Luther “Gay” Hatle: 1936-2014
Luther Gay Hatle was the first child born to John Menford and Mariam Wilma (Crockett) Hatle in Lemmon, S.D., on June 1, 1936. The family welcomed a baby daughter, Ethel Mae on Feb. 23, 1939 but 10 months later were grieving her death. On January 3, 1941, the family rejoiced on the birth of Ruth Marie but just a few days later, Menford died from pneumonia leaving Wilma with two young children to nurture and raise.
Gay attended various country schools in the Meadow and surrounding area and graduated from Lemmon High School in 1954. Following his graduation, he attended 12 weeks of summer school in Spearfish, S.D., where he earned his teaching certificate. He taught for one year south of Faith, S.D., before moving to Rapid City. On Aug. 19, 1956, he married Della Mae Oliver. To this union four children were born, Cindy, Brad, Peggy and Arlen.
Gay spent many years operating the Hatle ranch, which his grandfather homesteaded in 1907 and later on continued working alongside his son and grandsons. His interests varied from coin collecting to gun and wagon restoration. He was a great history buff and enjoyed his time doing various wagon train trips and visiting with anyone he could. Gay was a man of many talents. Whether it be farming, ranching, doing carpentry, masonry, or electrical he could do just about anything.
Gay passed away on Friday, April 18, 2014, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.
He is survived by his four children, Cindy (Kyle) Butts, Gillette, WY, Brad (Monna) Hatle, Piedmont, S.D., Peggy (Phil) Pagliaro, Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Arlen (Julie) Hatle, Meadow, S.D., nine grandchildren, Heidi Meadows, Heather Lockwood, Brandon and Tyler Hatle, Hanna Pagliaro and Anna, John, Sara and Will Hatle; great-granddaughter, Norah May Hatle; sister, Ruth Dygert, Santa Fe, N.M.; half-brother, Dennis Gebhart, Spearfish, S.D.; the mother of his children, Della Hatle, Bison, S.D.; and special friend Freda Wilson.
Gay was preceded in death by his father, Menford Hatle; his mother and step-father, Wilma and Joe Gebhart; his baby sister, Ethel Mae Hatle; and two grandsons, Levi Butts and Nicholas Pagliaro.
Funeral services were held April 26, 2014 at the Indian Creek Lutheran Church south of Meadow, S.D. Pastor Harold Delbridge officiated. Burial followed in the Chance Cemetery.
A memorial has been established to the Coal Springs Antique Club.