WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. -- Reginald Leslie Hart, of Wappingers Falls, died Nov. 11. He was 72.
He was born Aug. 16, 1944, in Exeter, N.H. and lived there until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1962.
After completing basic training, Hart went to machinist mate school and nuclear power school to serve aboard a nuclear-powered submarine, but wound up spending most of his enlistment on the last of the diesel subs.
He qualified on the USS Dogfish (SS350), served on the USS Sablefish (SS-303), then finished his enlistment on the USS Irex (SS-482). He received the dive card for the 10,000th dive of Sablefish in 1969.
After he was honorably discharged in 1969, he moved back to Exeter and opened his own business "Drag Track", a high-performance automotive parts store. He put to use his skills to use building performance engines.
After a few years in New Hampshire, he got a job offer from one of his submarine shipmates and moved to Wappingers Falls to work as a machinist/engine builder at Valley Performance Specialties for about 10 years.
Ownership of that business changed and Hart continued to work at Owen Machine for more than 15 years.
He also helped at Gunn's Automotive in LaGrange, and was involved with Lee's Auto Body, racing, and Jim Halpin Color Tricks Dirt car racing.
His interest in the automotive performance engine market stayed with him even after he became disabled because of health issues and he always was available for a free counsel or advice regarding automotive projects.
In 2008, he and fellow shipmates were reunited in Groton, Conn., for a Sablefish reunion, where he was presented with an autographed print of the submarine by the former commanding officer.
He is survived by his ex-wife, Carol Crome; daughter, Kelly Carrero (Don); and grandchildren, Jason, Jordan and Christina.
Friends may call from 6-7 p.m. Monday at the Delehanty Funeral Home, 64 E. Main St.
Services, with military honors, will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Wappingers Rural Cemetery Veterans plot.
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