LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant returned to East Texas to join his family for the funeral of his father, McArthur "Mac" Hatton.
Hatton was 69 years old, and lived in Jasper, Texas with his wife. Bryant learned of his father's death last Saturday just before the teams game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Hatton's sister-in-law said their family will focus on the life and legacy he leaves behind.
"I think you are aware Dez Bryant is his son, and he loved his son. He loved his family, and he loved his wife," said Louisa Kyles. "We are just going to remember that beautiful smile, and that beautiful life he's left us with."
Kyles said Hatton had been sick for a long time, but that her sister devoted the last six years to taking care of him.
"My sister loved her husband. He has been sick for a quite some time, but she has been an ideal wife, and mother," said Kyles. "She retired from her job with the federal government in order to take care of him. He has been her priority."
The family said they want to thank everyone for the support, and kind words they have received over the last several days.
They said while they mourn Hatton's death, they will continue to honor his legacy in the way he would have wanted.
"We are just hoping that through all of this, the family will unite together and do what Mac would want," Kyles said. "He would want his family to love each other, to unite, and remember him for what he meant as a father and as a husband."
The funeral was held today at 12:00PM at Missionary Baptist Church.