Cover photo for Eloise Hatley's Obituary
Eloise Hatley Profile Photo
1944 Eloise 2019

Eloise Hatley

June 6, 1944 — January 23, 2019

Eloise Hatley was granted eternal rest in the glorious presence of The Lord at 3:27 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She was surrounded by family during her final earthly days and her transition to glory.

Eloise Gulley was born on D-Day, Tuesday, June 6, 1944 in the Red Hill Community of Chidester, Arkansas. She was the third-born child to Louis E. Gulley and Effie Mae Gill-Gulley. She was raised in Reader, Arkansas with her siblings Ella Mae, Haril and Addie Pearl. She maintained a close relationship with Lonnie and Alice Lou who were raised in Seattle, Washington by their mother. The early years of Eloise’s life were filled with fond memories of running around the woods of Reader, attending church events and getting into loving scuffles with her siblings.

She joined and was baptized at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church at a very young age. During those early years of church, Eloise grew in her faith as an active member of the church. She was a faithful, lifelong member of Union Grove until her last breath. She served in many roles at the church: deaconess, Sunday School Teacher, church clerk, finance clerk, kitchen committee chairperson, young matrons’ leader, Mother Board member, Senior Choir Member, and Vacation Bible School director and teacher. Eloise was a strong voice within the church and always stood on the side of right.

Eloise always emphasized the importance of education to her children and any other young person she met. Although, she had limited access to educational opportunities, she was a life-long learner who loved to read. She attended Pleasant Hill Schools in Chidester until she needed to begin working. She would later receive her G.E.D. and a number of certifications. Eloise taught her children that two things in life can’t be taken away from you…your faith and your education.

Eloise married Ora Lee Hughes and one son, Lonnie M. Hughes, was given to this union. Ora Lee passed in July of 1974. She would later meet Leonard Hatley and they would unite in Holy Matrimony on Friday, January 9, 1976. Leonard and Eloise enjoyed 43 years of marriage and two children were given to this union, Spencer L. Hughes and Katherine L. Hatley-St. Clair. She also gained a stepson, Larry Hatley Duncan. Leonard and Eloise made their home in Chidester, Arkansas, where they enjoyed spending time together raising their children. Eloise was the first teacher in the lives of her children. She instilled the importance of hard work, integrity, faithfulness, family and forgiveness. She supported her children and grandchildren in all they did, as their loudest cheerleader.

Eloise believed in hard work. She and her siblings were taught the significance of hard work, sacrifice and pulling together by their father, Louis E. Gulley, who raised them as a single father. She made many sacrifices in life to provide for herself and her family. She started early on in life working. She worked various positions over the years, such as seamstress, machine operator, janitor, forklift driver, and nursing assistant. She was employed at Firestone Building Products in Prescott, Arkansas for over 38 years. Upon retirement, she went back to school to become a Certified Nurse Assistant because she wanted to care for others who couldn’t care for themselves. She began to work as a CNA at a nursing home and doing in-home healthcare. She continued as an in-home health CNA until she went home to glory.

Eloise was a family oriented woman. She believed that family should keep in-touch and try to get together as often as they could. She believed the best way to handle any situation and getting to know someone was sitting down and breaking bread together. She loved to cook and was often asked to make dishes for events she wasn’t even attending. She was well known for her peach cobbler, coon cooking, and her famous “Neil Hughes Barbecue Sauce.” There wasn’t a dish she wouldn’t try to make. She collected cookbooks and recipes of all kinds. She shared cooking tips and instructions with anyone who would ask.

Eloise was an active member of the community. She was a member of Prince Hall Order of Eastern Star for over 40 years. She is a Past Worthy Matron of Ferdinand Chapter 138 of Chidester, Arkansas. She lived and exemplified the principles of charity, loving kindness and truth. She would also attend various revivals and programs held at churches all across South Arkansas. She enjoyed fellowshipping with others. She regularly attended programs at Rocky Hill C.O.G.I.C. and White Oak Baptist Church, where she saw herself as an honorary member. She was also a welcomed member of the Senior Services Center in Chidester. “Ms. Eloise / Sis. Hatley” was well known throughout the community.

Eloise loved to travel and see new and old places. She traveled to Chicago, Dallas, Seattleand California as often as she could to visit her family. For many years, she would travelannually to the National Baptist Convention. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She would organize summer trips to various places to show them how proud their Granny was of them. She never missed a major event in the lives of her children or grandchildren. She attended every graduation, wedding, and celebration there was. If it was happening, she was going to be there.

One of the highlights of her day and week was a phone call, so she could talk about the TV programs she had watched and what was going on around the world. She made her phone rounds to “just see how you were doing.” She loved watching the news, Ned Perme, westerns, cooking shows, “Family Feud” with Steve Harvey, and all sports. Her hobbies included watching movies, collecting recipes, shopping, cooking, canning, listening to country music andcollecting bells.

Eloise’s life was filled a lot of joy and happiness, but she also overcame a number of adversities in life. In the summer of 1993 she contracted Tick Fever and was hospitalized for nearly a month. In September of 2013 she began a fight against Septic Shock following a procedure that went wrong. She was in ICU for about three weeks and in the hospital for over 60 days. She was always a fighter and never gave up in any battle she faced. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 Eloise Hatley won the ultimate battle by finishing her race and earning her prize of a higher calling. She became victorious at 3:27 p.m. when she left the pain and suffering of the previous two weeks behind. She was victorious when she saw the fulfillment of herfaith and reality of her hope in seeing Jesus face-to-face.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband and her brother Haril (Margaret) Gulley.
Eloise Hatley’s legacy continues in the memories of her husband of 43 years, Leonard Hatley; her children Lonnie M. (Sheila) Hughes of Chidester, AR, Spencer L. (Centorial) Hughes of Garland, TX, Katherine L. “Cindy” (Joseph) St. Clair of Chicago, IL, and Larry (Shirley) Duncan of Hot Springs, AR; four sisters Ella Mae Brown, Addie Pearl (Irving) Bates, Alice Lou Beleford and Thella Stone: three brothers Lonnie C. (Maxine) Gulley, Willie Lee Stone and Fredrick L. Gulley.

Her legacy continues in the lives of her seven grandchildren, Bernard Holman, Patrick (LaVonne) Duncan, De’Jzwan Thrower, Shatorial Miller, Cornelius “Blake” (Kenyatta) Hughes, Spencer D. Hughes and Cross D. Hughes; five great grandchildren, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, countless cousins and an innumerable number of friends.

Also cherishing her memory is her constant four legged companion, Isabella; four grand-dogs, Sage, Princess, Lulu, and Ashe.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eloise Hatley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 1, 2019

1:00 - 4:00pm (Central time)

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Family Gathering

Friday, February 1, 2019

6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)

Union Grove Baptist Church

, Bluff City, AR 71722

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Union Grove Baptist Church

, Bluff City, AR 71722

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