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Funeral Service

St. James Episcopal Church
Monday March 28th, 2022

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Sunday March 27th, 2022
3:00pm - 6:00pm

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John Granville Hatcher, Jr.

John Granville Hatcher Jr. 72, entered into eternal rest on Monday, March 21, 2022. He was a native of Portsmouth and the son of the late John Granville Hatcher Sr., and Wauneida Crawford Hatcher. He was married to the late Rev. Myrtle Frances Hatcher. John is survived his five siblings: Brother, Richard Hatcher, (Angela) Sisters; Wanda Hatcher, Aldora Hatcher, Frances Sparrow, (Bruce) and Olga Summerville, (James), a sister-in-law, Angel Cooper of Staunton, VA. and his beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

John attended Portsmouth Public Schools and graduated from I.C. Norcom, the Greyhound Class of ‘68. He was a faithful member of his I.C. Norcom class Alumni. John was a life-long active member of St. James Episcopal Church.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Norfolk State College, John began his professional career in 1970 as an outreach worker at the Wesley Community Child Care Center. From there, he became the Assistant Director of the Wesley Community Service Center and in 1978, John was invited to fill the position of Executive Director of the Center. He served in that capacity for 48 years until his retirement. He was the longest serving Director and the first African American Executive Director.

As a member of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, John brought concerns from the faith community to the General Assembly. In 2016, he held the honor of the city’s “First Citizen” by the City of Portsmouth Service League.

Although John has held many offices throughout his lifetime and has been recognized through many awards and accolades both locally and nationally from his city/state, community, church, and fraternity, (Phi Beta Sigma), those who knew him well, knew that John’s lifelong dedication until his death was in “feeding the hearts and souls of others”. His guiding inspiration throughout his life was to “build, strengthen and nurture communities, connecting all walks of people across the divisive lines of race, class, religion, and age. John Hatcher served the City of Portsmouth well with a humble spirit.

Life celebration services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, March 28, 2022 at St. James Episcopal Church, Effingham Street, Portsmouth, VA. Services can also be viewed online at: https://stjamesportsmouth.blogspot.com/?m=1

The family will receive friends in the R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington Street, Suffolk on Sunday, March 27, 2022 from 3:00 to 6 PM. The Phi Beta Sigma’s Omega Ceremony will be held during the visitation at 5:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to CAPS (Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk) at 157 N. Main St. or to a charity of the donor’s choice. 

Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com.


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Hatcher, Jr., please visit our flower store.


In 1978 I moved to Portsmouth to become Pastor/Administrator foe Asbury-Parkside Community Ministries, a congregation and community ministry of The United Methodist Church; that’s when I first met and came to appreciate deeply John Hatcher. We were both engaged in UMC-based social service ministries to communities in Portsmouth, and I soon came to treasure his strong faith, gentle spirit, unflagging hope, remarkable humility, and good humor. Over the years I continued to connect with John through School of Christian Midsioj events, Annual Conference sessions, as First Gentleman of the Peninsula District of The United Methodist Church, where he was a steady companion and soul-mate for his beloved Myrtle Frances. Most recently I always looked forward to seeing him at Williamsburg UMC, selling pecans at their Christmas Alternative Giving Fair for Wesley Center. I was stunned and terribly saddened to learn his John’s death; the church has lost a good and faithful servant of
Christ, and I have lost a much appreciated model of discipleship and colleague. Requiem aeterna…

Rev. David M. Hindman Apr 9 2022 11:42 AM

JG, I know you will not be able to have "Table Talk "
with Frances, Bruce, and myself in person; but you will always be in our hearts. "LOVE YOU TO LIFE". Your Big Sis Wanda

Wanda Hatcher Mar 29 2022 9:19 PM

Forever. Forever. You will always be with Us.

Your baby sis, (Olga) Mar 29 2022 7:38 PM

John I will miss you. All of your classmates have memories of you as one of the nicest guys We knew. Thinking of you classmate brings a smile to my face. Wishing your family and friends peace and comfort in this most difficult time.

By sharing fund memories of our Greyhound years with each other our sorrow will lessen.

Our treasured thoughts of you always smiling and making us laugh will forever remain as we carry you with us. Thanks for the jokes and laughter always!!!

Your "Cumbo Sunshine"

Carolyn Cumbo Mitchell Mar 28 2022 11:05 PM

A candle was lit in memory of John Hatcher, Jr.

Carolyn Cumbo Mitchell Mar 28 2022 5:52 PM

A candle was lit in memory of John Hatcher, Jr.

Brenda Sharp Peterson Mar 28 2022 10:55 AM

John was the first exceptionally good person that I met in my life. I will never forget how kind he was to me. I will truly miss him. My condolences to the family.

Nettie Ray-Bailey Mar 28 2022 6:33 AM

A candle was lit in memory of John Hatcher, Jr.

Bill Lassiter Mar 27 2022 9:36 PM

A candle was lit in memory of John Hatcher, Jr.

Daphne WaringSorrell Mar 27 2022 9:06 PM

To the family of John Hatcher my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Linnea Palmer of Atlanta Ga Mar 27 2022 9:06 PM

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