Our beloved Leigh Whitney Hart, 74, of Baton Rouge passed away on August 11.
He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Chester and Mary Hart on October 26, 1947.
He is survived by his wife, Eva; his son, Karsten Leigh Hart (Deja) of North Kingstown, RI, with whom he relished their daily phone calls; his stepchildren, Kelly Stuart Connolly (Brian), Erin Stuart Vollmer (Thomas) of Hammond, and Christopher “Joe” Stuart, Jr. (Jeannine) of Dallas, TX; Leigh’s brother, Terry Randal Hart (Ann) of Lake Charles, and his sister, Paula Hart Alack (John) of Hammond; loving Papa’s grandchildren, Harrison and Clippen Connolly, Phoebe and Tommy Vollmer, and Sloan Stuart; his niece, Keri Andrus Hart, and grandniece, Taylen Hart; his uncle, August “Gus” Janssen (Andrea) of Slidell; and Karsten’s mother and stepfather, Ursula and Jeff Mills.
Leigh was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Mary Maniscalco Hart, and his adored nephew, Casey James Hart.
Leigh graduated from Cor Jesu High School in New Orleans in 1965 then served proudly in the US Naval Reserves. After he was honorably discharged, he began working with Exxon Mobil until his retirement after 35 years in 2008. During that time, he continued his education by enrolling in college courses of interest to him.
He was married to his cherished and loving wife, Eva, for 23 years. Together they enjoyed gardening, exercise, traveling, movies, and especially family gatherings. Leigh was in the 2020 Master Gardener Training class and became a Certified Master Gardener this year. Leigh was very disciplined in his exercise regimen, working out regularly at Foxy's Health Club where he developed lasting friendships.
They took several summer road trips up the East Coast to escape the heat where they had lots of family and friends to visit along the way. They traveled out west, as well as, crossing over into Canada once. Their overseas trips included France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and Italy (4 times!). Leigh was half Sicilian and particularly enjoyed those trips, seeing the places he discovered in his genealogy research.
Leigh’s hometown of New Orleans held a special place in his heart. He truly loved visiting often and introducing his grandchildren to its many charms, from Angelo Brocato’s Gelato, to Fats Domino and Louis Armstrong, to the Saints and the Pelicans!
Leigh was a unique, vibrant, and passionate soul whose impact has been immeasurable on all who were blessed to know him. Sincere thanks to family and friends for the tremendous love, prayers, and support over the last several months.
The family also wishes to extend its gratitude to Dr. Vince Cataldo, Dr. John Lyons, the Doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Hospice of Baton Rouge, especially Sally Graugnard, RN.
Visitation will be held at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home on Friday, August 19th, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with recitation of the Rosary at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue Saturday, August 20th, at St. George Catholic Church from 9:00 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Entombment will follow in the mausoleum at St. George Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Leigh may be made to: The V Foundation for Victory Over Cancer, Wounded Warriors Foundation, St. George Catholic Church, or the Dyslexia Resource Center of Baton Rouge.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com