(417) 581-7811
1700 South 15th Ave, Ozark, MO 65721

Dr. Milton Hatcher January 16, 1944 - April 22, 2019

Dr. Milton Wright Hatcher, age 75 of Sparta, Missouri, passed away  April 22, 2019 at Mercy Hospital, Springfield Missouri. Dr. Hatcher was born January 16, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. He graduated high school in 1961 from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee. In 1961, he attended the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara Mexico. He completed his Bachelors of Science in 1967, Masters of Science in 1968 and Doctorate of Philosophy in 1974 at Mississippi State University in Starksville, Mississippi. His long career included Special Education Examiner for the State of Mississippi, Chief Psychologist at George W. Jackson Mental Health Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas; worked in Forensic Services for the State of Florida and was Chief Juvenile Officer at Baxter County Juvenile Services in Mountain Home, Arkansas. All before finding his passion as a college professor at Arkansas State University, Mountain Home, from where he retired in 2013.

He married Letha Kay (Foster) Lancaster on March 22, 1984 in Mountain Home, Arkansas and their son, William Wright Hatcher, was born in 1986. He loved traveling, teaching, working on projects inside and outside of the home with his wife, but mostly enjoyed spending time with his family.

Dr. Hatcher was preceded in death by his parents, Wright Hill Hatcher and Jessamine (Huff) Hatcher of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and Stepdaughter, Michelle Lancaster Johns of Mountain Home, Arkansas.

He is survived by his wife Letha Kae Hatcher of Sparta, Missouri; son William Hatcher and fiancé Lacey Nelson of Springfield Missouri; stepson Scott Lancaster and wife Tracy of Viola, Arkansas; two daughters Amanda Hatcher (Paul) Betts of Jonesboro Arkansas and Lindsey Hatcher (Blake) Romine of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas; five grandchildren and one sister, Vicki (Hatcher) Clark and husband Philip of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.

Celebration of life visitation service will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, May 4, 2019 in Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark, Missouri.  Arrangements under the care and direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark.

Online condolences may be shared at www.barnesfamilyfunerals.com.


  1. REPLY
    Bub & Becky Wright says

    So sorry for your loss. Will have you in our prayers.

    • REPLY
      Kae Hatcher says

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

  2. REPLY
    Loetta says

    So so sorry Kae,too sad for words
    Hugs to you – stay strong
    Love and prayers from your cousin

  3. REPLY
    Clint Hatcher says

    Very sorry to hear of Milton’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • REPLY
      Kae Hatcher says

      Thanks for your love and prayers

    • REPLY
      Kae Hatcher says

      Thank You so much! We need lots of prayers!

  4. REPLY
    Loetta Bratcher says

    So so sorry Kae
    Too sad for words
    Hugs from your cousin

  5. REPLY
    Larry and Bev Baker says

    Hi Kae, Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

    • REPLY
      Kae Hatcher says

      Thank You so much!

  6. REPLY
    John Hatcher says

    I’m so sorry, Kae.

  7. REPLY
    Jimmy Adamson says

    Sorry for your Loss Kae, we will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  8. REPLY
    Dr. Cyndi Crisel says

    William and Kae,

    Our thoughts are with you both during your loss. Mel is remembered by many at ASUMH, and we have many memories of his years here.

  9. REPLY
    David Bendler says

    Mel was one of the first faculty at ASUMH and has been missed by me since his retirement. I have missed our talks with Jim Bailey at 7:30 in the morning and solving the worlds problems – including some personal problems too!! It’s amazing what you can accomplish is less than 30 minutes! I could go to Mel’s office anytime and he would always welcome me – either on a serious note (usually not) or just to chit chat and laugh. We would always have a good laugh when he would tease me about reminding him of “Spankie”, the cartoon character whose hair would stand on end at the back of his head. He usually was right when recommending me to keep my mouth shut on different topics, or advising a more “politically correct” approach. We visited him in his mountain top home where you could see for miles and he showed his garden and attempt to outsmart the animals/birds from getting their “fair” share!!! I have lots of great memories and I know his work at ASUMH touched many lives. He will be missed. Time has a way of taking the edge off the painful hurt of loss, but not the memories. Treasure them.

  10. REPLY
    Theressa Walker says

    I am so sorry to hear of Mel’s passing. I loved having him as an instructor, but as a peer, he was simply irreplaceable. He had such a unique way of telling a story that made people feel they were actually there when an event took place. My prayers go out to both of you.

  11. REPLY
    Charles David Sullivan says

    Kae and family, My name is Charles David Sullivan. Milton and I were “running buddies”
    growing up together in Walnut Ridge during the 1950s, roomed together one summer at CMA, and then roomed together 1958-1959 at CMA for my sophomore year there. My parents owned the Salad Bowl Restaurants and moved to Greenville, Miss., in 1959, so I left CMA and finished high school in Greenville 1959-1961. Milton and I did not keep in close touch, but I always counted him among my “5 Best Friends” because of our time together in our youth. I last talked to him in 2011 when I unsuccessfully tried to talk him into attending with me the 50 year class reunion for the WRHS class of 1961 ( these were the kids we we grew up with ). He declined. I did attend and missed having him with me. My heart is saddened by his death and your loss. He was a unique individual. During our last phone call I discovered ya’ll had a son born in 1986, and interestingly my wife Jan and I also had a son, David, born that same year. I so wish the four of us could have met one another and shared stories. My deepest sympathy to the Hatcher family in your loss. Charles Sullivan MD.

  12. REPLY
    Sharla Felkins says

    I enjoyed Dr. Hatcher as an instructor and looked for him when I came on board as an instructor on the ASUMH campus. He was a wonderful and caring instructor and always taught the best life lessons, usually by joking about his own mistakes. He spoke of his sweet wife in class often and I know he will be missed by many. Thoughts and prayers to family and friends.

  13. REPLY
    Clement Mulloy says

    I was in the office across the hall from Mel for over ten years. I enjoyed him a great deal. He was a very unique individual. He was very kind and charitable to me, almost like a father to me. I will miss him.

    I have a recording of one of his lectures. It has been in my desk drawer for many years. I am uncertain how it came into my possession. It is probably a recording from a student. If someone could send the family’s address to me, I could mail it to them. I am sure they would like to hear his voice again.