Darwin Hatley

Darwin Hatley, 74, Deering, died Wednesday, April 19, 2023 in his home.

Darwin Leonard Hatley was born September 4, 1948 to Leonard and Hilda (Wojahn) Hatley. As the youngest and only son with older sisters Vivian and Gloria, he would be forever known as “Sonny” to his family and friends. Sonny was raised on his parents’ farm East of Deering where he learned the values of hard work, devotion to family and loyalty of friendship. He attended and graduated from Deering public school, but farming and cattle were to be purpose in life. His first great adventure off the farm was joining a custom combining crew where he worked hard, slept in a tent, bathed in horse troughs and built memories that turned into stories shared for the rest of his life. Sonny must have found his free spirit as he headed for the West Coast to make “big bucks” as he liked to say, but something stronger than money or adventure would call him home.  Her name was Mary Beth Coffin and on April 4, 1970, they were married. Sonny and Mary Beth’s family became a “plus one” as a late Christmas present arrived just before the new year when Pamela Jean was born. Mary Beth and Sonny made their home on his parent’s farmstead where he assisted in the farming operation while working at Cenex. On October 10, 1972 Richard Darwin was born and the family was complete or so they thought. On July 30, 1975 Angela Irene was born and the crowded house led to a new and bigger home where Sonny lived, loved, worked and appreciated. 

Sonny took pride and great satisfaction in the simple things in life. A perfect round bale, pampered cattle, freshly mowed grass and above all, being a friend. Sonny’s demeanor was truly unique. It was rare if ever a temper would flare, and he always seemed to have a smile on his face and time to spend with others. Sonny loved his farm, fishing, making lefsa, gardening, and just about anything you could think of, as long as he was doing it with friends and family. Above all, Christmas Eve was Sonny’s favorite day of the year. This day became more special to him every year as he changed from Sonny to “Grandpa Darwin” with the addition of ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren!  He loved to organize “The Troops” for a drive through town or around the countryside to view Christmas lights. Each of those “Troops” held a special place in Grandpa Darwin’s heart, and he will be forever remembered by them.

Whether you knew him as Darwin, Sonny or Grandpa Darwin, you should know that each of you also held a special place in his heart and he will be missed deeply by all who shared his life. 

Darwin is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Beth of Deering, daughter Pamela (Jared) Andrist, Deering; son Richard Hatley (Barnaby Ellis), Minot; daughter Angela (Paul) Heinle, Deering; grandchildren Kelsea (Blake) Bowers, Jesse (Karlee) Andrist, Hunter (Skyler) Carnes, Maddie (Cody) Fleckenstein, Alexis Heinle (Lucas Kveum), Brooklyn, Jersey, Kalli, Jett and Phoenix Heinle; great grandchildren Bly & Bodie Bowers, Ace Andrist, Emma & Lilly Farrell, Evie, Gracie, & Lucas Carnes, Bentley, Oakley & Westley Fleckenstein; sister Vivian Billing; brothers in law James (Michelle Peters), John (Camille) Coffin, Jeff (Rose) Coffin along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents, mother and father in law Mary & Erwin Peters, father in law John Coffin; sister and brother in law Gloria & Richard Kallias; brother in law Carl Billing, and niece Linda Settel.

Celebration of Life Service: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot. To view a livestream of the service access https://bethanylutheranchurch58701.com/
Interment: Deering Lutheran Cemetery later in the Spring 2023
Visitation: Monday, April 24th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot


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