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In Memoriam: John S. Hyatt

John S. Hyatt

It is with deep sadness John S. Hyatt and Associates announces that John Samuel Hyatt passed away peacefully and full of hope on Saturday morning, April 7, 2018. Hyatt 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. Hyatt loved theatre with tremendous passion. His passion drove he and his wife, Mary, to open John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. in 1984, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For more than thirty-plus years the company has focused on scenery, lighting, rigging, audio, drapery, and of course Hyatt's favorite, custom solutions. Through hiss leadership, the company has assisted in building and designing hundreds of theatres, churches, performing arts centers, studios, and educational centers across the United States. Hyatt 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.

The team at John S. Hyatt and Associates shared: "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 Hyatt's legacy as we continue to move forward in providing outstanding solutions for all of our clients' needs."

He left his beautiful and beloved wife, Mary, of 43 years to continue celebrating his wonderful, vividly colorful, and theatrical life where the beautiful scenic lights (LED, of course) in heaven are brighter. Missing him now and always will be his children, Kai Li Fouts (Hyatt) Jette and Trey Fouts-Hyatt, their spouses, Chris Jette, and Angie Fouts-Hyatt, and all eight of his adored grand kiddos . . . Sydney, Macey, Cerys, Kale, Cade, Elley, Noah and Caleb.

His loving parents, Baxter and Dorothy Hyatt, raised him in Madison, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Central High School. He continued on to Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, where he received a bachelor of arts in theatre. He then enlisted in the United States Army, and served as a defense information journalist in the 82nd Airborne. Upon honorable discharge from the Army, he entered graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Bucky!) and attained his master of fine arts, a terminal degree, in theatrical design and technology. A professorship at Grand Valley State University brought Hyatt and his young family to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he taught theater design, tech, and lighting.

In 1984, the couple established John S. Hyatt and Associates, Inc. in order to help theatre organizations achieve their design dreams and visions. Hyatt was an artist in every way. His love of photography and music, his scenic design, and his ability to create lighting experiences so all could truly see their beauty was matched only by his passion for family, his pride in their talents and accomplishments, and his love of listening, engaging, and sharing stories with the people around him. A Celebration of Hyatt was held on Saturday, April 14th, at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. In lieu of flowers, the family asks contributions be made to Festival of the Arts or any other charitable organization in John Hyatt's name.


(16 April 2018)

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