HATFIELD WINSTON-SALEM Weston Poole Hatfield October 19, 2012 Weston Poole Hatfield died October 19th at his home at Arbor Acres, Winston-Salem. He was 92. Mr. Hatfield was born in Hickory, North Carolina, in 1920. He attended public schools in Hickory, and graduated from Wake Forest University and Harvard Law School. His studies at Harvard were interrupted by three years of military service in the U.S. Army, including 32 continuous months in Europe. Originally scheduled to participate on the front lines of the invasion of Normandy as a member of the First Division known as the Big Red One, he was at the last minute reassigned to cover the operation as a radio correspondent, arriving on Eutaw Beach three days after the invasion. He interviewed hundreds of soldiers and military officers in his role as press officer, as well as celebrities such as Dinah Shore, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, who were entertaining troops in the European Theatre. Subsequently, Hatfield joined the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, where he investigated and prosecuted crimes involving military personnel. At the end of the war, while serving as a public safety officer responsible for the denazification of the government of Upper and Lower Franconia, he met his future wife, Lisa Katerina Knueppel when she applied for a job in the Public Health Office of the Central Government at Anspach. She came to visit him three years after Mr. Hatfield's return to the United States, and the couple married in New York in 1949. For his military service, Mr. Hatfield was awarded four battle stars for serving in campaigns in Central Europe, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Normandy. Hatfield had a long and distinguished legal career in North Carolina. He joined both the American Bar and the North Carolina Bar Associations in 1947, and had leadership roles in both organizations. He was President of the Forsyth County Bar from 1963-1964, and served on the North Carolina State Bar Council, the governing body of the state bar, from 1976 to 1988. In addition, he chaired the Ethics Committee of the North Carolina Bar from 1982 - 1985, during which time he also chaired the committee that created the professional standards known as the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. He was Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Discipline from 1985 - 1988, a member of the American Judicature Society and a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association General Practice Hall of Fame. He served as a judge of the old Winston-Salem Municipal Court from 1955 to 1958. At the time of his death, he was of counsel to the firm of Hatfield, Mountcastle, Deal , Van Zandt and Mann. Hatfield maintained a life-long commitment to Wake Forest. In 1947, he chaired a subcommittee which helped plan the ground breaking for the school's new campus in Winston-Salem. He served three terms on the Board of Trustees of Wake Forest, two as chairman, and was a lifetime member of that body. He presided over the historic meeting when the University severed its affiliation with the Baptist State Convention, declaring itself a free and independent university with a self perpetuating Board of Trustees. He holds a Distinguished Alumni Award, a Medallion of Merit Award and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from that school, the University's three most prestigious awards. For over sixty years, Mr. Hatfield was active in Winston-Salem civic affairs. He was, at various times, President of the Winston-Salem Symphony Association, Goodwill Industries, the Winston Salem Arts Council and the Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. He is a recipient of the city's Distinguished Service Award. Hatfield had an expansive and varied array of abilities and interests. He was a world traveler, an able musician and an accomplished writer. He was a Gilbert and Sullivan scholar, and wrote a number of articles highlighting the influence of English common law on Gilbert's libretti. He was the author of a successful book on real estate investing and three novels, "Murder at First Baptist," "Where There's a Will" and "The Governor's Choice," as well as an unpublished biography of Joan of Arc. His work has appeared in various magazines, including the New Yorker. In his later years, he spent several summers at Cambridge University, pursuing his interest in medieval history. He loved dogs and cars, and until he was sidelined by an eye injury, he was an avid tennis player. He maintained residences in Winston-Salem, Washington, DC, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and was a member of the Old Town Club in Winston-Salem and the Harvard Club of New York City. He is survived by four children and their spouses: Anne Hatfield Weir and Howard Weir; Weston Warren Hatfield and Julie Ford Hatfield; Andrea Hatfield O'Leary and Howard O'Leary, and Heidi Hatfield and Charles Karelis; and by eleven grandchildren: Howard Twaddell Weir IV, Lisa Weston Weir, and Emma Warren Weir; Elizabeth Everett O'Leary, Howard Emmett O'Leary III, and Lansing Hatfield O'Leary; Ford Andreas Hatfield, Lydia Katherine Hatfield, and Weston Poole Hatfield, II; Alexander Karelis and Oliver Karelis. He was preceded in death by his wife Lisa in 2008. Following a private family graveside service, a celebration of Mr. Hatfield's life will be held for friends and colleagues at the Old Town Club in Winston Salem on November 7th from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorial gifts be made to the Weston P. Hatfield Fund at Wake Forest University, PO Box 7227, Winston-Salem 27109, or to the Salvation Army of Winston-Salem. Salem Funeral Home is assisting the Hatfield family. Condolences may be sent to the family of Weston Hatfield, P.O. Box 5843, Winston-Salem, NC 27113.
Published by Winston-Salem Journal on Oct. 21, 2012.