Obituary: Howard Alexander Hatton

Obituary of an expatriate Chiang Mai resident

By | Wed 14 Oct 2020

Howard Alexander Hatton was born May 11th, 1929, in a highlands Gopu mountain village, Hsin Hsao, Yunnan, China. Howard died October 1st, 2020, in Chiang Mai.

Howard was the son of China Inland, and OMF missionaries, Dora and Fred Hatton. Howard attended Cheefoo school on the Yantai Peninsula in China where his running teacher, Eric Henry Liddell, instilled in Howard, a life-long passion for running. Howard was also a child prisoner of war in the Japanese internment camp at Weihsien and his childhood experiences led him to practice non-violence. Howard forever loved and missed his childhood home in the mountains of Yunnan, China.

Howard served in the Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Manorom, Lopburi and Bangkok. After receiving his PhD in Thai language from the University of Pennsylvania, Howard worked for the Thailand, United, and American Bible Societies. Howard was a prolific and gifted writer, an ordained minister, a respected linguist and scholar. Howard was a very talented man and as a life-long member of the Bangkok Opera Society and conductor for the International Church Bangkok, Howard was active in both music and theatre. Blessed with a truly beautiful tenor voice, Howard is remembered for his early barber-shop quartet, his roles in Amahl and The Night Visitors, Jesus Christ Superstar, and annual presentations of Handel’s Messiah. Howard is the founder of Kanok Bannasan Publishers, he wrote Khmer poetry, translated Thai poetry, drew comic books and was a sculptor of traditional porcelain Chinese horse statuettes.

Howard was a notorious raconteur and dearly cherished his cat who was his companion in life and in death. Howard’s ashes will be interred in the Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery and next to the grave of his beloved wife, Lorraine G. Hatton. Any message or queries may be directed in writing to:

Dok Kaew Gardens
McKean Senior Center
PO Box 53
Chiang Mai, 50,000