MAPLE PARK – Ansley W. Hatch, 97, of Maple Park, Ill., passed away Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at his home surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.
He was born May 9, 1915, the son of H. Wallace and Hazel A. (Quackenbush) Hatch on the family farm near Morrison.
When Ansley was only a month old, the family moved several places to find their roots and finally found a home in the communities of St. Charles where Ansley attended and graduated from St. Charles High School with the class of 1933.
From 1933 to 1937, Ansley attended North Central College. Following graduation, Ansley worked locally for a time at various jobs.
Ansley was united in marriage to Catherine Modine on April 8, 1939. They began their new life together in Hampshire. Catherine made their house a home and raised a family while Ansley worked for Standard Oil Company as an agent delivering oil to local communities.
In 1943, Ansley enlisted in the U.S. Navy
and served his country in the South West Pacific during World War II
as a junior officer in charge of decoding messages. At 2 a.m., Ansley was given a decoded message to file away, but upon closer inspection he realized that not only did it contain the coordinates of two kamikaze submarines, but he determined they were only 75 miles away and heading straight toward them. Instead filing it as he was ordered, he woke up the admiral who immediately sent planes to seek and destroy, which they did, saving hundreds of lives directly because of Ansley's foresight and courage.
Upon his return to civilian life, Ansley began working for Burgess-Norton in Geneva. He retired 32 years later in 1983. Following his retirement, he pursued his love of golf by working at Hughes Creek as a ranger starter and up until age 95, he enjoyed working with Meals on Wheels for the Salvation Army following Catherine's passing in 2002.
Ansley and his family were faithful members of Grace Lutheran Church in Lily Lake for many years.
Ansley loved spending as much time on the links as possible, many times in the company of his grandchildren trying to pass on 'the fever." He began as caddie when he was 10 years old, carrying the clubs for members of the St. Charles Country Club. He even went so far as to shorten clubs just for his grandchildren, but to his chagrin, nobody ever took up his favorite pastime. Ansley also loved to fish and make memories with every cast trying to land the big one on any lake or river he could find, especially those in Minnesota. One pastime that did catch on was baking different cookies, especially "joe froggies," a chewy cookie that were "great keepers" made with rum and molasses. His garden was a kingdom, stretching 70 feet wide and 80 feet long, which may not sound big until you had to weed it. The harvest of strawberries, horse radish, asparagus, raspberries and many more, were enjoyed by family and friends all year round. When it came to sports, he loved all of them, especially the Chicago White Sox, Blackhawks and the Bears. His greatest love was his family, especially his grandchildren and all the activities that filled up the calendar and that was on top of his involvement in the church and their field trips to the city.
He leaves three children – Sheila C. (Woody) Lange and their children: Warren, Travis and Autumn of Maple Park – Steven (Loretta) Hatch and their children: Ryan, Larissa and Melanie of Maple Park – and Pierre Hatch and his children: Natalie and Carmella of Maple Park; one sister Ruth Gaston of Leaf River; two brothers, Gordon Hatch of Oregon, Ill., and Bruce (Vernelle) Hatch of Lake Crystal, Minn.; several nieces and nephews; and a countryside of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife, Catherine; two brothers, Jack and Warner Hatch; and one son, Warren M. Hatch.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. There also will be a visitation from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Grace Lutheran Church, Lily Lake. A funeral service to celebrate his life will begin at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, officiating with interment at Lily Lake Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Ansley's name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks can be made to the "Ansley Hatch Memorial" and mailed to P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL, 60119.
Tributes also may be forwarded to the same address or at www.ConleyCare.com.