Lillie Helen Roth Hatten

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What a wonderful life! This is what Lillie Helen Roth Hatten titled her autobiography. What a wonderful gift it was to leave her family this written account of a life well lived. She passed away on Dec. 9 surrounded by loved ones and their spirits.

She was born on Dec. 16, 1923, in Columbus, Ohio, to Mary Krebs Roth and John Henry Roth. She was one of six children, had an idyllic childhood surrounded by extended family that nurtured and cared for her family after her father passed away in 1927, leaving her mother a widow with six children, ages nine months to 10 years. Can you imagine? Thus began a legacy of strong women. There was sledding, hot chocolate, Sunday school, and even though it was the Depression there was always food on the table at 900 Kirby Avenue.

She met her future husband on a troop train and married Robert G. Hatten on March 9, 1944. All the brothers and husbands arrived home from the war safely and what a celebration that first Christmas was, with everyone living together in the big old house. After Bob's service as a paratrooper in the Philippines, they moved to Missouri where Bob attended Cleveland Chiropractic College and Lillie worked at a law firm in downtown KC. They moved into an apartment at the Butler airport after Bob's graduation with their two week old son, Robert Lynn. Can you imagine? Life was busy in their new community and when the second child, Marianna, came along in 1950 and they moved to a house in town on Harrison St. Martha arrived in 1953 and the family was complete. Lillie had a busy, happy life filled with friends, children and their activities, taking all three children to dance, church camp, making real Halloween costumes, reading to and with her kids.

Lillie served her community in many ways, including the library board, American Legion Auxiliary, PTA, Cub Scout pack leader, champion of the Foodtown Little League baseball team, and the proud steward of Lillie's Little Free Library, established in 2014 for her 90th birthday. She was a member of the Butler Presbyterian Church, and a 60-plus year member of Chapter HV, P.E.O., having been initiated at the Missouri State Convention. She loved to play bridge, entertain, fish, golf, and travel with the Ararat Shrine family.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob of 68 years; son, Rob; two brothers, Robert and John Roth; and sister, Mary Riggs. She is survived by two daughters, Marianna Hatten (Dr. Judith Jenkins), of Cerrillos, N.M., and Martha (Larry) Bledsoe of Nevada; grandchildren,, Tyler Thornton, Abrielle Flavin (Mike), Beth Jump, and Chris Hatten (Ali), Alex Ruthmann (Anne) and Nick Ruthmann; great-grandchildren, Shelby Henderson, Seraphim Jump, Amelia and Norah Hatten, and Knox Hatten Flavin; along with daughter-in-law, Sally Hatten; her brother, Walter Roth (Marilyn); and her sister, Anna Jones; along with nieces and nephews from Florida to California and many points in between.

Lillie was thought of as Mom to many friends of Rob, Marianna, and Martha, Grammy to her own grandchildren and many of their friends, and within the past several years as Gigi to her beloved great-grandchildren. What a wonderful life it was, Lillie. Thank you for being so strong and such an inspirational example to so many.