Obituary of Oscar Hatley
O. Elwood Hatley, age 81, Penn State Professor Emeritus of Agronomy, beloved husband and father, of State College, departed this life peacefully on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at Foxdale Village. His high school sweetheart and wife of 58 years was by his side.
Elwood was born to the late Oscar L. and Dorothy E. Harkey Hatley on May 22, 1936, in Albemarle, NC. In high school he met the love of his life. Elwood, a tall, handsome senior, asked the father of Carolyn, a pretty, shy sophomore, for permission to take her on a date. Their first date was an ice-cream social with the church youth group. After graduation from university they were married on September 6, 1959 at the Friendship Methodist Church in Albemarle.
Elwood received his Bachelor's of Science in Crop and Soil Science and his Master's of Science in Agronomy from North Carolina State University. He was employed by Southern States Co-op in Virginia and by Meadowmont Farms in North Carolina. Subsequently he and Carolyn moved to West Lafayette, Indiana where he received his PhD in Agronomy from Purdue University. Elwood began his academic career at the University of Guelph, Ontario Agricultural College, in Canada as Professor of Agronomy focusing his research on peanuts. While on faculty and as Coordinator of Extension he was part of a development team that introduced new cropping systems in Ontario. He returned to the States to join the PSU faculty in 1978. He wore many hats during his years at Penn State: teacher, mentor, researcher, Extension Coordinator, and Coordinator of the new Agro-ecosystems Science Major. He spent a year working on curriculum development in Sri Lanka at the University of Peradeniya as part of an American
International Development (AID) team. His work also took him to the University of Kiev as a curriculum development consultant. He also he did cooperative research with a professor in Nepal on the genetics of buckwheat.
Elwood retired in 2002 as Professor Emeritus after 25 years of service with Penn State University. He was also a member of the American Society of Agronomy, the National Wildlife Museum, the Nature Conservancy, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and Clearwater Conservancy. As a volunteer for the ClearWater conservancy, he was site steward for several conservation easements and conducted water quality testing with the Senior Environmental Corp of Centre County at Galbraith Gap and Slab Cabin Run for over 15 years. Just recently, he and Carolyn were honored with the 2017 Donald Hamer Leadership Award for their work with the Conservancy and their leadership in making the
Slab Cabin Run Initiative a success.
An active member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, he served on the vestry, chaired the Stewardship Ministry Team, ushered and served as the Executive Director of a Capital Campaign. A family man, Elwood enjoyed visiting his daughters and cherished time spent with his grandchildren in Colorado and Maryland. He instilled a great love and respect for Mother Nature in all his grandchildren. He could often be found in the garden, watering plants, filling bird feeders, or taking the grandchildren and grand-dogs on 'walkabouts.' His interest in other lands and people continued into his retirement, taking him back to Canada frequently, touring nations in Europe, and most recently going on a fourth cruise to Alaska.
Surviving are his wife Carolyn, two daughters, Leslie Ann Hatley Peters and her husband, Steve, of Colorado Springs, CO and Catherine A. Hatley Felker of Stevensville, MD; four grandchildren, Amanda Peters Kaufmann and her husband, Charlie and Noah Peters, all of Colorado, Gabriel Felker and Jackson Felker, both of Maryland.
A memorial service will be at 10 o'clock am, on Thursday, November 9th at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 208 W. Foster Ave., State College, with Father Jeff Packard officiating. Inurnment will be at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church Columbarium.
There will be a luncheon reception for family and friends following the service in the auditorium of Foxdale Village, 500 E. Marylyn Ave, State College. In lieu of flowers, Elwood requested that memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 208 W. Foster Ave., State College, PA. 16801, the Clearwater Conservancy, 2555 N. Atherton St., State College, PA. 16803, or to Foxdale Village Employee Training and Development Fund, 500 E. Marylyn Ave., State College, PA. 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com or visit us on Facebook.
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