Gail Hiatt, 84, of Lebanon, died peacefully on Jan. 6, 2024, at Cornwall Manor Retirement Community, Cornwall, PA.
Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Paul Batteux and Ellen (Hettel) Batteux and sister of the late Paul Batteux Jr. She was the beloved wife of John H. Hiatt for 54 years.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by four sons, Robert P., of Bokeelia, FL, Daniel J. and David S., both of Virginia Beach, VA, and Michael D., of Waynesboro, PA; and six grandchildren, Kelly M., Ian M., Marianna (“Annie”) G., Ellen (“Marza”) M., Evan P., and Anthony (“Tony”) C.
Gail’s interests and passions were wide and varied. Wanderlust preceded her marriage. A yen “to see the world” led her to the travel industry, where she became a travel consultant with Aer Lingus. She fell in love with Ireland, often referring to it as her second home. When her husband-to-be appeared on the scene – by way of a blind date, mind you – things changed. Matrimony followed, and shortly thereafter, children. It is no surprise that her career yielded to her love of and devotion to family. She made sure that hubby and the kids knew that she loved them. Rarely a school day passed that she was not home to greet the little students when they ran into the house after the bus “dropped” them off. They could count on her for a big hug, a compassionate ear, and a gentle nudge to do the next right thing. Due to the demands of her husband’s work, the family moved several times, necessitating changes in church affiliations. A key metric in her consideration of a church home was the strength of the youth program. Through her own experience, she knew the value of a good Christian education during those formative years. To ensure that the boys didn’t get bored, music lessons, little league, boy scouts, karate, not to mention family camping trips, all played a role in enriching their lives. Her little doggies (usually two at any given time) were also important members of the family, in part, perhaps, as a testament to the value of the unconditional love they demonstrated daily. Gail loved her family, and it showed.
She was a caring and supportive wife. Not only were she and John marital partners, they were best friends. She understood the importance of “being there” when he needed her. In his career, he faced some tough issues, which at times, required difficult decisions. She knew how important it was to support him in those moments. When one particularly “sticky” challenge confronted him, and she questioned her own adequacy to help, she still found a way through a greeting card containing the words: “Night and day, God is listening for the voice of His child, and whenever you call upon Him, He will hear. You are gently held in the hand of God … and so completely loved.” That was Gail.