William Robert “Willie” Tart - born: September 20,1943 - died: April 3, 2020 ~ Age: 77

William Robert Tart, age 77, also known as “Willie”, went home to be with the Lord April 3, 2020. Mr. Tart was born in Harnett County to William Aaron "Tom" Tart and Pearl Beasley Tart, September 20, 1943. He is survived by his sister, Joyce Tart Morton, of Olive Branch, MS.

Mr. Tart served in the U. S. Navy during the Vietnam war era and was honorably discharged in 1966. He owned a cleaning service for many years before retiring. When he saw the movie Patch Adams, he was inspired to become a professional clown. He learned how to be a clown and took "Clown Willie" as his professional name. His business cards read Clown Willie-clowning for Christ. He worked many venues and brought much joy to the lives he touched, young and old. He received the Lifetime Service Award from Durham Rescue Mission in 2018 for his volunteer work with the Mission.

He was a faithful member of Mebane United Methodist Church. One of his greatest blessings was teaching Children's church periodically. He loved children and always enjoyed Vacation Bible School every summer. A memorial service will be conducted at the church as soon as possible. Any memorials honoring Mr. Tart may be given to the recipient of the donor’s choice.

Published in Mebane Enterprise on April 20, 2020    obituary link

Willie played many checker games with the regulars at our Burlington/Greensboro club, and usually joined us at the Eden Public Library checker group every Wednesday. He was an active NC & VA tournament player until his health declined in 2019. Willie usually played the North Carolina, District 4, and the Virginia Open up until this time, and we will miss him.

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