Darrell Clay Hatton, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to anyone who ever met him, went home peacefully to be in the presence of his Savior on June 6, 2017. He was born in Newport, Kentucky on February 5, 1941. He was a gentle and quiet spirit who enjoyed his family, his friends, and his career.
He was always faithful to serve others whether it be family, his church, community or career. His dedication and extraordinary work ethic afforded him many career opportunities, but his core love was always the airlines, more specifically his time with Delta. He began his tenure with Delta Air Lines in September 1959 at the age of 18. During his 28 years with Delta, he began as a “Ramp Rat” and quickly excelled to executive positions in operations, sales and marketing in Cincinnati, Lexington, Miami, Chicago, and the General Offices in Atlanta. As Delta’s Systems Manager-Marketing Services, he also developed and implemented the Delta Frequent Flyer Program, Crown Room Club concept and the Delta Connection program. Following his early retirement from Delta in 1987, Darrell started a second career with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. As Vice President of Sales for 13 years, he supervised the Bureau’s Sales team and was personally responsible for the coordination of housing, hospitality security and transportation for major sporting events hosted by the City of Atlanta, such as the Final Four, the World Series, both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball All Star Games as well as SEC and ACC Conference Championships. He also coordinated the Bureau’s planning and participation for the 1996 Olympic Games.
Throughout his career, Darrell’s affiliations included the Atlanta Sports Council, where he was also Vice Chairman of Sports Development and he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association and the Atlanta Better Business Bureau. He was active in Chambers of Commerce in Lexington, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta and was often called upon to serve as a speaker, facilitator or master of ceremonies at business and charitable functions.
While he had many business accomplishments, he found true joy serving his Lord at various churches he attended throughout his life. He served in many capacities such as church treasurer, Day Care Director, Board Member, and even as a Sunday School teacher for 16 years.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, Clay and Maud Hatton and his sister Wilma Jean Pretot. Survivors include his wife of almost 54 years, Karen Brinson Hatton; daughter Darla McKay (Jesse); son Darren Hatton (Marla); six grandchildren, Brittany (BA), Bradley, Mara, Cole, Chloe and Clark; and one great-grandson, Landon; and niece, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral service will be held Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM in the Chapel of Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Fayetteville. A private graveside service will be held following the service. The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 PM on Friday evening, June 9, 2017 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider donating to one of the following: Southern Grace Hospice, 384 Racetrack Road., McDonough, GA 30252, www.southerngracehospice.com/, or Alzheimer’s Association, 41 Perimeter Ctr. East, Ste. 550, Atlanta, GA 30346, www.alz.org.
C.J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home • www.mowellfuneralhome.com