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William F. "Bucky" Hatchett

Verona resident William F. "Bucky" Hatchett, considered one of the best Essex County high school athletes of the 20th Century, died on Oct. 14 at the age of 84.

Originally from Montclair, Hatchett was a star on the Verona High School football, basketball, and track teams as a youth - earning him the title of "one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century" by the Newark Star Ledger with a columnist noting - "Maybe he was the very best."

After serving in the army, Hatchett returned to Verona as an educator - working as a teacher in the district for 15 years and a basketball coach for eight. While teaching, he played semi-pro basketball in the Eastern Professional Basketball League. In 2009, the athletic field behind H.B. Whitehorne Middle School was named "Bucky Hatchett Field" in his honor.

Hatchett also spent time working in human resources for RCA prior to his retirement.

Hatchett is survived by his wife, Ora; children, Craig, Karen Pavlin and her husband Rob, and Kimberley Hatchett-Maitland and her husband Tracy; brother, Thomas; grandchildren, Zuri and Marley Pavlin and Lauren Maitland; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark's United Methodist Church located on 51 Elm Street in Montclair. Visitation will take place on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Martin's Home for Service, Inc. located at 48 Elm Street in Montclair.

Published in Verona-Cedar Grove Times on Oct. 19, 2011
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