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Robert "Bob" F. Hart

December 2, 1930 March 18, 2015
Robert "Bob" F. Hart
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Obituary for Robert "Bob" F. Hart
Robert (Bob) Franklin Hart was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, on December 2, 1930 to Morris Broadway Hart, Sr. and Laura Louise Miller Hart, the third of three children. He graduated Lyons Township High School in 1946. In 1949, he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering at the young age of 18 from the University of Illinois, Urbana. In 1951 he married Annamae Stack and had four children. They divorced in 1981. Bob worked as a surveyor and as a building contractor in the greater Chicago area, then as a design engineer at the Electro-Motive Division of GM. In 1962, Bob was granted two fellowships to continue his education. He received an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1963 and completed his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Northwestern University in 1966. He later returned to the Illinois Institute of Technology to complete an M.S. in Operations Research where he met fellow student Marilyn Klotnia Jansen who was working on her Ph.D. Bob retired from GM in 1981 and joined the faculty at Governors State University in Illinois where Marilyn was already teaching. (Bob liked to tell the story that he sat in on Marilyn’s calculus class to pick up some teaching techniques only to promptly fall asleep and, much to the amusement of the students, started snoring-- loudly. Bob said that Marilyn married him in 1982 just to get even.) Thus began their paired careers in teaching Statistical Process Control (SPC) for the improvement of quality (Bob was a student of Dr. W. Edwards Deming). In 1985 they moved to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as faculty where Bob received an endowed distinguished professorship, retiring in 1995. Together the Drs. Hart taught over 400 seminars in SPC for industry, health care, and education, with Bob also consulting. They taught internationally in India, China, England, Ireland, and Belgium, and wrote two published technical books and over 100 articles on quality. Together with his wife Marilyn, he traveled to over 90 countries and all 50 states for work and for pleasure. Bob is survived by his wife Marilyn of almost 33 years; his three stepchildren Adam Jansen, Wendy Jansen Brown, and Dawn Jansen Presler (who all called him “Doc”); his four children Robert, David, Linda, and Laura Hart; 9 grand- and step-grand children; and by his sister Etta May Hart Stiles. His brother, Morris Broadway Hart, Jr., died in 2012. Bob will always be remembered by his quick wit, life-long pursuit of knowledge, daily hikes on the Oregon Coast Trail, reading stories to the family, and love of travel. On March 18, 2015, Bob passed away – departing on his final journey. Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family. Condolences may be expressed online at
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