Cover photo for Byron Hartwell Hatfield's Obituary
Byron Hartwell Hatfield Profile Photo
1974 Byron 2023

Byron Hartwell Hatfield

November 1, 1974 — December 26, 2023

Byron Hartwell Hatfield was born in Knoxville, TN and spent his childhood in the foothills of the Smokies, calling Kingston, TN home. His early life was marked with achievements in science, writing, racing and a haunted house that is still the stuff of legend.

Byron attended Roane State and Middle Tennessee State University. Though he started Pre-Med, it was a directing class at MTSU in the fall of 1999 that would set Byron on the path of a career in entertainment that would span cities and decades.

With a pack of beloved friends, Byron started a theatre company called Not Always Shakespeare, Not Necessarily in the Park (NASNNIP). The group found a bar with an upstairs room and asked the owner if they could put up a show. For the next four years, their routine became going from class to rehearsals for school productions to odd jobs and then staying up late into the evening rehearsing original productions. Byron thought big, adapting "The Princess Bride" for the stage with authentic sword fights, and moving on to write, direct and produce film. Byron understood that the work of the artist is to live, work, and love deeply.

Byron moved to Chicago on a snowy day. He immediately started writing and looking to produce shows, surrounded by his NASNNIP crew. Wherever Byron was, he created a space for people to feel comfortable and rise to their highest potential. In 2006, Byron recruited his NASNNIP crew to be in a sketch comedy, "Bye Bye Liver". Although contracted to run for three weeks, it sold out for six months straight. In Chicago, the show grew out of the small Bucktown theatre, eventually becoming the flagship production of The Public House Theatre, which Byron helmed until 2018. "Bye Bye Liver" expanded to twelve cities across North America and can still be seen today in Chicago. It was in the production of "Bye Bye Liver" in Boston that Byron met his wife, Sasha.

While Byron enjoyed an uncommonly successful creative career, he held his family as his greatest accomplishment. Byron and Sasha were married in 2013, and in 2015, they welcomed their first child, Harrison "Henry" Hartwell Hatfield. The Hatfields moved to Atlanta in 2018, where Byron became a board member of the Atlanta Film Society, also teaching and directing sketch comedy at Dad's Garage. He continued life as a film writer and producer, while also working in the medical and telecom industries.

In Oakhurst, Decatur, Byron thrilled in his life as a father. He became a fixture in his community, racing derby cars and coaching baseball for the Oakhurst and Druid Hills leagues. With the gift of more time, Byron's name would have been on ballots, taking political offices in Georgia and Washington, working to build bridges in places facing dire divisions.

Byron found purpose in helping others, and lived with a spirit of generosity and humor. He touched lives across the globe, and will continue to do so as those who survive him live by his example. He is survived by his parents Hartwell Ray Hatfield (Vikki) and Marilyn Donatelli (Jim-deceased); siblings Raylene Edwards (Michael), Theron Hatfield (Ruth) and Jennifer Hatfield; nephews Jesse and Mason Edwards; wife Sasha Hatfield; and children Harrison and Alice Hatfield. Byron is also survived by a large extended family with many aunts, uncles and cousins as well as numerous friends.

Byron Hatfield was so loved and touched so many lives that we will be having two services to celebrate his life. One service in his beloved hometown of Kingston, TN and another service in Decatur, GA where friends became family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Byron Hatfield Memorial Award. 100% of the funds will be awarded to local screenwriters in association with the Atlanta Film Society.

Kingston Service-

February 10, 2024

Receiving of Friends 3:00-4:00,

Service starts 4:00,

Kingston United Methodist Church

Kingston, TN

Decatur Service-

February 25, 2024

Service 3:00,

Reception 4:00-5:00 in fellowship hall,

Decatur First United Methodist Church

Decatur, GA

A reception will follow the service in Decatur from 4-5pm

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 10, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Kingston United Methodist Church

212 West Church Street, Kingston, TN 37763

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Memorial Service

Sunday, February 25, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Decatur First United Methodist Church

300 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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