Remembering Darryl Hart

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/08/2021 - 8:36am

It is with heavy hearts that we learn of the passing of our dear friend and cherished community member Darryl Hart. Darryl gave years of selfless service to United Way for the benefit of our community, always empowering and including others with patience and kindness. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became the owner of Hart Funeral Service after the passing of his father Mr. Osborne Hart.

Darryl joined the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County board in 1991 and served as a member continuously through 2011, dedicating himself to two decades of service. During those twenty years, he served in so many different roles-- as Chair of the Minority Involvement Council, as Chair of the Needs Assessment, as a Strategic Planning member, as a member of the Executive Committee and Capital Campaign amongst other roles. As board chair in 2004 and 2005, our organization raised nearly $5.5 million dollars and invested over $4 million in local nonprofits. It was also a critical time for our organization as we transitioned from First Call for Help to 211, the growth of our volunteer center into Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, changes to our funding model, and adoption of Middle School Success into what we now know as Community Schools. His steadfast support helped strengthen the foundations of our work and allowed us to evolve into the organization we are today.

Thank you for your commitment to our community. Rest In Peace friend. 

A few Words of Remembrance

"The breadth and depth of Darryl's service are astounding. I thought I knew how much time, effort, and leadership he gave to our community, but when examining more closely, I was truly in disbelief. I got to know Darryl pretty well and saw a little of what it took to lead a funeral home, needing to be available, ready, engaged 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  One afternoon Darryl, Jimbo, and I were attending a national United Way conference in Indianapolis and had a free evening. Jimbo purchased tickets to the Pacers as it was the start of the NBA playoffs. The three of us met to walk to the game Jimbo and I in slacks and shirts and Darryl in a full black suit, ready as always if called. In the midst of 18,000 fans cheering on the Pacers he receives a phone call and proceeds to make funeral arrangements for a family in need. The time, fans, noise, etc. did not hinder him. Darryl was patient and kind, always ready to help. We truly lost an honorable citizen in our community." - Former UWABC CEO David Bailey

"Darryl was among the great community leaders who preceded me as Board Chair for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. I served as Finance Chair during his tenure as Chair, which gave me an up-close view of his professional and deliberate yet kind style of leadership that motivated our board and staff to push harder in our endeavors to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Darryl's compassion for those less fortunate in our community and his willingness to work on their behalf led us to raise both record levels of annual campaign funds as well as a successful capital campaign to upgrade the physical space housed by United Way and numerous other nonprofits. Asheville has lost a great community leader, but we are all so fortunate to have crossed paths with Darryl Hart and his unwavering passion to serve." - Former UWABC Board Chair Suzanne Deferie