Fred Robert Hoatson, 93, of Hershey, died Jan. 6, at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte. Fred was born Sept. 25, 1919, on a farm northwest of Hershey to William "Will" and Ruba Bird Leister Hoatson.
He attended grade school at Lower Birdwood and graduated from O''Fallons in 1938. Fred worked on the farm until Pearl Harbor when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on Jan. 13, 1942. He was stationed in North Africa, Malta, Sicilia, Corsica and Italy. He was discharged on Mar. 14, 1945, due to his father''s ill health, and returned to the family farm.
In the fall of 1945, Fred met a school teacher, Mildred Marie Broeder. They were married on May 17, 1947, at Greeley, Colo., and were blessed with two boys, Claude and Blaine. The family continued to live on the same farm/ranch where Fred was born. He dryland farmed and used irrigation to raise corn, wheat, alfalfa and prairie hay and raised Angus and crossbred cattle. Fred used the brand, TV, which has been in the Hoatson family for over 100 years.
Fred was a member of the Hershey United Methodist Church, a life member of the Otto V. Johnson Post #208 American Legion and was on the Hershey Rural Fire Board from 1970-1996. He had also been a school board member of District 36.
He enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities. When he was younger, he played softball and town team basketball and liked to trap. As his boys grew, Fred liked to watch them play sports and he liked to travel.
Work was Fred''s hobby. He was great at creating something useful from junk.
Fred is survived by his wife, and sons, Claude (Kelly) and Blaine (Nancy) Hoatson, three grandsons, Riley, Adam and Colin Hoatson, a granddaughter, Madison Hoatson, all of Hershey; his brother, Earl (Millie) Hoatson, of Sun City, Ariz.; brother-in-law, Lyle (Janet) Broeder, of Hershey; several nieces, nephews and other family.
Memorials are suggested to the Hershey Rural Fire Board, the Sutherland Rural Fire Board or Hershey United Methodist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Frank (Dorothy) Hoatson; sisters-in-law, Maxine (Glenn) Price and Iola Broeder; and his father and mother-in-law, Louie and Agnes Broeder.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Hershey United Methodist Church with Pastor Kola Akinnigbagbe officiating. Burial will follow in the North Platte Cemetery with military honors. Odean Colonial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.