[TN-Bird] Another Bob Hatcher Tribute

  • From: roymel@xxxxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:52:23 -0500


Early this morning as I was checking email, news of Bob's passing was
first posted. Forgive me if I repeat any sentiments or words already
stated by others, but I tend to react first by writing immediately to
offer my heartfelt sympathy and words to express my admiration before I
peruse any other postings on such a heartfelt matter. 

It was in 1984 I was first introduced to Bob Hatcher through my dear
birding mentor and friend, Ruth V. McMillan. I was a seasonal at Cedars
of Lebanon and she encouraged me to organize a Bird Celebration Day and
her first suggestion for a speaker was Bob Hatcher. Since then and over
the years, I have kept up with him and Betty, usually through some form
of nature gathering of which he was so passionate in representing. 

Bob's passing is indeed more than just the passing of another birder.
The passing of Bob was the passing of days when you were gentle in your
words but persistent in standing firm in what you believed in, whether
it was his tremendous faith in the Almighty or being the voice of the
silent we know him so well for representing…animals with fur, wings,
and/or feathers. 

Bob was the bridge from the days of those that initiated the
conservation effort to the present day of technology-based efforts in
conservation and preservation of habitats for all creatures to enjoy. He
was not shy as some would be in learning computer skills to promote and
reach the younger generation but whenever you had any dealings with him
(and Betty!) you would have to walk away with the feeling you have just
met the kindest man that is passionate about his job. 

I recall the excitement in our TOS local chapter as we learned of the
encouraging return of the Bald Eagle to Tennessee and how involved Bob
was with the hacking programs all over the state. Other programs or
projects that Bob Hatcher had some role in include so many but here are
a few that come to my mind: the creation of habitat in your own
backyard, the Homecoming Tennessee Campaign with the Bluebird as the
"Coming Home" representative, the Watchable Wildlife Tags with the
bluebird (we in TN were one of the first to join in this drive if not
the initiators…unsure!), establishing Monsanto as a Wildlife Viewing
area, and his most recent passion of representing the American Eagle
Foundation. How wise was this group to seek such a representative…one
that walked the walk and talked the talk at work and in his own life.
Bob Hatcher lived and breathed what he believed in as he so humbly
offered and persuaded others to join in the effort. 

Last, Bob Hatcher and his wife Betty will always remain friends to me.
Roy & I had to miss their wedding anniversary celebration a few years
ago for another commitment but I recall how I was thrilled to be
included in the invite from them personally to join. Some things in life
are never the same but if you met Bob and his wife, you were guaranteed
always a heartfelt hug and greeting that was sincere before catching up
the latest area of our lives. The response in seeing me & my family was
the same always and I knew this was how he & Betty were & lived…no airs
but humble and gentle. 

Some things in life do change; however…we have bluebirds all around
after my grandmother in her dotage reminisced how she loved those little
birds and reckoned they would never return (although I tried to explain
to her they had but wasn't mature enough to realize she probably could
not see them by then!)…we have Bald Eagles on the common status (I
think! Life has been busy for me & I am behind!), Bluebird license
plates encouraged other causes to emerge in the same fashion (side
note…my husband and I throughout all of our travels think our bluebird
is one of the prettiest although we are fond of others) and we are more
conscious of what we plant and how it can encourage native wildlife. Yet
we now will have bigger shoes to try to fill…we must carry on the humble
pride and effort in taking care of those who have no voice…for we all
have the spirit of Bob Hatcher in us if we ever encountered him. Our
lives have been enriched because we have had Bob in our lives. 

Melissa Turrentine 

Normandy TN 

John Sellars Lebanon TOS Chapter 

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  • » [TN-Bird] Another Bob Hatcher Tribute - roymel