Jesse Willard Hatfield, 97, went to be with his Lord Dec. 30, 2013, at Hospice House of Citrus County on the Nature Coast, Beverly Hills, Fla., following a long illness. He was a native West Virginian, retiring to Florida over 30 years ago. He resided in New Smyrna Beach for many years where he was a member of the First Baptist Church of New Smyrna Beach. He later moved to Beverly Hills, where he has made his home with daughter, Jessie Fay and husband John Lowe for the past nine years. Mr. Hatfield had a long career in the coal mining industry retiring in January, 1976. He was assistant inspector-at-large for the New River-Winding Gulf Division of the West Virginia Department of Mines, serving 20 years under four governors. He received the designation of "Distinguished West Virginian" by Governor Arch A. Moore Jr., in recognition of his meritorious service. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, No. 138, Pineville, WV, for over 61 years.
He was the youngest of 12 children, born April 12, 1916, in Pea Ridge, W.Va., to Newman Pomp and Ella Ferrell Hatfield. Mr. Hatfield's childhood and young adult years were spent in Man, W.Va., where he met and married Edith Fay Mahone. Together they had three children. He is preceded in death by his parents; eight sisters; three brothers; first wife of 46 years, Edith Fay Mahone Hatfield; second wife of 23 years, Opha Pauline Brown Eller Hatfield; and son, Rondal Willard Hatfield. He is survived by daughters, Doris Evelyn Hughes and husband Donald of Corinne, W.Va., and Jessie Fay Lowe and husband John of Beverly Hills; daughter-in-law, Joan Hatfield of Midway, W.Va.; stepdaughter, Brenda Eller James of New Smyrna Beach; stepsons, Frank Eller and wife Donna of New Smyrna Beach and Ross Eller and wife Karen, Glades Springs, W.Va.; six grandchildren, Deloris Reed and husband John, Michelle Keen and husband Tim, Winter Haven, Ronald Lee Hatfield and wife Debbie, Gaston, S.C., Jerry Wayne Hatfield and wife Kim, Wilmington, S.C., Kevin Brian Lowe, Sanford, Kara Clark and husband Mark, Orlando; three step-granddaughters; one step-grandson; eleven great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Hatfield was a man of great integrity and humility. He was well known for his sense of humor and desire to make others laugh. He will remain beloved in the hearts of all who knew him and will be remembered as a proud West Virginia mountaineer.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Hospice House of Citrus County on the Nature Coast. The family will be receiving friends from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, with funeral services at 6 p.m., at the Chas. E. Davis Funeral Home with Crematory, Inverness. Entombment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Harper Road, Beckley, W.Va., at a later date.