Leslie Orval Hiatt

A loving and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, Leslie Orval Hiatt passed away of natural causes in Ketchikan, Alaska on March 3, 2021 at age 86. 

He was born in Campo, CO to a large farming family. His family eventually settled in Nyssa, OR where he graduated high school in 1953. He joined the U. S. Army in 1954 and was stationed in France. 

Les met his wife, Joan, in Coos Bay, OR on a blind date in 1957. They married in 1961 after Les returned from working for the Alaska Territorial Fish and Wildlife service. After marriage and finishing his bachelor’s degree (1962), they completed the rugged trek through Canada to Ketchikan, AK. In Ketchikan, Les taught, and during the summers worked for Alaska Fish and Game. Kenneth their eldest was born in 1964. In 1965, they moved to Eugene, OR where Les earned his master’s degree (1967). They returned to Ketchikan and Les continued his teaching career at Schoenbar Jr. High, Main School, and later Valley Park Elementary where he was one of the founding members. Bret, their youngest, was born in 1971. That same year Les was named Teacher of the Year.

Les couldn’t just teach or stay still. He also renovated many properties for lease and resale. One of the most ambitious projects was the Hiatt-Green partnership to renovate the building on Front and Mill Street and running The Country Store where Les sold his handmade wooden toys. Between renovation projects, Les and family gillnetted/longlined on the Misty. When he retired from teaching in 1985, Les continued to live and work in Ketchikan where he renovated the old Harbor Hardware buildings on Stedman with the help of both his sons.

In 1992, Les and Joan moved to Bend, OR and later to Tigard, OR to be closer to family. In 2015, they moved back to Ketchikan permanently. Les enjoyed watching Ketchikan’s boats, wildlife, and weather and could often be seen out for walks where former students would seek him out to chat. 

Les loved time with family: hunting, fishing, woodworking, gardening, berry picking, beachcombing, and traveling. With the addition of grandkids, he would say that his grandchildren were his life, and attended all their activities both in person and virtually. He was always their biggest fan.

Les is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan, as well as his two sons: Kenneth (Shirin) and their children Rohan and Saya, and Bret (Jennifer) and their twins Genevieve and Anneliese. Les is also survived by his siblings Jim, Galen, Clayton, and Dan and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Scott and Mae Hiatt, siblings Willis, Dwayne, Edna, and Everett. 

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to the Ketchikan Community Foundation.