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John K. Hatchel passed away Thursday, July 21, 2022. A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 25, at Woodway First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Tom Robbins officiating. A Reception will follow at the church.


John was born November 5, 1942, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Byrd and Vivian Beazley Hatchel. He married Linda Lowes Hatchel in Canyon, Texas. Their daughter, Barbara Elaine, was born in Abilene.


John graduated from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) in Canyon, Texas, with a degree in music and planning to be a band director. However, a government professor inspired him to look into city management, a new field at the time. He found his passion in serving citizens as a city manager.


While in college, he was the sound engineer for “Thundering Sounds of the West,” the first production in Palo Duro Canyon. The next year, he was the sound engineer for the first season of the outdoor musical, “Texas,” held every year at the Pioneer Amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon.


After graduation, he served in city government in Abilene, Plainview, and Waco. Following retirement, he enjoyed working with cities around Texas as interim City Manager.


John always believed in giving back to his community through service and volunteerism. In Waco, he served on various boards and committees including the Laura Edwards Christian Early Learning Center (Board Chair), Meals on Wheels driver, and currently as Brazos Higher Education Board Chair.


He served the State of Texas on boards of Texas City Management Association and the Texas Municipal League. He was appointed by Governors Rick Perry and Greg Abbott to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (Chair), State Bar of Texas, and Texas State Technical College (TSTC) System Board of Regents, which he chaired for two terms.


He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Linda, and daughter, Barbara, of College Station.


Memorials may be made to Woodway First Methodist United Methodist Church Building Fund, the Hatchel Scholarship at TSTC (3801 Campus Dr., Waco, TX 76705), or a charity of choice.