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Dr. Benjamin Franklin Hatchett, Jr.January 18, 1939 ~ May 27, 2017 (age 78)
Dr. Frank Hatchett, beloved husband of the late Jeannie Buckley Hatchett, adored father of three daughters, passed away Saturday, May 27, at home. He was at peace and in the company of trusted loved ones, dying after battling a prolonged illness with cancer.
He was born in Talladega, Alabama, in 1939, to Mr. Benjamin Franklin Hatchett, Sr., and Dorothy Schmidt Hatchett. He and his three siblings were raised in Columbiana, Alabama, where they learned to be thoughtful, loving, hard-working, fun people, and where they developed love of family and good cooking.
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 31, 2017 from 11-1 p.m. at North Wood United Methodist Church. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. with Rev. Scott Coats and Rev. Wayne Williams officiating. Burial will follow in Sheffield Oakwood Cemetery.
He studied at Tulane University, spent a year abroad in Germany, and completed medical school at Tulane. He interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, and he served as an Air Force surgeon at Maxwell Air Force Base for several years before finishing residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
He practiced orthopedic surgery in Florence, Alabama, for more than thirty years, first with Dr. Lloyd Johnson, Sr., and then with the North Alabama Bone and Joint Clinic. His favorite nurse, Jeannie Hatchett, helped him take care of thousands of people from the Shoals area, and though she sometimes had to encourage him to stop socializing with his patients so he would not lag too far behind on his clinic schedule, she was proud that he cared so much about his patients and wanted to spend time with them as a person, not just as their doctor. He love his job and worked for as many years as he was able, retiring from full-time employ as a surgeon to part-time work as a medical director for Columbia Cottage and as a wound care specialist at Eliza Coffee Memorial. He stopped working when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, at the age of 76.
Dr. Hatchett had a multi-faceted life. He was a loving husband, a doting father, a devoted friend and fishing buddy, and a faithful servant in North Wood United Methodist Church. He grew sumptuous vegetables and flowers, continuing the tradition of his parents, and he never saw a weed or a squirrel he found to be tolerable. He loved to travel with Jeannie, and he was proud to escort her to ballroom dance lessons. He was a fierce Alabama fan, and he and Jeannie went to as many games as they could. He was a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Exchange Club. He gathered friends and loved ones wherever he went, whether he was working or vacationing. His collection of corny jokes seemed encyclopedic.
He is survived by his three daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Robson Hatchett (Joey), Dr. Anna Blair Hatchett, and Dr. Eugenia Suzanne Hatchett; his sisters, Mrs. Ann Cheney of Montgomery, Alabama, and Mrs. Betty Weir (Gary) of Huntsville, Alabama; his sisters-in-law Ms. Rebecca Buckley and Mrs. Terry Walker (Allen), and his brother-in-law, Eddie Buckley, Jr., (Theresa); and many adored nieces and nephews.
His many loyal friends who helped him through his illness and the passing of his dear wife last year, are too numerous to count, but he was thankful for their love and care during devastating times. His death is indeed mourned, but his life is greatly celebrated. We will miss him, and we will try to live as he lived, with loved ones and faith and hard work and humor to sustain us in our grief.