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Samuel O. 'Odell' Hatten, superintendent on major projects

Dec. 24, 1923 -- March 6, 2017

Samuel O. "Odell" Hatten, who worked on some of the area’s biggest construction projects during a three-decade career as a labor superintendent,  died Monday in his Buffalo home. He was 93.

A native of Blythewood, S.C., Mr. Hatten came to Buffalo in 1947 and, three years later, began a 31-year career with the John W. Cowper Co.  During that time, he worked on projects ranging from  the University at Buffalo's Main Street Campus to Rich Stadium to the Marine Midland Center to the Main Place Mall and the beginnings of the Metro Rail project.

He specialized in concrete work, but also did electrical work and carpentry in addition to overseeing construction crews as a labor superintendent. He was a longtime member of Laborers Local 210.

After retiring from Cowper, Mr. Hatten ran his own small businesses, doing snow-plowing, home remodeling and landscaping until he was in his 90s.

A lifelong Buffalo Bisons fan, Mr. Hatten also was a classic aut0 aficionado. He displayed his 1977 Saab EMS and his 1963 Willis Jeep  at car shows through the area and Southern Ontario, and he owned a half dozen 1955 and 1956 Ford pick-ups over the years that he also took to shows.

Mr. Hatten competed in leagues at the Kearns Avenue Bowling Center and was a 70-year member of Durham Memorial AME Zion Church, where he was on the board of trustees and was known for visiting sick and shut-in church members. An Air Force Veteran, he also volunteered at Forest Lawn Cemetery and made a point of visiting veterans in the VA Medical Center. He was a member of the American Legion and the Prince Hall Masons.

His wife of close to 60 years,  the former Etta Hill, died in 2004.

Survivors include his son, Jeffery L.; his daughter, Mary Hill- Stamper; a step-son, Israel Escabi; and a step-daughter, Evelyn Escabi .

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Durham Memorial AME Zion Church, 174 E. Eagle St.


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