Jeffrey D. Thatcher
Jeffrey Douglas Thatcher (Jeff), 71, of Berkeley Springs, WV passed away at home on August 1, 2018 while under the care of Hospice of the Panhandle.
Jeff was born to Helen and Douglas Thatcher (both of whom predeceased him), in Mequon, Wisconsin where he learned to skate on frozen rivers, a precursor to his later high school and college hockey careers.
At a young age his family moved to Colorado Springs, CO, where he was the star center of the Cheyenne Mountain High School hockey team, as well as a State Baseball All-Star, graduating in 1965.
He attended Hamilton College in upstate New York on a full scholarship, was the center for his college hockey team, and graduated from Hamilton in 1969.
The friends he made at Hamilton were friends for life; all mourn his passing and have been of great comfort to his family.
Jeff is survived by his wife Jean Kiel whom he married on July 24, 1987. They enjoyed 31 years of marriage, travel, laughs and love. Jeff was an avid sailor and he and Jean took every opportunity to sail the Caribbean seas in both mono-hull and catamaran boats with long-time sailing friends. They were animal lovers and had many animal companions throughout their marriage, always a Northern breed dog or two (huskies, malamutes) and all manner of kitties who could sniff out a soft-touch from miles away to find a home filled with love and fur.
Jeff had three sons, Justin Cain Thatcher, who predeceased him in 2016. Surviving are sons Christopher Jeffrey Thatcher and Derek Jeffrey Kiel Thatcher, both of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. Three grandchildren lit up his life: Weilun, 12, Isamae, 8, and Darcy 5. He fervently hoped to live long enough to share some of his love with more grandchildren, as they were the light of his life.
After graduating from college, Jeff migrated west to San Francisco, spending some rollicking good times in the Haight Asbury District until moving to Gunnison, Colorado in the early 1970s. Starting out as a field technician for Homestake Mining Company, he worked his way up through the ranks to eventually become the chief legislative lobbyist for Homestake in Denver.
Jeff enjoyed a varied and interesting career in the mining business throughout the United States for over 45 years, living in Colorado, West Virginia, and California, and working in almost every state of the Union, as well as in Canada and Mexico. He was often a community liaison, and worked with community leaders to establish wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, and other productive land uses for previously mined lands. He also worked with communities to shore up community services with financing from the mining industry. He loved his job and leaves behind many friends from those years.
A Celebration of Jeff’s life will be held at the Ice House art center in Berkeley Springs on August 26 at 3 p.m. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served.