MSgt. Josh A. Hatcher
September 17, 1961 - March 06, 2001
MSgt. Josh A. Hatcher, Jr., 39, of 115 E. Lincoln, Negaunee, died Tuesday (March 6, 2001) at home from an apparent heart attack.
Master Sergeant Hatcher was born September 17, 1961 in LaMirada, California. He was a 1979 graduate of Grants Pass High School in Grants Pass, Oregon and enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1980. He graduated from basic training and attended Security Police Technical School at Lackland AFB, Texas, graduating June of 1981.
His first assignment was to the 410th Security Police Squadron, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. After serving four years as a security policeman, he cross-trained into the service career field. From there he was assigned to the 8th Services Squadron, Kunsan AFB, Korea. Next he volunteered to be a technical training instructor at Lowry AFB. After four years of instructor duty, he was assigned to K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan, back into his primary AFSC services. Due to the base closure, he was then assigned to the 366th Services Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. He was promoted to Master Sergeant on December 1, 1998 and last served in Morale and Welfare Activities in Naples, Italy.
Master Sergeant Hatcher is a 1995 graduate of the NCO Academy and a 1984 graduate of Airmen Leadership School at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. He had received the following awards and decorations: Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Organization Excellence Award, Air Force Good Conduct Award with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, Air force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, NCO Professional Military Education graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and the NATO Medal with 1 Device.
Josh ended active duty in Naples, Italy on Saturday, February 24, 2001 and returned to Negaunee where he had aspirations of pursuing a degree in elementary education.
Survivors include his wife, the former Deborah L. (Rodeck) Hatcher whom he married on February 13, 1985 in Marquette; his father, Josh A. Hatcher, Sr. of Greensburg, KY; two sisters, Joy Hatcher of Greensburg, KY and Jennifer (Brandon) Branham of Travis Air Force Base, CA; maternal grandmother, Velma Finney of West Plains, MO; paternal grandparents, Bessie and Oscar Atherton of Kentucky; also surviving are two aunts, one uncle, several nieces and nephews and many close friends. Josh will be missed by everyone who knew him. Josh was the father of two children who went to the Lord before him and was also preceded in death by his mother, Jacqueline Hatcher.
Funeral services with full military honors for Master Sergeant Hatcher will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2001 at Bethel Baptist Church in Marquette at 11 a.m. with Rev. Charles L. Tooman of the Church of Our Saviour Officiating. Interment will take place in the Negaunee Cemetery. Visitation will be on Friday, March 9, 2001 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and also one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Church of Our Saviour, PO Box 467, Negaunee, Michigan 49866.