James F. Hatheway of Meadville passed away on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at Meadville Medical Center after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.
He was born on March 31, 1937, in Franklin, the son of Charles R. Hatheway and Lola (Sue) Hatheway. He was the perfect blend of his father’s hard working ethic and his mother’s compassionate spirit.
He grew up in Meadville. As a boy, he and his friends were known as the infamous “alley rats.” They were on the baseball diamond from sun up to sun down. He remained good friends with many of his childhood friends until his death.
He graduated from Meadville High School in 1955. While in high school he was a member of the track team.
After graduating high school, he followed his best friend, 6-foot 10-inch Lloyd Sharrar, to West Virginia University. Sharrar was instrumental in Jim becoming the equipment manager for the West Virginia Mountaineers boys basketball team, a position he held from 1955 to 1959. In college Jim became friends with team players and future NBA greats Rod (Hot Rod) Hundley and Jerry West, as well as Ronnie Retton, the father of Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton. Jim enjoyed the wonderful experience of traveling all over the country as a member of four great teams. This experience culminated in 1959 when the Mountaineers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Championship Game — unfortunately losing by one point. One of his prized possessions was the ring that he received from that game. Jim earned a bachelor of arts in communications in 1959 from WVU.
After graduating from college, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was with the Coast Guard from 1959 to 1963. His first three years were spent in Greece where he taught school. He was stationed in Cleveland, Ohio, for this last year. He met his wife, Adele D. Franczak, in Cleveland in 1963. They were married on Aug. 28, 1965, in Cleveland.
After leaving the Coast Guard in 1963, Jim became an elementary school teacher with the Crawford Central School District. Jim eventually earned his master’s degree in education from Edinboro University. He taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Second District School for 34 years. To this day, many locals still refer to Jim as the best teacher that they ever had.
Jim had many passions in life. He loved the Cleveland professional sports teams, especially the Indians. As a boy, Jim and his parents frequently scheduled their summer vacations by traveling behind the Indians’ team bus and staying at the same hotels and eating in the same restaurants with the team when the Indians played in such cities as New York, Boston and Detroit. Although he frequently commented in annoying fashion that the Indians “have not won a championship since 1948,” he rarely missed watching their games.
Jim loved being a husband and father. He never missed any of his children’s extracurricular activities or sports events.
He loved the Meadville community and was extremely proud to be from it. He was a member and treasurer of the Vernon Township Lions Club for more than 40 years. He was the voice of the Meadville boys basketball team serving as the public address announcer for 39 years. Jim thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the teams players, members, coaches and families.
Jim was a longtime member of the Meadville Elks Club and St. Brigid’s Church.
Jim is survived by his wife of 47 years, Adele D. Hatheway; his son, Edward J. Hatheway (Deborah A. Hatheway); his daughter, Holly M. Passmore; two grandsons, Christopher J. White and Ryan Passmore; his mother-in-law, Cecelia Franczak; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Eileen and Keith Kidner, and their two children.
Calling hours are on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Hatheway-Tedesco Funeral Home & Crematory, 614 Baldwin St., Meadville. A Scripture service will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home and an Elks service will be held at a time to be announced.
Mass of Christian Burial will occur on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Brigid’s Church, 383 Arch St., Meadville, with Father Johnathan Schmolt, pastor of St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, as celebrant.
Interment will follow in St. Brigid Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name to St. Brigid’s Church, the Vernon Township Lions Club or the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute.
Please sign the guest book at hatheway-tedesco.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Hatheway-Tedesco Funeral Home & Crematory, 614 Baldwin St., Meadville.