City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Howell John Hatcher, Jr.

Cary, North Carolina

Age 92.
Died 01/03/2024.

Howell John Hatcher, Jr.
Howell John Hatcher, Jr., 92, of Cary, a retired real estate Broker, banking executive, community leader and, most of all, a family man, died Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Transitions LifeCare after a brief illness.

A native of Morganton, N.C., John was the older son of Judge and Mrs. H.J. “Doggie” Hatcher. He graduated from Mars Hill College in 1951, and enrolled in Wake Forest College. Before he could earn his bachelor’s degree, he joined the U.S. Army in 1952 and served three years on active duty, mostly in Germany.

When he returned to college, he met the love of his life, Blair Tucker. They were married in 1956, a joyful union that lasted 67 ½ years and produced three children.

John was a banker for more than 27 years, working for and managing banks in Winston-Salem, Asheboro, High Point, Raleigh, Mocksville, and Cary, where the family settled in 1970. He retired as a vice president and began a second career in commercial real estate, as a broker with White Oak Commercial in Raleigh. He was also a retired officer of the North Carolina Army National Guard, serving more than 20 years.

Service was in his DNA, as his civic work spanned bank and college boards, churches, business groups and civic organizations.

A man of deep faith, John was church moderator and chairman of the deacons at Cary’s First Baptist Church, a deacon at Greenwood Forest Baptist and, most recently, an active member of Cary’s First United Methodist Church, where he particularly enjoyed his Sunday School class. He was a trustee of Mars Hill and Louisburg colleges and Advisory Board chairman of the Salvation Army, where he’d been awarded life member and was an enthusiastic bell ringer.

John was an active Rotarian for more than 50 years, serving his Cary Club as president as well as Rotary International’s District 771 governor. He also was president of the Cary Chamber of Commerce, former commander of American Legion Post 67, and a member of the North Carolina Division of the American Cancer Society and Wake County Bond Financing Authority.

Upon moving to the Glenaire community in 2016, John chaired the “pushers” (Resident Assistance Committee), helping residents in wheelchairs and walkers to get to events and services. He also convened the prayer group of the Spiritual Life Committee. He loved the residents and the staff at Glenaire.

His wife and family brought him the greatest pleasure. He came to his children’s cross-country meets, tennis matches and basketball games when they were growing up. He modeled for them his faith, work ethic, loyalty and sense of community. And he instilled in them a love for snow, the ocean, penny-pinching and college sports (Go Deacs!).

John made friends wherever he went, and took great pride in his family, community and country.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his brother, Frank Hatcher (Linda) of Winston-Salem; sons Blair (Rena) of Cary and John (Lynn) of Summerfield; daughter Candy Gregor (John) of Beaufort, S.C.; granddaughter Ashley Babladelis (Nick) of Concord, N.H.; and grandson Brian of Garner.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, at First United Methodist Church of Cary. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army of Wake County.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations