Elvin Hatfield

Elvin M. Hatfield, 75, of Arkansas City, passed away Friday, June 28, 2019, at Wesley Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Wichita.

The Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Arkansas City. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Winfield. Father Sam Brand will officiate.

Elvin was born March 16, 1944, in Arkansas City, to Loris Samuel and Violet May (Morton) Hatfield. Elvin was preceded in death by his parents and his oldest sister, Nancy June Hatfield nee Burton. Survivors include his older brother and sister, Loris Sterling Hatfield and Joan Charlene Hatfield.

During Elvin’s formative years, while maintaining excellent grades, he also lettered in basketball and track. After graduating from high school, Elvin attended Cowley College, graduating with Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees. He attended Kansas State University. 

While home on a school break, Elvin met Dixie (Floyd) Hatfield, and after a whirlwind courtship, Elvin and Dixie married on Dec. 23, 1966. They celebrated 52 years of marriage in December 2018. Two beautiful daughters were born to their union: Dr. Tiffany S. Hatfield-Yee (Stephen), of Columbus, Ohio, and Tabatha T. Hatfield-Lake (Mark), of Arkansas City. Grandchildren include Garrett Stephen Yee, Gianna Giselle Yee, Dirk Hatfield Lake and Alexandria Olive Lake, respectively.

Elvin completed his military service in the United States Army with an honorable discharge and many distinguished awards. After declining numerous requests to re-enlist for officer’s training, he returned to Arkansas City and joined the police department, where he soon earned the rank of detective. He also finished working on his Bachelor’s Degree at Southwestern College where he graduated with a double major in History and Political Science.

Elvin was approached by Cowley College and asked if he would be interested in teaching Criminal Justice, a course just recently instituted at Cowley. Elvin accepted the offer and later entered Pittsburg State University, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Science. After obtaining his Master’s Degree, Elvin also did graduate study in Kansas Law Enforcement courses and Federal Bureau of Investigation courses. His love for learning never stopped. 

As a result of Elvin’s dedication and hard work (he was a perfectionist), he made the Cowley College Criminal Justice Program one of the best in the nation. He was listed in Who’s Who, selected as Kansas Worker of the Year in 1999, Master Teacher in 1993, Master Presenter for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in 1991. He received one of the highest honors in May 1993 when he was named one of the top 50 community college instructors in the nation. USA Today publicized the 50 selections in one of its editions.

He had a special gift of imparting his knowledge of the criminal justice system to his students. The school field trips he took his students on were phenomenal. Elvin was a remarkable teacher and knew how to relate to his students. For example, he was a talented artist, especially of caricatures. Sometimes, if one of his students was in a theatre production, sports event or some other activity where they did well, when the student entered the classroom, Elvin would draw a caricature of the student on the blackboard.

Elvin was a loving, devoted and wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He shall be missed deeply. The void he leaves behind from his passing can never be replaced.

A scholarship in Elvin’s name has been established with the Criminal Justice Department of Cowley College. Contributions can be made through Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home and Crematory of Arkansas City.

Online condolences can be made at www.rindt-erdman.com.