Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative regrets to announce that one of its cooperative family has passed. Mike Hart served as a journeyman lineman at the cooperative for 15 years and was 51 years old.
At SVEC, Hart was known both for taking pride in his work and keeping spirits high for everyone around him.
“He was always upbeat and had an inviting personality,” says Patrick Swinney, SVEC journeyman lineman. “He was a pleasure to talk to and to be around, the type of person you never get tired of whether it be at work or out on a fishing trip.”
Journeyman lineman Brad Boswell says Mike was a storyteller and could always be relied on to keep the mood cheerful.
“What I will remember most about Mike are his stories that he would share with me and his awesome sense of humor,” Boswell says. “You could always count on Mike to give you a good laugh.”
An avid outdoorsman, Hart was a member of the Live Oak Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and enjoyed taking fishing trips with his friends and family. He is also remembered as being a talented handyman and developed a reputation throughout the cooperative for being able to fix just about anything that might be in need of repair.
“Mike had a very inquisitive mind and enjoyed the challenges that his job presented on a daily basis,” says Mike McWaters, SVEC’s executive VP and CEO. “He was good at what he did and took pride in his craft.”
Many will remember Hart as a loving husband to his wife, Kim, proud father to his daughter, Lindsey, and doting grandfather to his two grandsons, Landon and Sawyer.
“He loved his child and his grandchildren very much, and he had a fervent heart,” says his wife. “He always put other people before himself.”
That continued to be true even after Hart was diagnosed with liver cancer in December 2014. Despite fighting the disease for the last year, he only seemed to redouble his efforts to offer a helping hand or an attentive ear to the problems of those around him.
“When times got hard for him, he was concerned about his friends’ and family’s problems more than his own,” says Boswell.
The family held a memorial service at Southside Baptist Church in Live Oak on Jan. 9. All of us at SVEC would like to thank our cooperative neighbor Tri-County Electric Cooperative for covering dispatch and trouble work during the service so employees could attend the funeral.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hart family as they mourn this terrible loss. It’s a great tragedy for SVEC, as well, any time we lose a member of our cooperative family,” says McWaters. “We should all strive to follow the example Mike set for us. The two things that I noticed most about him over the last year were his unwavering faith and his unselfish, joyous attitude. He left a legacy for all of us to live up to through his faith and his character.”