civil Air Patrol where he was appointed Safety Officer for 2 ½ years.
On February 12, 2019, Jim Hart went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, having finished his life here to go wait for his Wife and Best Friend to join him. Jim Loved his wife so much the Lord extended his life here for many years. He was plagued with lung, heart and c-spine injuries for 15 yeas after his retirement. After 44-years with CDF/Cal Fire. His favorite saying was still “That was the best job anyone could ever have.”
He is survived by his wife Kathleen Smith-Hart and her 3 children. He also leaves his two daughters, Kathy Strawn and Darla Kitkowski, from his first wife who preceded him in death. He also leaves 9-grandchildren and 7-great grandchildren.