Wiggins Leader Laid To Rest

WIGGINS (WLOX) -- A steady flow of people filed into the church to honor the life and memory of Duncan Ray Hatten. The turnout was big for such a small town--a town that Duncan Ray Hatten spent most of his life serving.

The lifelong Wiggins resident owned and operated the Cabin Store for more than 20 years, served as Stone County's first road manager, and was a member of the Stone County School Board and the Stone County Board of Supervisors.

"I served with Duncan Hatten. He was an extraordinary individual, awesome president, done some great things, and you know, he was a good man to work with. He will be well missed by all of us," said Pam Fairley.

Dick O'Neal was friends with Hatten for more than 50 years.

"I've known him all my life from childhood on. We worked together on many different occasions. He's worked really hard for this county on the Board of Supervisors, so he's going to be greatly missed here in this county," O'Neal said.

That was apparent by the turnout. Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan was among the many first responders at the funeral. First responders from all over South Mississippi lined the church walkway as Duncan Ray Hatten's body was carried into the church.

"He was involved in a lot of things, and of course, he enjoyed his church, and he enjoyed gospel music, and he attended a lot of gospel events from time to time," O'Neal said.

And although Hatten was called home, those who know him best say he will not be forgotten.

"I think they'll remember him for his dedication, trying to do for people and what he felt was best for the community," O'Neal said.

Hatten left behind his wife of 15 years, three sons, one daughter, and six grandchildren.

Thirty-seven-year-old Bobby Hendrix has been charged with capital murder in connection with Hatten's death. Hendrix is in jail, being held without bond.