Mr. Phil Hiatt, 79, of Plymouth was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 11:50 AM on Monday, July 8, 2024, at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.

On October 13, 1944, Philip Lynn Hiatt was born in Fulton County to Clarence L. and Charlotte McMillen Hiatt. Growing up he shared his childhood with a sister and three brothers. Proudly he graduated from Richland Center High School with the Class of 1962. While in high school he played guard for the Wildcat basketball team.

Continuing his formal education, Phil graduated from Bethel College in 1966 with a degree in secondary education. Answering the call of patriotism, Phil served with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.  He was a member of the elite Seabees, the Navy’s premier builders or construction battalion .  Later he studied at the University of St. Francis earning his Master of Science in education in 1971.

On June 4, 1966, Phil married the love of his life, Shirley Foster, in the Sunrise Chapel of Plymouth. They honeymooned in the Smokey Mountains.  Together they shared 58 years of life’s adventures. From their union came a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Barry. Two more generations have been added to the family tree with the blessings of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dedicated to education, Mr. Hiatt taught and coached junior high and high school at the Culver Community Schools for 37 years.  During his years of service to education Coach Hiatt served the Cavaliers as Men’s Golf coach.  He was an esteemed role model, admired by his students and respected by his colleagues. A life coach, Mr. Hiatt provided the foundation, and the necessary skill sets to empower the success of his students, allowing them to embark on life’s journey with confidence.  He also served as 8th grade class sponsor organizing the annual class trip to King’s Island, making many memories.

As a missionary/educator Phil was in the mission’s field in Senegal, Africa from 1981 – 1983.   As entrepreneurs, the Hiatt brothers Phil and Pat opened the Hiatt Hardware and Lumber Yard in Leiters Ford.  Their store provided the area families with building needs for nearly two decades.

An avid golfer, Phil loved hitting the links and playing a round of golf.  He felt fortunate to spend 30 plus summers at the Swan Lake Golf Course.  Phil was very proud of his two holes in one, one in LaPorte and one in Florida. As an avid NASCAR fan, #24 William Byron was his favorite driver.

Shirley and Phil enjoyed wintering in Florida for many years.  He is remembered for his warm smile and helping others.  A man of strong faith, Phil loved the Lord and his family.  He enjoyed reading his Bible every day. Meticulous with his lawn and yard he despised weeds and enjoyed the hunt to eradicate all of them.

Left to cherish Phil’s memory are his wife, Shirley; daughter, Kelly Erickson and husband Gregg of Plymouth, son, Barry Hiatt and wife Jenny of Rochester; four grandchildren, Gregory Erikson, Danielle Leazenby and husband Branton, Bryton Hiatt and Wife Michaila, Nat Hiatt and wife Jenna; two great-granddaughters, Lucy and Harper Leazenby; sister, Kathryn Hiatt of Plymouth; brother, Pat Hiatt of Rochester; three sisters-in-law, Carolyn Hiatt, Ruth Hiatt, Connie Keiter and husband Bruce; brother-in-law Marion Foster and wife Wanda and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding Phil in death are his parents, grandson eight year old Cody Erikson and two brothers, Gene Hiatt and Ernest Hiatt.

A celebration of the life of Philip L. Hiatt will be at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 12, 2024, at the Grace Baptist Church, 1830 N. Michigan St, Plymouth. Pastor Matt Elliott will officiate. Friends may visit with the family from 4-7 PM on Thursday, July 11, 2024, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th St., Rochester and one hour prior to the service in the church.  Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Graveside military honors will be conducted by the Fulton County Veteran’s Honor Guard and the US Navy Honors Team.  Memorials may be made to Bethel University, 1001 Bethel Cir., Mishawaka, IN 46545 or David’s Courage, 10924 Lincoln Highway, Plymouth, IN 46563  Online expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at www.goodfamilyfh.com