Monday, April 09, 2007

Johnny Hart...Dead at 76

by Bonnie Calhoun

With a heavy heart, I report today that a great artist and neighbor has passed into the arms of our Lord Jesus.

Johnny Hart died on Saturday at his home, up the road from me, in Nineveh (I live in Harpursville). He was 76 years old, and died doing what he loved to do best. His wife Bobby said that Johnny had a stroke and died at his storyboard.

Johhny Hart was best known for his B.C. and Wizard of ID comic strips. As Johnny became more entrenched in his career, many of his cartoons began to address religious themes. This was merely a a reflection of his own deepening Christian faith and it dismayed some readers and while delighting others (myself among this delighted group).

Johnny Hart lent his B.C. characters to promote many of our local agencies and activities, including the old Broome Dusters hockey team, BC Transit (our county bus system), Broome County Parks (all of our parks have his green grinning dinosaur in their logos and signs).

Johnny also designed the trophy for the professional golf tournament which became the B.C. Open. The bronzed trophy given to B.C. Open champions, depicts a caveman following through on his golf swing after hacking out a divot.

B.C. also participated in the nation's space program. In 1972, Hart received a public service award from NASA for outstanding contributions.

"B.C." and "Wizard of Id" will continue. Family members have been helping produce the strips for years, and they have an extensive computer archive of Hart's drawings to work with.

Johnny Hart is survived by his wife, Bobby, and two daughters Patti and Perri.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Nineveh Presbyterian Church, 2997 N.Y. Route 7, with Rev. Emrys Tyler, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Nineveh Presbyterian Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Osterhoudt-Madden Funeral Home, 69-71 Maple St., Harpursville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Johnny Hart may be made to the Nineveh Presbyterian Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 115, Nineveh, N.Y. 13813.

2 Comments:

  1. Bernita said...
    Aw.
    I love both those strips.
    Paula Neal Mooney said...
    Yes, I saw this. He was an excellent comic strip writer.

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