Filmore W. Hart

December 20, 1928 ~ July 5, 2019 (age 90)

“The steps of a righteous man are from the Lord, and he establishes him in whose way he delights.” Psalm 37:23

Filmore William Hart was born in Washington DC on December 20, 1928 to the late Gretchen Eula Hart Morton.  He was raised by his mother and step-father, Morris Morton.  God gently called him home on July 5, 2019.  His life was a  beautiful tapestry, 90 years of faith, relationships, experiences and love, woven together by the hand of God.

Filmore was educated in the Washington, DC public schools, graduating from Dunbar High School.  He continued his education at Morgan State College (presently known as Morgan State University) where he remained an active Life Member of the National Alumni Association Class of 1953.  While attending Morgan State College, he met his wife to be the late Marion Kahn White. The two were joined in holy matrimony on May 19, 1953 by the late Reverend Timothy Boddie, and remained married for 46 years.  From this union were born four children, Sandra Lynn, Jocelyn Kahn, Philmore James, and Gerard Roderick.  They were also blessed with nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Filmore was a man of great faith.  He possessed a strong prayer and devotional life.  His favorite hymn was “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”, and his favorite Scripture was Psalm 27.  His religious training began in the home and at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC.  Upon coming to Baltimore to attend Morgan State College, he united with Enon Baptist Church.  He and his late wife, Marion, joined Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in 1953 when they moved into the Panway Neighborhood.  It was then that his leadership and administration skills were noticed by the late Rev. Samuel B. Redd.   In 1955 he was ordained a Deacon in Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.  Deacon Hart loved the Lord, loved his church and served his pastors faithfully as Chairman of the Deacon Board. During his 66 years as a member of Mt. Ararat, Deacon Hart served the Lord in numerous capacities: Male Chorus, Van Driver, Sunday School Teacher, Pastoral Search Committee Chairperson, Triple L Senior Ministry (member), Samuel B. Redd Scholarship Committee (member). 

Filmore believed in self growth and improvement and was very active beyond his church.  He continuously attended local, state, national institutes, seminars and conferences to grow his knowledge of Christianity and assist him with leading men of faith.  His time, talent and support were devoted to countless organizations.  He served four years as President of the Troy V. Lewis Laymen’s League, an auxiliary to the United Baptist Convention of Maryland, Inc. , and continued supporting the organization until his passing.  He was regional coordinator for the National Baptist Association’s Deacon’s Ministry where he provided training to various Deacon Boards in the states of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  

Filmore lived a selfless life and was recognized numerous times for contributions to his community and others. He served in several leadership roles with the Maryland State Caucus of Black Aging. He was instrumental in establishing Boy Scout Troop #554 at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church where he served as Scout Master for several years.  He later became Commissioner of the Boy Scouts Arrowhead District.  He also enjoyed being a leader for the Forest Park Baseball Little League for over 25 years:  serving as coach, president, vice president, treasurer. Filmore actively engaged in his children’s education, participating in the Parent Teacher Associations and serving on Shippensburg University Parent Advisory Board. He was also active in the Panway Neighborhood Association; serving as Parliamentarian. On February 13, 2019 Filmore’s commitment to his community, was recognized on the floor of the United States House of Representatives by the Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, United States Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.  An overview of Filmore’s life  and his  contributions to others became a permanent entry in the United States Congressional Record. 

Filmore served his country with honor.  He was inducted into the United States Army in 1950, and he served in the Army Reserves. He retired in 1988 as a Master Sergeant.  

Filmore was employed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and held numerous positions during his forty year tenure. He retired in 1991 as a Supervisory Disability Determinations Services Financial Specialist.  During his career at SSA, he received many recognitions, including the agency’s highest honor award, the Commissioner’s Citation.  His personality endeared him to many young adults and he was known for encouraging their upward mobility and providing opportunities for advancement. 

His love of family was broadened when God smiled on Filmore and blessed him with love again.  He married Elaine Harris on June 3, 2017.  The family circle then expanded with the inclusion of Elaine’s four adult children, the late Larry Harris, Cathy Harris Blackwell, Michael Harris, and Allyson Harris Owens and eight grandchildren. He was welcomed into the Harris family and became a fixture at family gatherings. Filmore and Elaine enjoyed seeing the world together and experiencing love again in their latter years. 

Family was very important to Filmore.  He delighted in his children and grandchildren and never missed an opportunity to weave them into a conversation and bragged on their accomplishments. He was there for each celebration, graduation, wedding and big moment.  His presence will be missed at family functions.  He especially enjoyed attending the Phillip White Family Reunion as often as he could.  In fact, he would be the first family member to pay the assessment. He enjoyed driving and took most trips by car.

Filmore Hart was preceded in death by his first wife, Marion Kahn White Hart; mother, Gretchen Eula Hart Morton; his only brother, Donald F. Hart and his stepfather, Morris Morton. 

He leaves to cherish his memory:  a devoted wife, Elaine Hart; daughters, Sandra L. Hart Harris (Howard) of Orangeburg, South Carolina; Rev. Jocelyn K. Hart Lovelace (Eddie) of Simsbury, Connecticut; Cathy Harris Blackwell (Darryl) of Owings Mills, Maryland; Allyson Harris Owens (Andre) of Ellicott City, Maryland; sons, Philmore J. Hart (Janet) of Grayson, Georgia; Gerard R. Hart, Sr. (Kendra) of Westminster, Maryland; Michael B. Harris of Columbia, Maryland; and predeceased by Larry L. Harris, Sr.; grandchildren, Howard M. Harris, Jr., Erica L. Harris Tuggle (Nathan), Brittany L. Harris Flowers (Joel), Gerard R. Hart, Jr., Brooklynne J. Hart, Kedric W. Hart, Korryn K. Hart, Satchel J. Hart, Korrey W. Hart; Erin Blackwell Warren (Torey), Kiera Blackwell, David Harris, Kevin Harris, Lauren Owens, Grant Owens, Christopher Owens, Larry Harris, Jr. (Deb); great grandchildren, Chance Harris, Sydney Harris, Jordan Tuggle and Aria Tuggle; Dexter Reed, godson, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

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