Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home & Memorial Park

2551 North Armistead Ave, Hampton, VA


Mary Lou Payne Hatten

April 30, 1925June 13, 2020

Mary Lou Payne Hatten, a beloved community leader and lifelong resident of the Peninsula died at age 95 on June 13, 2020.

The daughter of Lafayette and Waverly Payne, Mary Lou was born on April 30, 1925 in Newport News, VA. She was graduated from Hampton High School in 1942 and Hollins College in 1946. Devoted to Hollins, she was an active alumna, serving as class reporter well into her 90s, and known as a clear and expressive writer whose class notes were enjoyed by all ages. She was last at Hollins in 2017 to celebrate her 71st reunion as well as the 175th anniversary of the founding of the College.

Her life on the Peninsula was characterized by service to her family, her community and her church. The mother of three, she manned the little league snack bar, was a home room mother, a cub scout den mother, and ushered her daughter to science fairs around the state. In the community, she served as President of the Junior League of Hampton Roads, helped organize the Nature Museum, now called the Virginia Living Museum, and enjoyed being in a drama troup for primary school children. She also served as a lifelong member, President and later Historian of the Hampton Roads Garden Club, helping to organize Historic Garden Week for more than 50 years. She was awarded the honor of being the first and only Emeritus member. She was also a member of the Newport News – Warwick Chapter of the DAR. In addition, she was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church where she was married, and led the Junior Department in the Sunday School for many years. She also served in the WMU and was in charge of the flowers for Sunday services. Additionally, she was active in Community Bible Study, an ecumenical group serving all Christian denominations, where she served as a Core Leader. An accomplished cook, she is the author of a renowned cookbook "Food Glorious Food", which compiled classic recipes including those of many of her friends and her parents’ friends.

Her life in the community was complemented by her love of family and of lifelong friendships. She married her childhood sweetheart, Dr. John Q. Hatten, who grew up a few blocks from her on Chesapeake Avenue and shared her birthday of April 30th. Married for 70 years, until his death in 2017, John and Mary Lou enjoyed playing golf especially at beautiful locations around the United States and Scotland. They also took great pleasure from attending medical meetings together with their lifelong friends.

She is survived by her son, Robert (Bobby) R. Hatten; her daughter, Dr. Mary E (Mary Beth) Hatten and her son, John (Jay) Quackenbush Hatten, Jr; two granddaughters, Cary Hatten Quinn, her husband Ethan, Meredith Hatten Gentine, her husband Josh; and one grandson John Hart Baker, his wife Lene; three great-grandsons, Ryan James Quinn, Jackson Robert Quinn and Henry Hatten Gentine and a great-granddaughter, Juliette Elizabeth Gentine; her sister, Ann Payne Wood, her husband Barry; her sister-in-law Erah Hatten Kliewer and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She is pre-deceased by her sister, Margaret Lee Payne Overton.

A graveside funeral service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

The family suggests that any contributions to honor the life of Mary Lou Hatten be made to the Virginia Living Museum: 524 J Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601; to Soundscapes at 11009 Warwick Boulevard, #215, Newport News, VA 23601 or to the charity of your choice.


  • Private Service


Mary Lou Payne Hatten

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jame Roser

June 14, 2020

It was a joy and pleasure to have been her manicurist and friend. We are all so blessed to have had her in our lives.
I will treasure her signed cook book and make her humming bird cake often.
God bless you all.
Jame Roser

Cary Quinn

June 14, 2020

Mary K. Shaughnessy

June 13, 2020

I have known Mrs. Hatten since 1968 when I was in college with her daughter Mary Beth. She always welcomed me in their home and was so warm when I was a bit shy. I did not see her for 30 years and, when I saw her again, I felt so comfortable. Having lost my own mother young, I so treasured the warmth of Mrs. Hatten and her ability to put everyone at ease right away. As a fellow Hollins graduate, I know how much Mrs. Hatten's presence means to that institution. We have all lost a wonderful spark on earth, but I will be thinking of Mrs. Hatten. I am almost 70 and, if I make it to 95, I will try to do a small fraction of what Mrs. Hatten has done to make the world a better place.

Amy Garber Byrd

June 13, 2020

My condolences to the Hatten Family. Mary Lou and my mother had so many happy times together as Payne Family first cousins.
She was a special woman and she will be greatly missed by many.

With our sympathy,

Amy Garber Byrd and Family
Fayetteville, North Carolina