Sunny Hatfield loved life. She loved people: her family and friends, near and far. She loved to have friends visit her at her home. She enjoyed traveling and made new friends wherever she went: England, Germany, France, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and more. She loved Jesus Christ. Jesus guided Sunny throughout her life. She read her cherished handwritten prayer book every morning and night for many years.
Born Therma Florence Ellen Allen to Alvin Clarence “AC” Allen and Ida Mae (Phillips) Allen in Laurens, Iowa, on May 7, 1923. She was blessed with a loving mother and father and respected them both. She was the middle child of 13, with 10 brothers and 2 sisters.
When her family lived in West Bend, Iowa, she worked for Father Dobberstein at the parish at the Grotto of the Redemption. Father Dobberstein encouraged her to go to Mercy School of Nursing in Des Moines. She also credited the superintendent of schools, Dr. McMullen for helping her to succeed. He hired her to be his second secretary when she was in high school. The money she saved from this job enabled her to be the first in her family to go to college. She studied nursing at Mercy School of Nursing. It was in nurses training that she acquired her nickname of “Sunny” due to her cheerful disposition and positive outlook. She worked for doctors in private practice after graduation.
On July 14, 1946 Sunny married R. Russell Hatfield at the Little Brown Church, Nashua, Iowa. Working alongside her husband Russ, they started a business in Des Moines, Iowa: Hatfield Duplicating Machine and Supply, later known as Hatfield’s of Iowa. Sunny and Russ had 3 daughters: Mary Jane (MJ) Hatfield (Richard Mercer), Dawn Hatfield (Aram Eramian), and Martha Hatfield, and 2 grandsons: Aram Hatfield (Morghanne) and David Hatfield with one great-grandchild: Finley Aram Eramian Hatfield.
Widowed in 1965 Sunny continued to raise her daughters and operate the business, in a time when few women worked outside the home. Sunny became a part-time stockbroker in her “spare” time and taught women how to invest and manage their money.
Sunny enjoyed many adventures including visiting the Philippines during the time that Viet Nam was being evacuated where she worked on Operation Babylift 1975 and backpacking and staying at Youth Hostels in Europe in her 60s. After selling her business Sunny moved to Idaho in 1994 to live near her daughter, Dawn and husband, Aram and her two 2 grandsons, Aram and David Eramian Hatfield. In 2011 she moved back to Iowa to live with her daughter Martha in Atlantic, Iowa. In 2018, she moved to Heritage House in Atlantic.
No matter what dark clouds appeared in Sunny’s life, she always found the silver lining. Sunny had a strong faith in Jesus and she was always an encouragement and inspiration to her three daughters and many others who were blessed by knowing her.
We wish to thank all of Sunny’s friends for their continued notes, cards, phone calls and personal visits with Mom. Thank you to Heritage House for giving our Mom excellent care.
Thank you, Mom, for being such a wonderful, hardworking, smart, and loving Mom. She was happy until the end and died peacefully with her loved ones close. A private family burial was held at the Masonic Cemetery in Des Moines. The family will hold a celebration of life service for Sunny later this summer. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.