Ted Halleck Hatfield

28 April, 19483 October, 2021

Ted Halleck Hatfield prematurely departed this world on October 3, 2021, due to complications from heart surgery. Now that Ted is gone, his family has the daunting task of summing up his incredible life, which could easily fill an entire novel, into these few short paragraphs.

Ted was born to the late Harold and Nadine (née Jaynes) Hatfield on April, 28, 1948, in St. Joseph, Missouri. His early years were spent in and around the family business, Hatfield Sporting Goods, which shaped his love of hunting and fishing and began developing his unparalleled knowledge of firearms. Influenced by his father’s time in the South Pacific during World War II as a B-25 fighter pilot, Ted got his pilot’s license at the tender age of 16. Ted and his older brother Tim were quite the pair, not only trying the patience of their dear mother Nadine, but also the larger St. Joe community.

After graduating from Central High School in St. Joseph, Ted went on to attend the University of Missouri, graduating in 1970. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was president during the fall of 1969, which, as Ted would point out, was the semester before the Phi Delt house burned down. After college, Ted embraced his freedom conferred by his high lottery number and spent many years traveling the world. With his brother Tim, he managed to navigate a bus from Torremolinos, Spain, all the way to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Although his death was too soon for his friends and family, everyone can agree that Ted truly lived life to the fullest. Grass never grew long under his feet, and he called many places around the world home -- from Los Angeles to Bilboa, Spain, to Antalya, Turkey. Ted’s wandering was often precipitated by business, as he had multiple successful careers. He was a freelance writer, a novelist, and a screenwriter. He was executive editor of Sports Afield Magazine, and later, American Rifleman Magazine. Ted was also the marketing director for Benelli, one of the premier brands from Berretta Firearms. In recent decades, Ted became a successful entrepreneur. He co-founded Hatfield Gun Company, whose shotguns can be found on display at your local Walmart. He also started Small Arms Technologies, a leading producer of shotguns and accessories.

Later in life, Ted finally “settled” in Kansas City, where he continued to work on his businesses. Age never slowed him down, as he continued to pursue new ventures and passions right up until his passing. He renewed his pilot’s license after 53 years and purchased a Piper Pacer, embracing the challenge of a notoriously difficult plane to fly. He also became a sailboat captain, which was often put to good use sailing friends and family around the British Virgin Islands.

Ted was known for cultivating and maintaining relationships and was an eternal optimist. He loved nothing more than spending time with people, and was the consummate host, regaling guests with stories of his unbelievable adventures, holding a Manhattan in one hand and a cigar in the other. His stories were impossible to compete with, usually beginning with something along the lines of “well when I drove through the Bolan Pass into Pakistan.” Ted was also a great listener, enjoying hearing the news and experiences of those around him.

Ted is survived by his wife, Ann Drisko Hatfield, daughters Halle (Brian Thomasch) of New York, NY, and Maggie (Forrest Pearce) of Atlanta GA, brother Tim Hatfield of Amazonia, Missouri, and hunting dog, Fargo.

A Memorial Service will be held October 16th at 4pm at the chapel at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64113. Ted was not much of a churchgoer but would have appreciated the convenience. The family encourages donations to either Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever in lieu of flowers.

To share a memory of Ted or send a condolence to his family please visit


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, 16 October , 2021


Ted Halleck Hatfield

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bruce Anderson

16 November 2021

I was fortunate to get to know Ted through mutual friend, Jeff Johnston. Prior to this meeting I was well aware of the man as I sold some of his fine shotguns in the retail gun store I worked for years.

Ted was sooooo easy going. He was humble beyond measure and a very kind man who never took over a conversation, rather added only benefiting comments if appropriate.

I will miss him as well as countless others. RIP fine man.

Diana Drisko

16 October 2021

Ted was a great guy! So vibrant and vital, Ted was full of life, high energy, enthusiastic. Everyone loved to be around Ted. He was a great raconteur, very funny and smart. Ted enjoyed great business success and had many plans in the offing. Ted and Ann had a wonderful and enjoyable life together that often included their daughters Halle and Maggie with their spouses.

Diana Drisko & Rob Kelly

Joe Archias

11 October 2021

Ted Hatfield lived like a prodigious player of music who loved it all ..... classical, military, rock, jazz, country .... and could sit in anywhere with a famous orchestra or a garage band.

If there was to be sailing or flying or shooting or writing or storytelling, Ted could, with joyful enthusiasm, play a part or take a lead. He loved the anticipation, the enactment, and the re-living afterward. Ted would assume a dramatic pose, cock his head, spread his arms, fingers, and launch into a tale with vibrato to create immediate, infectious fun. He himself was not the center of his stories. It was the action, the danger, the surprise that came with crescendo. Oh yes, we will miss him.

Raymond Francis Pittam (Hunter & Fishing Friend)

11 October 2021

I grew up knowing the Hatfield's. Done business with them, neighbored with them and went on different fishing and Hunting trips with them . I bought everything from Flashlights batteries to Gun's, Fishing equipment to a Motorcycle.
I will never forget when Harold Ensley came to Hatfield's and I was in there buying a New spinner Rod. That was when I first signed up for the Harold Ensley Fly Fishing trip to Lake Tammy Como.
Man it seems like yesterday, But that was way over fifty five years ago. I still watch old shows Hatfield's sponsored on the Harold Ensley Show. You can find them on You Tube.

Jim Powell

10 October 2021

I didn’t get to know Ted until the summer of 2016 at the 50th class reunion of Central High. We immediately connected and became close friends. I traveled with him to Tahiti, BVI’s and other places. I cannot possibly express how much I will miss talking to him about just about anything. But mostly I’ll miss laughing with him. He was simply one hell of a guy and certainly one of the most interesting people I’d ever met.
RIP Ted, Jim Powell

john johnston

10 October 2021

I met Ted in Spain, 50 years ago, and can only agree with all the fine sentiments set out before me.
I would only add, his sharing personality, engaging laugh, warm smile, and a handshake that let you know he was genuinely pleased to meet you.
My life has certainly been enriched , to have spent some time with him on lifes' playground

Kathleen Sheridan

10 October 2021

Sending condolences to Ann, my longtime family friend in Kansas City. Wishing you and your family comfort and peace.

Roger Schultz Sr.

10 October 2021

The Roger Schultz Sr. Family of St. Joseph.Mo. Send our prayers and condolences to Ted’s family.

Don Woody

10 October 2021

I met Ted at MU when we both pledged Phi Delt. I had the privilege knowing him from that point forward. He was one of the most fascinating people I ever met. I have told more stories over the years to family and friends that were generated from something Ted either said or did rather than any other source. I had the chance to play golf and ride in a golf cart with Ted at a Phi Delt reunion in Columbia back in the fall of 2017 and it was a mesmerizing experience. I wish I had stayed in closer touch with Ted and gotten to meet and know his wife, Ann, and his daughters, about whom he always spoke fondly and lovingly. From my observation, Ted´s life is best described from a quote from writer, Hunter S Thompson: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!" - Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 Ted loved and lived life to the fullest. I am honored to have known and experienced a small period of his life with him. Keep telling those stories, Ted.


8 October 2021

I will miss our time together at Noahs Ark. The stories were always interesting and well worth listening to. You were a fighter pilot at heart. Remember to always Check 6! Tom

From the Family