Donald E. Hackel

 Donald E. Hackel

 Donald E. Hackel

KNOX — Donald E. Hackel of Spring Hill, Tennessee “took his ‘Pilgrim’ journey to his forever home early morning on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021,” his family wrote in a tribute. He was 65.

“In his final weeks,” the tribute went on, “Don was surrounded by all of his family in his daughter’s home in Knox. He was free to laugh, cry, tell jokes, and watch his favorite movie, ‘Jeremiah Johnson.’

“Don played important roles in life: son, husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend. Because of this, he was known by many names: Grad-daddy, Papa, uncle, son-in-law, Hack, Georgie, Fred, and ‘Pilgrim.’ Yet, of all the roles he played and all the names he answered to, his most important role and name was Follower of Christ.

“Don was mostly known as a strong man of faith. He lived his life based on God’s word, always trying to implement and walk out the teachings of Jesus.

“As one of Don’s favorite movie says, ‘Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.’ Don: the man, the myth, the legend!

“We love you, we miss you, but we know we will see you again — for you are a hero that will ever be remembered and a legend that will truly never die.”


Donald E. Hackel is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Kris; his children, Maria (Dan), Kate (Justin), Zac (Emily), Caleb, Anna (Sam), Grace, Josh, and of course Elijah; his grandbabies, Emma, Walter, Zachary “Zi,g, Forrest, Wayne, Ella, Lucy, Coleman, Zara, J, N and M, as well as a host of other family and friends.

Memorial messages may be left at

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