Born in 1905 and missing his 102nd birthday by six weeks, noted Utah composer A.W. "Mickey" Hart died Monday at 101.
Mr. Hart composed more than 360 songs during his life, including "If Christ Should Come Tomorrow," "They Found Him In the Temple" and "I Walked In God's Garden," as well as the Utah State University pep song, "Hail the Utah Aggies."
Mr. Hart was born in Farmington and grew up in Preston, Idaho, where he took piano lessons from a teacher who owed his father $6.
His father agreed to settle the debt if the teacher would give young Hart piano lessons at 35 cents each.
He quickly progressed on the ivories and rose through the ranks until he was playing with great dance bands, such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He eventually received a job offer from the King of Swing, Benny Goodman.
But he opted for his roots in Utah.
Mr. Hart taught at USU, a high school in Idaho and at Cyprus High School in Magna.
His dance band played in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Mr. Hart and his brothers founded Hart Bros. Music in Sugar House, which they ran for a number of years.
He didn't take credit for his good songs.
"If I write a song and it's good, I didn't write it," he told the Deseret Morning News in a 1991 interview. "It already existed. If I write a song that's no good, then I know I wrote it."
His funeral will be Monday noon in the Wilford Stake Center, 3080 S. 1765 East. Friends may call on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at the same address.