In Memoriam: John S. Hyatt

by Michael Eddy
John S. Hyatt (1948 - 2018)
John S. Hyatt (1948 - 2018)

We are sad at Stage Directions to have to post the news of the passing of John S. Hyatt after a brief illness on the morning of Saturday, April 7th. John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. released the following statement at this difficult time.

It is with deep sadness we announce John Hyatt passed away on Saturday morning. John was an accomplished artist and designer who used his skills and talent to positively affect the performing arts communities not only in Michigan and Wisconsin but across the United States. John loved theatre with tremendous passion. His passion drove Mary and John to open John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. in 1984.

Over the past thirty plus years the company has focused on Scenery, Lighting, Rigging, Audio, Drapery, and of course John’s favorite, Custom Solutions. Through John’s leadership, the company has assisted in building and designing hundreds of theaters, churches, performing arts centers, studios, and educational centers across the United States. John always put his clients first. He worked many long hours and weekends to make sure the project was done correctly. Spending countless hours on the road, in the shop and onsite gave him perspective into clients’ needs in order to achieve their dreams.

Working with John has been an amazing gift for all of us here at John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. He valued all of us not only as employees but also as designers, equals and friends. He encouraged us to be the best we could possibly be and gave us the tools we needed to succeed in this industry. John was an avid believer in teamwork, which strengthened all of us individually, and the company as a whole. He also created an enjoyable atmosphere at the office and many days we found ourselves doing things such as eating pie and sharing laughter together. He will truly be missed.

John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. will proudly continue to carry on John’s legacy as we continue to move forward in providing outstanding solutions for all of our clients’ needs.

SD Editor's Note—Michael S. Eddy:  I met John when I became the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Electronic Theatre Controls in 1992 and he was the owner of one of my theatrical dealers, John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI. He had strong ties to Madison, WI having studied under Gil Hemsley at UW-Madison, so I got to spend a lot of time with him. In working with John, we became fast friends, which I learned was standard operating practice with anyone that John ever met. He was a great storyteller, a loving family man, and a true theater person. He had such a passion for theater—and life—and it carried through all of his life and work. He was also a huge cheerleader for Grand Rapids, a community that really benefited from his love for it. I am sorry for his loss, which came much too soon. I send my sincere condolences to his wife Mary and their family, colleagues, and friends.
John Hyatt on his blue Harley

Requiescat in Pace, John Hyatt.