Our brother Guy Hatley courageously passed through the winter of life battling cancer with great faith. By faith, we believe he won! “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Cor. 9:24). Guy was a dedicated Christian, genuine in faith and deep in love.
Guy Jr., was born and raised in East Nashville as the son of an educator. His father, Guy Sr., served as principal at Jerry Baxter High School for many years. After Guy Jr., graduated from Litton High School he attended Lipscomb University. Later he served in the Navy which was followed by a few years at Genesco. Not only did he help make shoes, he also noticed a young employee named Lona, who later became his lovely wife of 53 years. Most of his working career was invested into Western Eclectic before they were acquired by AT&T. After 29 years of service he somewhat retired. Briefly he drove an 18-Wheeler, as well as substitute taught in his later years.
Guy has been described as a loving person, simple, high values, black and white type of guy, hands on father, giving, big man, content, jokester, tender hearted, high character, stubborn, blue jean and suspender type of guy, godly, and friendly. He loved the lake, sports, reading, western movies, the Mt. Juliet congregation, Sundays, singing church songs, the song “Someday”, and talking about God.
Guy’s approach to life seemed to be built upon a few major foundational stones. He lived for God, the church and his family. He was faithful to them all. His six daughters and son love him dearly and respect him highly. He and Lona built a marriage which greatly impacted many lives over their 53 years. He was willing to help around the house, take children to the doctor or run errands unlike many husbands and fathers of his generation. Lona quickly describes raising 7 children by adding, “I couldn’t have done it without Guy. He was a hands on father.” Then she added, ” My sister always said Guy is a true gentleman and a gentle man.” Nanette, a daughter, gives us insight to this godly man and the father when she said, “One of my favorite memories was riding home from church and listening to him sing church songs. Daddy always told each of us we had our own special talents.” Susette added, “He taught me the most important thing in life… follow God.” Shelly also commented on his teaching them to love God and others, but then added, “I will always remember his smile, laughter but most of all his big hugs.” His only son, Travis said, “my favorite memories of dad was sitting at the kitchen table with him and discussing life lessons and beliefs.” This was a blessing to the next generation also as his grandson Stefan said, “I could always talk to him and get good advice.” The memories are serious like Julie remembering him helping her through asthma attacks or silly as when he would say to Nicole “are you my girl?” To which she would answer “no” in order to receive a snort and a tickling only to follow with the same question. His granddaughter Natalie mentioned what several others learned from Guy which was not to complain. Even in his sickness he didn’t complain. McClaine, a granddaughter said, “he was always there to talk to and most important, he was a strong Christian.” Anyone that knew Guy, knew that his great desire was for his family to love and serve the Almighty Father in Heaven, also. His granddaughter Morgan summed up his love for family and the Lord as she said, “I remember spending the weekends at Grandmoms and Papa Guys and waking up Sunday mornings to breakfast then going to church. He always stressed how important it was to go to church.” On the lighter side, this man who lived in a house with eight women would laugh and say to her, “your major in school is boys.”
Guy Hatley was a happy, and yet serious man. He was a jolly while also deeply devoted to his family. He was faithful to the Lord. He was a friend of many, and thankfully me. We miss his happy grin and big heart. But we are thankful for his life and victory! His favorite song was “Someday.” We sang it Sunday evening April 13. A Short time following, Guy’s” someday” came. And someday ours will come too. Let’s live for a great reunion with God and His own! What a day that will be!
May God comfort the Hatley family, as well as our church family.
Written by David Shannon