Opal L. (Cornelia) Hatcher

January 18, 2023

Opal L. (Cornelia) Hatcher, 86, of Cantonment, Florida, passed away on Monday, January 16, 2023, after a short illness.

She was born in Sneads, Florida on January 18, 1936, daughter of the late Percy and Blanche Lanier, and sister of her late brother William Lanier. She is survived by her daughter Janice Hardin and her husband Kerry, son Larry Hatcher and his wife Karen, and Allen Hatcher and his wife Yolanda. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews. Opal graduated from Sneads High School (Florida) where she was a cheerleader and then graduated as Salutatorian of her class. She met her future husband, Charles K. Hatcher, at a basketball game and married in October 1953; they were married for 45 years until his death in 1998. She soon thereafter attended and graduated from Montgomery Business College. They moved from Chattahoochee, Florida to Pensacola in 1957 and both began work at Chemstrand. She also worked in administration at the firm of Cabiness, Hiles, and McCloud and later had a long administrative career at Pensacola Junior College in the IT and Data Processing Department.

Charles and Opal built their first home in Ensley, Florida in 1960 and later built a new home in Cantonment. Opal was a very family-oriented lady; her family’s well-being always came first to her. She loved her husband and children dearly and was never more content than on those occasions when they could all be together. In addition to her family, she loved music and working in her yard and garden, but what she loved most was taking care of others. She could not bear to see anyone suffer and was tireless in her efforts to assist and heal. Her efforts in taking care of both her parents, her brother and her husband, when they were in ill health, were remarkable and set a standard for love and sacrifice that few will ever match.

She also loved to laugh, and her children discovered in her later years that she had much more humor within her than was ever suspected. She began exhibiting a degree of quick wit and humor they had never witnessed and this has left them with many fond and delightful memories of her latter days. Opal was a faithful member of the Pensacola Boulevard Church of Christ and later attended the Gateway Church of Christ. She was not “preachy” and she taught others primarily how she lived her life and how she treated others. She was an exemplary model of what a mother and wife should be. She laughed heartily in the good times, worked hard and long in times of difficulty, and seldom if ever, complained. She was a light in the world for many people and will be sorely missed. Pallbearers will be Justin Hatcher, Stan Oliver, Burt Goodman, Justin Hardy, Patrick Bradley, Austin
Smith.

A funeral service will be held at Faith Chapel Funeral Home-North on Friday, January 20. Visitation will be from 2 pm to 3:30 pm with the funeral service to follow immediately. Opal will be buried on Saturday at Pensacola Memorial Gardens at 2:00 pm and all family and friends are welcome to attend.

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