November 22, 1934 - February 28, 2021
1934-2021 Dr. Gordon Merrell Hatcher passed away peacefully, at Tri Star Centennial Medical Center Nashville Tn. Sunday February 28, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving family, reading scriptures and singing his favorite hymns. Born November 22, 1934 to Gordon A. Merill and Hazel (Kiser) Merill in Sorona California. After losing his father in a work-related accident at the age of 3, his mother remarried a man who adopted Gordon giving him his last name, Hatcher. Gordon later changed his middle name to Merrell, although with a different spelling, to honor the name of his biological father. The family later moved to Commerce Oklahoma where Gordon lived until adulthood. Gordon gained a love for fishing at an early age. He spoke of his mother’s expert fishing skills, and days spent fishing in local mining ponds and lakes in Northeast Oklahoma. He also loved sports, playing football and baseball, becoming a baseball letterman at Commerce Highschool (home of all-star Mickey Mantel). He grew up around talented players who would later go on to the pros, and even dated Mickey Mantel’s sister in high school. Gordon started his working career early in life, delivering local newspapers in Commerce, where he became editor of the “The Viking” newspaper, and manager of “The Norswind” newspaper, by age 18. These jobs afforded him to purchase a pink 1950 Metropolitan car, and his entrepreneurial skills gave him the idea to charge 25 cents to anyone who rode with him, including his dates! Gordon graduated with honors, Salutatorian from Commerce High School and then married young at the age of 19. He and his wife had two sons together but divorced shortly following the tragic death of their oldest son Merrell William Hatcher on May 1, 1978 at the age of 22. It was the sole encouragement of a high school teacher that inspired Gordon to leave Oklahoma and begin his life of ministry and education. He also pursued degrees in journalism and psychology in numerous states. UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES: Northeastern Oklahoma A & M Jr. College, Miami, Oklahoma 1952-1953 (studied with History and Journalism scholarships) Kansas State Teacher’s College, Pittsburg, Kansas 1953 (studied with Journalism scholarship) Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, Kansas 1956 (studied Religion and Journalism with Journalism scholarship) Served as Vice President of Oklahoma Collegiate Press Assistant 1953-1955. GRADUATE STUDIES: University of Pacific Stockton, California. M.A. Student Personnel and Guidance Counselor, Social Psychology. 1966-1968 Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. Doctor of Education. 1971 Western Colorado University (years N/A) TEACHING: St. Gregory’s College, Shawnee Kansas. Instructor Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology 1971 Oklahoma City Southwestern, Bethany, Oklahoma. Psychology and Sociology 1970 Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Kansas. Extension Dept 1966-1967 Norman College, Norman Park, Georgia. General Psychology, Educational Psychology, Education 1964-1966 Missouri Baptist University, Professor 1987-1992 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Arkansas, Assistant Professor 1990-1992 Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Assistant Professor 1990-1992 Barry University, Orlando Florida, Professor 1995-2000 ADMINISTRATION: Dean of Crowder College, Neosho Missouri, 1970-1984 Consultant in High School relations at Oklahoma City Southwestern College 1970-1971 Director of Field Services at Oklahoma Baptist University 1966-1970 Director of Counseling and Guidance at Norman College 1964-1966 Board of Directors at St. Charles Parish Guidance Center, Norco, Louisiana 1962-1964 Counselor at Goodwill Industries, New Orleans, Louisiana 1961-1964 Group and Individual Counselor at Sellers Home for Unwed Mothers, New Orleans Louisiana 1962-1963 Director of Church Street Counseling, Orlando Florida, 1990-2005 President of Florida Marriage and Family Therapist Assoc. 2002-2003/Board Member 1999-2006/Approved Supervisor F.M.F.T. MINISTRY (From Teenager to Retirement): Gordon traveled holding revival services and filling pulpits in numerous churches in the following states: Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, and too many others to list. And after retirement, pastored First Baptist Church, Blue Jacket Oklahoma, 2007-2015, and Grace Presbyterian Church, Grove Oklahoma, 2015-2019 Gordon met Karen (Janine) Stapp in 1985 in St louis Missouri. He and Karen married January 1, 1990. They both pursued careers in education and ministry in Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, and Colorado. Gordon and Karen retired in 2005 on Grand Lake in Grove Oklahoma. Together they enjoyed boating, fishing, making new friends, going to yard sales, pastoring two churches, and especially enjoyed eating at Mazzio’s with dear friends and neighbors every Tuesday. Karen passed away in 2016 and Gordon remained working in ministry in Grove until 2019. Gordon spent the last two years of his life living on Cheatham Lake near Nashville Tennessee. Although he walked with a walker and occasionally used an automatic scooter, he was still able to enjoy the outdoors, frequently traveled back to Oklahoma, Florida and Chicago. He continued to enjoy pontoon fishing, meeting people, eating out, attending church, as well as an occasional backstage guest at the Grand Ole Opry. He loved reading his Bible daily, listening to piano hymns and time spent at family functions, and always looked forward to visits from great-great nieces Evelyne and Audra Pitney. Gordon is predeceased by his parents, wife Karen (Janine) and son Merrell. He is survived by numerous close friends and family and will be sorely missed by them all. Memorial Service will be held March 30, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Grace Presbyterian Church, 206 Elk Grove St. Grove OK. Officiated by Rev. Richard Dayringer Internment of ashes following the service at I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Neosho Oklahoma. Cheatham County Funeral Home 615-792-2552 online condolences at cheathamcountyfh.com
1934-2021 Dr. Gordon Merrell Hatcher passed away peacefully, at Tri Star Centennial Medical Center Nashville Tn. Sunday February 28, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving family, reading scriptures and singing his favorite hymns. Born November... View Obituary & Service Information
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