Family: Married to Jenny Hatten; children are Leslie Hatten, 23; Kristin Hatten, 20; and Benjamin Hatten, 17.
Occupation: Electrician at Denso.
Not many people get attacked by a bear and live to tell about it. Richard Hatten of Maryville is the exception. In June of 2001 Hatten was camping at Elkmont when a bear pulled him from a hammock.
“It was W. Scott Wilson from Newnan, Ga., who saved me from the bear. After the bear bit me and jerked me out of the hammock, he kept charging and getting in my face,” Hatten said. “Then he charged at Mr. Wilson, who got a broom and started hitting the bear.
“I had puncture wounds in my arm, but it didn’t take long for the puncture wounds to heal. I had a serious bruise where he bit down to the bone on my leg, and that hurt,” Hatten said. “But my voice from yelling at the bear took a long time to recover!”
Hatten said the experience has not stopped him from getting out and enjoying the woods. “Actually, the last time I was camping in the Park, we chased a bear out of the campsite,” he said..
Hatten said the saying that a person’s life flashes before their eyes when they are in danger is true. “It is amazing how fast the mind processes information and how many thoughts come to your head when you are in that traumatic situation.”
Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., Hatten attended vocational school in high school to learn electrical trade and has been in that line of work for 31 years. He and his wife, Jenny, met at church in Jackson in 1982, married in 1983 and decided to move to Maryville in 1997.
“A lot of people find a job first and then move, but we decided to move first and then get a job,” he said. “Jenny’s family is the Pearson family, and she grew up traveling here to visit grandparents, so Maryville was a second home for her.”
Hatten has been with Denso for 13 years. When Hatten is not working or spending time with family, he stays busy.
“I rotate teaching a Sunday School class once a month at First Baptist Maryville. I work with ROC - ‘Reaching Out to the Community,’ a home repair ministry,” he said.
Hatten enjoys attending Blount County Civil War Round Table meetings. He is active with the Wild Turkey Federation Chapter, assists with teaching hunters education in Blount County at Church of the Cove in Townsend and at Gunny’s and umpires umpires high school softball. Hatten is also involved with starting the National Archery in Schools program at Maryville Middle and will go to the state tournament with the team on Feb. 25.
Hatten says he loves Blount County in large part because there are an unlimited number of outdoor activities. “I like mountain biking, and I ride as much as possibly,” he said. “Fortunately I don’t fish, because if I did, I would never be at home.”
Here is Richard Hatten:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Most definitely my father in the positive and negative ways. One of the bad characteristics I got from him is starting more things than I can get completed. On the good side, my father was a dentist, and he always liked working and was a Habitat for Humanity volunteer for several years.”
What are you guilty of?
“Too much talking and not enough listening.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“If the house was on fire I would grab two things first. My “Walk through the Bible Ministries” Reference Edition New American Standard Bible my father gave me for Christmas 1980, which is the greatest tool I have ever had my hands on. Then I would get my Marlin 336 30-30 lever action rifle that was my father’s. It is my weapon of mass destruction. I suppose I am a stereotypical ‘God and Guns’ kind of guy.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Let’s just talk about the last one. One Sunday in church when the worship music stopped, there was a time of pause and silence. I had my eyes closed really soaking in the moment, not realizing the worship team had left the stage, and everyone in the congregation had sat down. When one of my kids bumped me, I opened my eyes to see the pastor was already standing at the podium ready to begin. I was the only one still standing.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“1. Hike all 850-something miles of trails in the National Park. I’ve only got about 725 more to go.
2. Go to Alberta Canada, hire Chad Lenz as my guide and take a Canadian moose with my longbow.
3. Work for myself doing the things I like and enjoy.”
What is one word others often use to describe you?
“Stubborn. That is the one word I hear from my wife, Jenny, all the time.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“There are two. My maternal Grandfather John Venable Lobdell III. He died of cancer in 1949 before my parents were married. The way my mother always spoke of him and the things I know about his life cause me to want to know him. The second is the Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament. He is no doubt the most dynamic born-again Christian that ever lived.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would like to be with the Israelites coming out of Egypt with Moses. Those first days of excitement, doubt, fear and actually being able to see with my own eyes the miracles God did in those days, like parting the Red Sea, to deliver His people really captivate me.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“A man by the name of Dan Helmintoller. He is the man that prayed with me to be saved and pastored the small church I attended for the first few years of my Christian life. His preaching, teaching, and the fact he was an excellent role model in how to live the Christian life developed a foundation in me I still stand upon.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“I don’t Spacebook or Flitter, and do my level best to stay out of other people’s space.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Cats are targets, and dogs are annoying.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
“My favorite show was “The Roadrunner.” I really got a kick out of seeing all the contraptions Wile E. Coyote would get from Acme Co. to try and catch Road Runner. Beep, Beep.”
What irritates you?
“Liars and wasting good food.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Gregory Bald in June to see the Flame azaleas. That is the most magnificent display of nature I have seen in Blount County. From that vantage point you can see all of Blount County.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Stop doing all the stupid, destructive crap you are doing and get right with God.”