William E. Hattaway (Bill), 76, of Franklin, North Carolina, and Vero Beach, Florida, died November 2, 2019, doing what he loved: helping others and working in the woods. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, the love of his life, and best friend, Wanda L. Hattaway. His two daughters, Lori Hattaway Van Sciver (Gary) and Carrie Hattaway Cronkhite (Jonathan) will miss their father as he was their rock and mentor. “Pappy” had 7 grandchildren in which he instilled his love of boating, fishing, wood-turning, hunting, and gardening: Kyle Van Sciver, Gabrielle Cronkhite, Carly Van Sciver, Sophia Cronkhite, Caleb Cronkhite, Joshua Cronkhite, and Bethany Cronkhite. Bill is pre-deceased by his parents, John Vernon Hattaway and Eddie Ruth Hattaway. He leaves behind his sister, Linda Hattaway Musgrave (Jerry) and brother, Carl David Hattaway (Gwen), and many nieces and nephews and their children. Bill lived in 17 states, growing up a military brat. He was a graduate of Texas A&M University, Class of 1965. After college, he married Wanda Walker on June 18, 1966, and left shortly after for Vietnam. He served his country as a helicopter pilot in the Army earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other awards and honors; yet, he was humble about his service. After his tour, Bill put his degree in Fishery Science to work when he and Wanda opened their own catfish farm and restaurant near Ft. Rucker, Alabama. They later moved to Arkansas to help establish a tri-state catfish co-op. From there, he moved his growing family to Orlando, Florida, and began his 17-year career with Red Lobster and Darden Restaurants, starting as a purchaser and eventually becoming CEO of Red Lobster and vice-president of General Mills Restaurant Group. After adventures opening restaurants in Japan, Bill and Wanda returned to Florida and owned and operated their own successful seafood restaurant, Shells, in Melbourne. The couple recently retired and began splitting their time between homes in Vero Beach and Franklin. Bill believed he had the best of both worlds: a warm home on the water where he could be on his boat and a cool place in the mountains where he could breathe fresh air and work in the woods. Well done, good and faithful servant.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that a donation in Bill’s memory be made to one of the charities that they support:
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Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Hattaway family.
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