Celebrating the Life of Newport Beach Community Leader and Former Mayor Evelyn Hart

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Former Mayor Evelyn Hart waves to the crowd as she sits down for a group photo with other past Newport Beach mayors during the annual Mayor’s Dinner in February 2020. — Photo by Sara Hall ©

Former Newport Beach Mayor and longtime community leader Evelyn Hart passed away on November 23 at age 91 after trying to recover from a stroke.

According to her obituary, Hart was born on January 24, 1931, in Phoenix Arizona. Hart’s family moved to Oklahoma, and then to Oregon and finally to Newport Beach in the 1950s.

Hart had a personal and professional commitment to keep the city of Newport Beach prosperous while respectively keeping intact its beautiful environment. One of her proudest successes is forever preserving the view from development of the Back Bay at the intersection of Coast Highway and Jamboree.

Among her many accomplishments: working at the Newport Beach Police Department, joining her husband’s family business at Hart’s Sporting Goods, serving with the city’s parks and recreation department, being elected to the Newport Beach City Council, and twice serving as Mayor of Newport Beach.

As an active citizen, she was a member of Oasis Senior Services, Youth Employment Services, Newport Beach Animal Shelter, Stop Polluting Our Newport, The Blind Institute of California, Water Board of California, and Coastline College Board.

Evelyn Hart. Photo by Sara Hall

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce named Hart the Citizen of the Year for 2007, an honor bestowed annually to those “who best represents the qualities each of us admire and respect among our friends, neighbors and associates. It’s not given so much for achievement, as it is for helping others achieve. It’s not given for outstanding single effort, as much as for long-term, continuing commitment to the community. It’s for the one who says, ‘Newport Beach is my home – and my life – and its future and mine are the same – and whatever I can do to make them better, I will do.’”

“Evelyn was a good friend and colleague to many, many people,” said incoming Newport Beach Councilmember Robyn Grant. “She spent a lifetime supporting great causes in Newport Beach and beyond. She was kind and gentle with the just the right amount of grit and determination. We worked together to support many civic projects, most recently the Newport Beach Animal Shelter. Evelyn will live on in every animal that finds a forever home from our Shelter.”

Hart’s obituary notes that her personal contributions to society are endless. She was loyal, encouraging and always had her friends’ backs. Her infectious smile was beautiful. She was a leader who never stopped challenging to better herself and her community.

A wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother; she is survived by many, especially her beloved husband of 65 years, John Lynn Hart.

There are no services planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter: https://www.fonbas.org.

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