Presley Lewis Hatley

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Presley Lewis Hatley, 88, of Kerrville, Tx was called home on April 7, 2018 to be with his Lord and Savior. He was born on October 3, 1929 on the Dennis Pope Ranch in Barksdale, Tx. That was his grandfather’s ranch, which later was conveyed to his mother Jewel Izora Pope Hatley, and was also his home during his childhood. Presley went to grammar school in Barksdale, then completed his high school in Rocksprings, Tx and graduated in 1949. Presley worked on the Dennis Pope Ranch for a short period of time after he graduated high school then was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1950. Prior to being deployed to Korea he married Dorothy Lee Ratliff on May 15, 1951 during his two-week furlough. After being deployed to Korea, Presley proudly served two years in active combat duty on the front lines as a squad leader in the rifle platoon as part of the 224th Infantry Division. Presley was the recipient of several decorations and medals during his time in active combat duty. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army as a Staff Sergeant. Upon returning from the Korean War, Presley and his wife Dorothy joined the First Baptist Church in Barksdale then shortly after they spent a few years in Marfa, Tx and Eldorado, Tx where Presley worked on ranches along with spending some time in exploration and drilling in the oil fields. Presley and Dorothy moved back to Rocksprings where they established this as their home in 1965. Upon on their move to Rocksprings, Presley purchased the “Gulf” service station and was owner and operator of that business for three years then sold it and built the “Exxon” gas station and operated that business for many years. Presley was also engaged in other business ventures throughout the years that were associated with oil field construction, natural gas compression, and general land and road construction projects. Presley was ordained as a deacon in the First Baptist Church in Rocksprings on Sept. 9, 1979. Serving as a deacon in the First Baptist Church was something he valued tremendously and considered it a high honor. He was also very patriotic especially after serving in combat duty during the Korean War. Presley placed a high value on making sure that our veterans were acknowledged and honored on every Veterans Day and that our fallen soldiers including their families would not be forgotten on every Memorial Day. He certainly had a deep appreciation for each veteran’s service to our country along with a true understanding of the sacrifice that each family made. One of his favorite passions throughout his life was deer hunting. Presley was an expert at hunting deer on just about any type of terrain. He spent his life time studying deer and had tremendous knowledge of their habitats and characteristics. In addition to being an avid hunter all of his life he was also a true believer in game management and preservation. He certainly had a gift at restoring deer herds on ranches that had been over hunted for several years. Presley really enjoyed his annual hunting trips for many years to hunt mule deer in either west Texas or New Mexico with his brothers and close friends. There is no doubt that some of the stories and experiences that came out of those hunts would make great material for some movie in Hollywood. Presley enjoyed and treasured the time he spent on many deer hunts with his grandsons Gary II and Michael. Presley is survived by the love of life, his wife Dorothy Lee Hatley of Kerrville, Tx. He also leaves behind a legacy of two children, a daughter Sandra Gwen Gilmer and husband Gary Gilmer of Rocksprings, Tx; a son Gary Presley Hatley and wife Mary Helen Hatley of Allen, Tx; grandson Gary Hatley II and wife Karen Hatley and children Paige Hatley, Graham Hatley, and Miles Hatley of Allen, Tx; grandson Michael Hatley and wife Katrina Hatley and son Jaxson of Wynnewood, OK; brother Forest Junior Hatley and wife Charolotte of Barksdale, Tx; Gaye Wickham of Barksdale, Tx, and Berneice Merritt of Campwood, Tx. Presley is preceded in death by his father Forest Hatley Sr., his mother Jewel Izora Pope Hatley, brothers James Calvin (JC) Hatley, Seth Hatley, Doyle Warren Hatley, Bobby Wayne Hatley and sister Myrtle Hatley Berry. Pall bearers included Jim Bob Hatley of Fredericksburg, Tx, Steve Hatley of Camp Wood, Tx, Vance Bonner, Mark Feirich, Mitch Feirich of Bracketville, Tx, Wayne Bell of Gonzales, Tx, Brett Hutto of Hondo, Tx, and Blaine Hutto of George Town, Tx. A special thanks and appreciation goes to all friends and family that have provided prayers and moral support throughout this difficult time for our family. Additionally, the family cannot express their thanks and appreciation enough to all of the Hospice personnel, caregivers, and staff at Brookdale Plaza in Kerrville that provided exceptional care and support in keeping Presley comfortable during these past few months of his battle. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Rocksprings, Tx on April 12, 2018, with Pastor Robert Bonner officiating. Burial services with military honors followed afterward at the Rocksprings Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to the Veterans Association at www.VFW.org.

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