Philip James Hatmaker, resident of Springfield, Illinois, and residing in Lakeland, Florida, six months of the year, died of congestive heart failure complicated by pneumonia on February 4, 2023. He was born on February 15, 1942, in Ferndale, Michigan, to Loris and Raymond Hatmaker, the youngest child of six. His daughter, Elizabeth Hatmaker, preceded him in death in 2017. His wife, Janet, of 58 years and his two remaining children, Laura Hatmaker and David Hatmaker, are grieving his sudden and unexpected death.
After graduating from Wheaton College in Illinois,1963, Philip began his professional career as an Illinois Department of Public Aid caseworker in the Western District Office of Chicago. It was there that he developed a passion for helping the poor and saw this mission as his Christian commitment. After fulfilling his two-year military service during the Vietnam War, he received his master of social work degree at the University of Chicago and continued serving the State of Illinois in administrative positions, mostly in supplemental support services. He retired in 1998 in order to fulfill his life ambition.of traveling to other countries and understanding other cultures, wanting to learn what the people of other countries have to teach him. He did not want to be a tourist; he wanted to live in each culture, live on their economy, ride their buses, walk their villages, sit and talk with them, and value those he met. His adventuresome spirit and curiosity buoyed many as they read his frequent travel emails.
Phil was a devoted, loving husband and an engaged, supportive father. He celebrated the unique abilities and individuality of his wife and children, and his pride in them was very apparent. The courageous quality of character to change, explore new ideas, philosophers, theologians, he embodied and encouraged in all of us He “marched to his own drummer” and eschewed convention. Indeed, he will be greatly missed but his unmatchable everyday humor and sayings will be celebrated forever with his friends and family.