Cover photo for Wilbur R. DeHart's Obituary
Wilbur R. DeHart Profile Photo
1920 Wilbur 2012

Wilbur R. DeHart

September 24, 1920 — January 24, 2012

Wilbur R. DeHart, 91, of Cincinnatus, NY, passed away on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Theresa DeHart.

Wilbur was born in Cameron, MO, on September 24, 1920, elder son of the late Richard and Llora Assel DeHart. He resided in Ann Arbor, MI from 1951 to 1987 where he was employed by the University of Michigan and retired to Dexter, MI from 1987 to 2009. He has been a member of the Ann Arbor First United Methodist Church since 1952, where he recorded the Sunday service for broadcast for over 50 years. He was a resident of Cincinnatus since November 2009. He attended the United Presbyterian Church of Cortland. He was a veteran of WWII, having served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946.

Wilbur earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Science degree followed by a Professional Engineering Degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After six years of teaching at MIT, he joined the staff of the Willow Run Laboratories of the University of Michigan for 19 years, working on applied research. For 10 of those years, he was the head of the Radio Science Laboratory. The last 16 years of his career, Wilbur was Manager of the Medical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan Hospital.

Wilbur supported many organizations, as he was an environmental enthusiast and earth steward. He helped to build the College Harry Brakeman School, a primary and secondary school in Petit-Goave, Haiti, during several mission trips. The school now has 500 students and 42 teachers.

An avid musician, Wilbur played the clarinet as a member of the Ann Arbor Civic Band and the Ann Arbor Summer Band for over 50 years. After moving to Cincinnatus, Wilbur joined the Old Timers Band of Cortland, NY. He was known for making his own reeds. All five of his children learned to love music because of his encouragement.

Wilbur was an avid reader, a licensed Amateur radio operator, enjoyed astronomy and woodworking, loving to create and design things.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Lillian Stitt DeHart; his children, Barbara (Thomas) Eadie of Victoria, BC, Peter (Carole) DeHart of Ann Arbor, MI, Steven (Theresa) DeHart of Cincinnatus, NY, Mary Jo (Alan) Felsted of Orlando, FL, and Richard (Cindy) DeHart of Ann Arbor, MI. He also leaves behind 19 grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Melvin DeHart, in 1991.

A celebration of his life will be held at the United Presbyterian Church of Cortland on Saturday, January 28, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. with Reverend John Gay officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Wilbur's memory to the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, MI, 120 S. State St., 48104. Please designate on the check either the Church's Renovation Fund or the College Harry Brakeman School in Haiti.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilbur R. DeHart, please visit our flower store.

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