Bruce Donald Hatter

February 24, 1943March 5, 2018

Bruce was born on February 24, 1943 to Donald and Mabel Hatter in Philadelphia, PA.

He grew up in Upper Darby, PA and attended Bywood Elementary Grade School, Upper Darby High School, Ursinus College, St. Joseph University and later Michigan State.Growing up he enjoyed trains, airplanes, trips in the summers to Ocean City, NJ and had fun at the Flanders Hotel on the Boardwalk. When Bruce was around 8 years old his father passed away and he stepped up quickly as the “man of the house” taking on responsibilities early in his young life. Growing up he was a very good athlete and enjoyed playing baseball, tennis and football. He was proud that American Bandstand was taped in West Philadelphia and he enjoyed listening to Neil Diamond, CCR and Fleetwood Mac.

He was in the army during the Vietnam War and was stationed at Ft Belvoir, VA and Ft Jackson, SC where he received the Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooter and National Defense Service Medal. He returned to Philadelphia and married Peg Duffy. They soon started a family and would enjoy raising 2 daughters, Beth and Marnie, 1 son, Michael and later would adopt a baby boy from Vietnam named Jamie. Later Bruce and Peg would raise their nephew Kevin after his mother passed away. Bruce worked hard to support his family, was very proud of his children and was happy when they all received college educations. He loved all his kids very much and throughout his life would enjoy being with them and keeping up with their busy lives.

In his early career, he worked at Scott Paper Company, and went on to work for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company for over 30 years, retiring as the Executive Director of Vending Operations in North America. Many years earlier, he started off in sales and was fond of the “good old day’s” of carrying cigarettes in the trunk of his car. He quickly rose through the ranks at RJR, was well respected and had the reputation of getting things done! After his retirement, Bruce enjoyed living on Oak Island, NC and enjoyed his new “beach life” of fishing and jet-skiing up the coast to get shrimp to cook for dinner. He got rid of his watch, business suits and enjoyed the sun, playing tennis and golf. His mantra was “No people, no paper…keep it simple”.

Later in 2008, Bruce gave up the beach life and decided to move to Dallas,Texas where he would enjoy a whole new life! He didn’t mind being “back in the city” with Betti who he married in a memorable Texas style wedding at Southfork Ranch with horses, bulls and armadillos! He enjoyed the “Spirit of Texas” and regularly rode and trailered their 1600 # Belgian Draft/Quarter Horse… named Paxton! Betti (Boo-Boo) and Bruce (Yogi) travelled extensively throughout the United States and Mexico and enjoyed their new and mutual friends and families. They enjoyed tennis, golf, horseback riding, snow skiing, jet skiing, horse races and especially enjoyed their rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles! They also looked forward to the summers when their Granddaughter Carly would visit Dallas and play with Molly, their puppy! These were whole new adventures!

Bruce loved eating fish, turkey and chicken and some of his favorite foods were peanut butter, nuts, liverwurst and Twizzlers! And…he continued to always put salt on his watermelon! He loved working on civic and community projects and was involved in many endeavors wherever he lived including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, North Carolina and Texas.

Just one week after Bruce’s death, his wife Betti was notified that the Dallas Parks Foundation awarded Bruce the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2018. This award will be presented during the Dallas Parks Foundation annual end-of-year banquet on November 1, 2018 and will honor Bruce for his tireless and courageous efforts in making the new Moss Glen Park a reality for his neighbors and community. In 2011, Bruce was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He was determined to fight this monster and throughout the next 7 years of treatments and different protocols, with Betti by his side, he did just that. He was brave, focused and disciplined and eventually “won the war on cancer but experienced the collateral damage of his stomach” which he could not survive. He passed away peacefully on March 5, 2018 with Betti and Molly by his side.

If you’d ask his family, friends and colleagues what he was like, they’d probably say: “Bruce was a nice guy with an engaging smile, charming laugh and was always fun to be with. He was an incredibly loyal friend. He was very non-judgmental and accepted people as they were. He was a very authentic and honest man. He also had high standards for himself, was very organized and could be very self-disciplined. He loved his wife, children, family and friends very much and would do anything for them. If you were his friend – you had a committed friend for life!”

Bruce leaves behind his loving family: His wife Betti Coffey Hatter and their puppy Molly. His children Beth Oniskey, Michael Hatter, Marnie Hatter and his nephew Kevin Swider. His son-in-law Rick Oniskey and his daughter in law Jamie Swider. His Granddaughters Carly Oniskey, Ella Oniskey, Logan Swider and Morgan Swider.

He is preceded in death by: His parents, Donald and Mabel Hatter. His son, Jamie Hatter. His step-sister, Diane Fulton.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memoriam can be made through the Dallas Parks Foundation website: We encourage people to designate their donation to Moss Glen Park. Checks payable to Dallas Parks Foundation, MEMO Moss Glen Park or Bruce Hatter, should be mailed to: Dallas Parks Foundation, 9540 Garland Road, Suite 381-117, Dallas, TX 75218.


  • Memorial Mass Thursday, March 22, 2018
  • Bruce Hatter's Celebration of Life Memorial Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bruce Donald Hatter

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Betti Coffey

March 16, 2018

Bruce and I had 10 wonderful years together. I miss him so much but I know he's with God, has no more pain and that someday I'll see him again.
We are so appreciative to all of our family and friends for the tremendous amount of support and love that has been given.
Bruce would have been so happy - he'd be smiling that great smile of his that we all know, love and will never forget.
All my love forever. Rest in peace Yogi...from your Boo-Boo