Lynn LaMar Hatfield, retired from Texas Tech University, passed away at the age of 81 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on October 11, 2018. He had been an active member of the IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) for many years.
Lynn was born July 6, 1937, to Eleanor Marie Lamar Hatfield and Lockwood Gregory Hatfield in Kansas City, Missouri. Lynn met the love of his life, Mary Virginia Moore, at Harrison High School in Harrison and they were married in May of 1956. Lynn was one of the first students to receive a BS from Arkansas Polytechnic College (now Arkansas Tech University) in Russellville in 1960. He went on to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and earned an MS and PhD in physics in 1964 and 1966, respectively. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in physics at Rice University. In 1968, Lynn joined the Department of Physics at Texas Tech University (TTU), Lubbock, TX, as an Assistant Professor. In 1986, Lynn was promoted to full Professor, and in 1998, he became the Chairman of the Department of Physics at TTU until his retirement on July 31, 2007. Lynn was closely connected with the TTU Center for Pulsed Power & Power Electronics, where he worked as a research collaborator and served as a student advisor. He had authored/co-authored about 100 journal and conference papers, and his research interests included spectroscopy, atomic and molecular physics, dielectrics, high voltage breakdown, and pulsed power physics. Lynn’s wide-ranging interests led to his crossing interdisciplinary boundaries by teaching Physics of Music and Engineering Physics. Faculty and staff from TTU, ranging from Physics and Engineering to History, English, and Psychology became Lynn’s extended family.
Lynn served as a CEIDP Board member from 1986 to 1991, as the CEIDP Nominations Committee Chair in 1990, as the CEIDP Program Committee Chair from 1991 to 1993, as the CEIDP Secretary in 1994 and 1995, as the CEIDP Vice Chair/Treasurer in 1996 and 1997, and as the CEIDP Chair in 1998 and 1999.
His TTU students recall that Lynn was a very polite and humble Southern Gentleman, who always provided a smile to his students and co-workers, even in difficult situations. He loved antique radios, classical music, the Dallas Cowboys, his cats, corny jokes, and beer. But mostly he loved his family and his friends. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by his children, Eugene Gregory Hatfield of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Christopher Wilson Hatfield (Annmarie) of Austin, Texas, and Virginia Lynn Hatfield (Sean O’Donnell) of Unalaska, Alaska; his grandchildren, William Jefferson Hatfield of Austin, Texas, and Tatum Virginia Hatfield of Lubbock, Texas; his sisters, Patricia (Pat) Crabb of Gainesville, Florida, Barbara Joe Hatfield Moore of Falls Church, Virginia, and Carol (Kay) Hatfield Brown of Seneca, Missouri; his brother-in-law Jefferson Wilburn Moore; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Virginia Hatfield on Sept. 30, 2017, and his younger brother, Locky Gregory Hatfield on May 2, 2004.