SDPD 03/01/1968 - 04/02/1974
11/23/1936 - 02/28/2021
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James was a San Diego Native Son. Born at the old US Navy Hospital in November 1936. He was raised in a Navy family of mothers, siblings and cousins, because the dads were shipped out to the wars of the day, James loved it all. His childhood nuclear family consisted of his Father, James Hatcher Sr., his Mother, Mardell, and his younger Brother Robert.

James attended San Diego elementary, middle, and high schools, and was a bright student and football star in high school. He joined the National Guard, attended NCO Academy, and served in the Army in Fontenay France as an Instructor in Chemical Warfare. He had his young family with him in France, consisting of his then wife Lenora Howard, and their two children Tairra and Byron.

Upon returning to San Diego James joined the San Diego Police Department, where his career included such assignments as Community Service Officer and Detective. James left SDPD to work within San Diego County government, first working in the ranks of Social Services, but eventually moving up to the Chief Administration Offices. He served at the pleasure of 3 different CAOs. His position upon retirement was Chief of Staff of the Chief Administration Office.

When James retired from the County of San Diego, he continued his work, emphasizing his concern and care for others by quickly beginning work as a Vice President at Neighborhood House Association.

During his important career progressions for over 40 years James has been married to his loving wife LaDean and surrounded by the love of "all his children", as he collectively called them, from the first born to the last. He loved, cherished, motivated, and inspired: Tairra, Byron, Marvita, Denae, Neiman, D'Juan, Caleb, Alexander, Rory, and Niarah. "Papoo", as he was lovingly called, will be respected, loved, and adored by every one of them for all their lifetimes. We all have many, many stories to tell.

The roster of the many relatives and friends, both old and new, is too large to list; but he would want you to know that his first cousins Jerry Lindsay and Pattyann (aka Harvena) Westmoreland are like his brother and sister. And his brother Robert Hatcher's daughters, Robin, Rhonda, and Rochelle are most precious to him. Their mother Ruth is also like a sister.

We cannot end any saga about James Hatcher without mentioning his beloved Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and his abundant respect for Sigma Pi Phi Boule'. He was honored to be a member of both historically Black Fraternities, as well as on the boards of many associations with both local and national imprints, including the San Diego NAACP, National Urban League, San Diego Holiday Bowl, and the Board of Directors of the Community where we live.

He received many accolades and awards, and he treasured them all. No matter the source, great or small he sincerely appreciated every one of them. If we could have had a traditional funeral, the list of speakers and commendations, with their 5 minute limits, would be very long. It would go on for a couple of hours, and he would have loved it. We will plan a Celebration of Life next year, around the date of his passing, to make up for the Covid restrictions that limit us today.

He slipped away from us as we tried to hold on, telling him he was coming home tomorrow. But he said "No. I am going HOME today."
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