Hatfield, Ted H. 1948-2021 Kansas City, Missouri | Obituary
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Ted Halleck Hatfield left this world prematurely on October 3, 2021, due to complications from heart surgery. Now that Ted is gone, his family has the daunting task of summing up his incredible life, which could easily fill an entire novel, in these few short paragraphs.
Ted was the son of the late Harold and Nadine (née Jaynes) Hatfield on April 28, 1948 in St. Joseph. His early years were spent in and around the family business, Hatfield Sporting Goods, which shaped his love of hunting and fishing and began to develop his unsurpassed knowledge of firearms. Influenced by his father’s time in the South Pacific during WWII as a B-25 fighter pilot, Ted obtained his pilot’s license at the age of 16. Ted and his older brother, Tim, were quite the pair, not only trying the patience of their dear mother, Nadine, but also of the wider community of St. Joe.
After graduating from Central High School in St. Joseph, Ted continued his education at the University of Missouri, graduating in 1970. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and served as president in the fall of 1969. , which, as Ted would point out. outside was the semester before the Phi Delt house burned down. After college, Ted embraced his freedom conferred by his high lottery count and spent many years traveling the world. Together with his brother Tim, he managed to drive a bus from Torremolinos, Spain, to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Although his death was too soon for his friends and family, everyone can agree that Ted truly lived his life to the fullest. Grass never grew long under his feet, and he lived in many places around the world, from Los Angeles to Bilboa, Spain, to Antalya, Turkey. Ted’s wandering was often rushed by business, as he had several successful careers. He was a freelance writer, novelist and screenwriter. He was the editor of Sports Afield Magazine, and later, American Rifleman Magazine. Ted was also the marketing director of Benelli, one of the main brands of Berretta Firearms. Over the past decades, Ted has grown into a successful entrepreneur. He co-founded Hatfield Gun Company, whose shotguns can be on display at your local Walmart. He also launched Small Arms Technologies, a leading manufacturer of shotguns and accessories.
Later in life Ted eventually “settled” in Kansas City, Missouri, where he continued to work on his businesses. Age never slowed him down, as he continued to pursue new businesses and passions until his passing. He renewed his pilot’s license after 53 years and bought a Piper Pacer, taking on the challenge of an aircraft notoriously difficult to fly. He also became a sailboat captain, which was often put to good use by friends and family around the British Virgin Islands.
Ted was known to cultivate and maintain relationships and was an eternal optimist. He loved nothing more than hanging out with people and was the perfect host, regaling guests with tales of his incredible adventures, holding a Manhattan in one hand and a cigar in the other. His stories were impossible to compete with, usually starting with something like “good when I crossed the Bolan Pass to Pakistan”. Ted was also a great listener, enjoying hearing the news and experiences of those around him.
Ted is survived by his wife, Ann Drisko Hatfield; daughters, Halle (Brian Thomasch) of New York, New York, and Maggie (Forrest Pearce) of Atlanta Georgia; brother Tim Hatfield of Amazonia, Missouri, and hunting dog, Fargo.
A memorial service will be held on October 16 at 4 p.m. at the Country Club Christian Church Chapel. Ted was not much of a practitioner but would have appreciated the convenience. The family encourages donations to Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever in lieu of flowers.
To share a memory of Ted or send condolences to his family, please visit dignitymemorial.com. As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.