Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

July 20, 2012

Dr. Thomas Clark Hatcher (Tom)

WAR — Dr. Thomas Clark Hatcher (Tom), 72, died, Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at his home in War. Tom was the son of the late West Virginia Senator, Glenn Drexel Hatcher and Beatrice (Bea) Carter Hatcher. He was born in Iaeger on Aug. 6, 1939. Tom graduated from Big Creek High School as Co-Valedictorian in 1958. He received a B.S. and an M.A. Degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Tom worked as a teacher in McDowell and Monongalia Counties. In 1968 Tom took a position at West Virginia University, where he achieved the rank of full Professor, with tenure.

In 1980 Tom accepted a position as Secretary General of the Council of International Programs (CIP) in Cleveland, Ohio and the Washington, D.C. areas. In his tenure with CIP, he traveled to more than 75 countries, and to several of these, many times. In Cleveland he was extremely active in his church community, becoming the President of the Presiding Community Council, which was heavily involved in social justice issues.

Tom returned to War and McDowell County in 1991 and began teaching at Big Creek High School. He immediately became active in helping to form a McDowell County Historical Society and served as its President. He was also active in the Tazewell County Historical Society where he was President from 1997-2004.

While living in War, Tom was extremely active in and supportive of all types of community activities. Most notable, he was Mayor of War from 1997 until his untimely death. During his tenure the City made great strides toward fiscal responsibility and accountability. It also completed a much needed sanitation system and many other infrastructure improvements. He was deeply involved and committed to the development of a strategic plan for development of the City, Big Creek District, and Big Creek High School.

Additionally, Tom served as President of the McDowell County Commission on Aging; Treasurer of the War Public Library, and was on the Board of Directors of FACES, a community action collation, and The Council of Southern Mountains. He was also an active member of the War Kiwanis Club, where, at various times, he held the offices of President, Vice President, and Treasurer; a member of the McDowell County Economic Development Authority; and had been a Board member of the Big Creek TEAM Center and the War Food Center.

Tom believed that religion is extremely important in one’s life. He believed that each persons needs to make a personal, religious commitment to God and Christ, no matter what denomination. He support interdenominational services and cooperation and was active with the Big Creek District Ministerial Association as Secretary. At Christ The King Catholic Church in War he was President of the Parish Council and assisted with most church functions.

In his professional and lay life, Tom had been an active writer and author, writing articles for The Welch Daily News on McDowell County history and education. He wrote a personal family book, along with his cousin, Nancy Nash, on his family history and helped to actualize the publication of two McDowell County Heritage Volumes and several Tazewell County Historical Society publications. He authored many professional articles in refereed journals, and he excelled at grant writing.

Survivors include his three children, Mary Kathryn Hatcher Jones (Ken) of Greenwood, Ind., Elizabeth Ann Hatcher of Oklahoma City, Okla., and John Thomas Hatcher of War; a sister, Jerry Lynn Roncella of War; a brother, James Edward Hatcher (Jennifer) of Waleska, Ga.; two grandsons, Zachary Kenneth Jones and Jonathen Randall Clark Hatcher. Tom was preceded in death by his parents; and infant grandson, Ethan Glenn Hatcher.

There will be a closed casket visitation on Sunday, July 22 from 6-9 p.m. at Christ The King Catholic Church in War. At 7:15 Father Paul Mani will conduct a special rosary service, lasting about 20 minutes. Following the rosary service friends of Tom will be given the opportunity to offer a brief eulogy. The family requests that stories and comments be limited to two or three minutes so that everyone who wants to say a few words will have the time to do so. A Funeral Mass will be held at the church on Monday, July 23 at 11 a.m. City of War employees  and police department will serve as pallbearers.

Written condolences, eulogies and memorial gifts, made payable to the Thomas C. Hatcher Memorial Fund, may be sent in care of Mary K. Jones, P.O. Box 361, Greenwood, IN 46142. Donations may also be made in lieu of flowers to any of the organizations for which Tom labored with love and dedication, such as Christ The King Catholic Church, the Tazewell County Historical Society, the McDowell County Historical Society, and the War Library.

The Douglas Funeral Home of War is serving the Hatcher family.

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