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Asa Elliott Hatch, Elliott to his family and friends, was born to Asa Motes and Mary Louise Elliott Hatch in Greenwood, Mississippi as the first baby arriving in1930. His parents soon divorced, abandoning him to grow up with his beloved maternal grandparents, Guy Pat and Lilla Whittington Elliott on a rural cotton farm near Sidon, Mississippi. Surrounded by woods and creeks, Elliott's best friends were his dogs, chickens and other farm animals.
At 11, his mother's guilt kicked in and he went to live with her and her new husband in Staten Island, New York for a culture-shocked Catholic school year. This small town farm boy who talked slow and southern showed New Yorkers how its done in academics–a camouflage he would delight using many times in his life. Elliott attributed his school success to two things: his grandfather's influence who, although he had left school in the third grade to support his family, was a roll model with life-long voracious reading and exploring the world through books and travel. But also to the many dedicated Mississippi "school marms" who made it their mission to give a sound education to rural kids.
After returning to Mississippi, Elliott attended high school in Greenwood where he excelled as well in sports including track, baseball and football.
Upon graduation, he attended the University of Mississippi and received a degree in Civil Engineering and was accepted as a member of the Chi Epsilon honorary Civil Engineering society. He joined the US Air Force, stationed first at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio and, this boy who'd never seen 3" of snow in his life was put in charge of among other things air field snow removal. By his telling, hillarity ensued. Eventually he served in Okinawa with the Strategic Air Command following the Korean War, and played football (among other less fun duties on base) for the 20th Air Force Division.
After discharge, Elliott came to Texas, worked for Layne Inc. drilling wells, and while living in Houston, met and married Barbara Joy Andrus. He went to work for Dow Chemical in the new water quality department, moved to Lake Jackson, Texas and had two boys. Elliott spent the next many years mentoring and coaching his sons in pee wee football, little league baseball and track.
Several years after Barbara's death in 1974, he met and married the love of his life, Nancy Louise Rice Harding. Elliott and Nancy skied, RV'd, learned to fly planes, and traveled all 50 states and around the world–at times accompanied by a granddaughter.
In 1998 they moved to Kerrville where retired Elliott immersed himself in Texas and civil war history, golf, and native plant landscaping. His personal collection of cacti and other native plants was stunning, and his travel exploits with friends on Texas and New Mexico highways to collect plant specimens was legendary and probably criminal.
Elliott and Nancy moved to Boerne in 2015 to enjoy the opportunities of the Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs community.
Elliott was preceeded in death by his parents, his wife Barbara, his sons Craig Elliott Hatch and Mark Elliott Hatch, and his wife Nancy. He is survived by his half sister Martha Patricia Hatch Monk of Brandon, Mississippi, his granddaughters Kathryn Luke of McLean, Virginia and Makenzie Hatch of Humble, Texas, daughter-in-law Ann Hatch of Humble, and step children Gerald Harding and his wife Jackie of Granite Shoals and Sheryl Howard of Kerrville, Texas.
The family expresses gratitude to Kristen Steiner, NP, of Boerne, and Alamo Hospice for all the quality care and compassion Elliott received in his final years. No funeral services are planned. He will be interred in the First Methodist Church of Kerrville Collumbarium with Nancy.
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