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1929 Earl Gail Hatten 2023

Earl Gail Hatten

July 7, 1929 — November 13, 2023




Earl Gail Hatten, born on July 7, 1929, passed away on November 13, 2023, at the age of 94. Earl was a beloved member of the Fridley community, where he made a lasting impact on all he met.

Earl was born in Hopkins, MN to Marion and Frieda Hatten.  He attended country school in Brownton and Stewart, then graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1947. 

Earl, a proud veteran of the Army, served his country in the Korean War and was awarded a Silver Star Medal for bravery in combat. He rose to the rank of 1st Lt. After discharge, he joined the National Guard where he rose to the rank of Captain.  He met Charlene while he was stationed in Germany.  They got married in 1954 and were together for 54 years.

Following his time in the Army, Earl studied Drafting at the University of Minnesota.  Earl embarked on a successful career at Medtronic Inc., where he held the esteemed title of employee number eight. He took great pride in his work and was highly respected by his colleagues. Earl's professionalism and dedication made him an integral part of the Medtronic family where he worked for 35 years.

Earl was an active member of St. Philip’s Lutheran Church for more than 60 years.  He taught confirmation classes, was involved in the Kogodus Program, was instrumental in starting the LEAFs seminars and delivered over 1,000 welcome mugs to church visitors inviting them to worship.    

Volunteering was very important to Earl.  He delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.  He cared for the trees and flowers at the Community Center across the street from his house.  He delivered food to Stepping Stone.  Earl and Char were inducted into the Fridley History Center’s Hall of Fame, and he was named Anoka County’s Outstanding Senior Male in 2013. WCCO Radio honored Earl with their “Good Neighbor Award” for his volunteer work on behalf of the Fridley Schools. 

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Earl treasured his role as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.   He and his beloved wife, Char, shared a beautiful journey together for 54 years. Their marriage was a testament to love, commitment, and unwavering support for each other.

Earl was a humble man and valued the simple pleasures of life.  He enjoyed spending time in his vegetable and flower gardens, and chopping wood for his fireplace.  He took delight in having lunch with his friends and gatherings with his siblings and their families.  Earl and Char enjoyed playing bridge card clubs for many years.  He was an incredible cook and took pleasure in preparing Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts from scratch with all the trimmings.  Earl relaxed while playing a card game of solitaire or completing a Soduko puzzle.  He got great joy when his grandchildren called to chat, stopped by for a visit and brought him his favorite food and goodies.

Earl is survived by his children Carol (Tim) Hanson, Sally Oss, and William (Michelle) Hatten; grandchildren Alexis Swits, Jason (Shiloh) Hanson, Brandon (Heather) Hanson, Jessica (Corey) Rheault, Joshua Swits, Danielle (Eric) Morris, Joseph Hatten, Victoria Hatten; great grandchildren Brielle, Miles, Halle, Owen, Paxton and Archer; his siblings Joyce Kuehl, Roger Hatten, Russell Hatten and Judy (Jim) Sondergaard; and his many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents Marion and Frieda Hatten; his wife Charlene Hatten; his son Craig Hatten; his siblings Cyril (Teresa) Hatten, Lowell (Theresa) Hatten, Jim Hatten and Jeanne O’Neil; sisters-in-law Sandra Hatten, Nancy Hatten and Alice Mike; brothers-in-law Fred Kuehl and William Mike; one niece and one nephew.  Earl’s family meant the world to him, and he cherished the time spent with them, creating countless memories that will be forever treasured.

A public visitation will be held at St. Philip's Lutheran Church on December 4, 2023, starting at 10:00 am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am. A reception will be held at the same location at 12:00 pm, prior to the procession to Ft. Snelling National Cemetery for a graveside service at 1:45 pm. These services will provide an opportunity for friends, family, and community members to come together and pay their final respects to Earl.

Earl will be remembered as a kind, compassionate, and dedicated individual who left an indelible mark on the lives of those he encountered. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide us as we navigate the journey of life without him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.



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