Part-time Bayfield resident Paul Herbert Hatfield died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in St. Louis. He was five weeks shy of his 60th birthday. The cause of death is undetermined.
Mr. Hatfield was born to Herbert H. and Jackie Hatfield on Feb., 20, 1952, in Littleton. He graduated from Littleton High School in 1970.
After enlisting in the Navy on March 12, 1970, Mr. Hatfield served on the USS Bronstein, a destroyer escort, in Vietnam, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. He suffered continuing health problems the rest of his life.
A radio mechanic in the Navy, he transferred to the Naval Reserves in December 1973 and was discharged from the reserves in March 1976.
He was awarded several medals and ribbons, including the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars.
“Paul was deeply committed to veterans,” his family said. “He was always volunteering at the local VA or VFW to serve the needs of others.”
Mr. Hatfield worked in Colorado, Alaska and Hawaii. He was a carpenter and handyman and worked on a tuna boat and the Alaska pipeline as well as in a gold mine in Alaska. He also lived part time in Talkeetna, Alaska.
“Paul was a nomad,” his family said.
A self-taught violin player, Mr. Hatfield went on to teach others to play the instrument, including giving classes at the Lavenia McCoy Public Library in Bayfield. He also enjoyed photography and studying history.
Mr. Hatfield is survived by his mother, Jackie Hatfield, of Littleton; children Jesi Corbett of Spokane, Wash., and Chelsea Ohlgren and Silas Ohlgren, both of Portland, Ore.; sisters Lori Hatfield of Bayfield and Holly Bianchi of Gypsum; brothers Jim Hatfield and John Hatfield, both of Littleton, and Pete Hatfield of Elizabeth; and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a time to be determined on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at Drinkwine Family Mortuary Chapel, 999 West Littleton Blvd., in Littleton. His brother Jim Hatfield will officiate. Visit www.drinkwinemortuary.com for service details and directions.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association at www.bluewaternavy.org.