Ralph Warren Hatch, 94, resident of Seward, Alaska, died on Nov. 20, 2018, at home. A celebration of life is planned for Dec. 1, 2018, at 2 p.m. at Seward Memorial United Methodist Church, 321 4th Ave, Seward, AK 99664.
Ralph was born on Sept. 2, 1924, in Unalaska, Alaska, son of Peter K. and Annie Swanson Hatch who met and worked at the Jesse Lee Home. He grew up in Seward from the age of 7, where he attended school and joined the US Army during WWII. He met his wife, Anne, a school teacher, at the Seward Memorial United Methodist Church in 1946.
Ralph began commercial fishing with his father and brother, owning many boats in his lifetime. He also worked as a longshoreman, for The Alaska Railroad until the '64 Earthquake and USPS. He fished well into his eighties in Resurrection Bay, Cook Inlet, and Prince William Sound.
As was common in Alaska, Ralph was a subsistence hunter and gatherer, knowledgeable about mushrooms, gold panning, clam digging, nutrition. He enjoyed square dancing, card playing and Wall Street, which became a new vocation and interest in retirement. He served on The Wesleyan Nursing Home Board, church boards and other committees. He loved spending time with family at the summer cabin in Hope, Alaska, and the family made many trips to his folks' set-net site in Cohoe, Alaska.
His traveled to Las Vegas, Arizona and Wisconsin centered around family members. He was a 6-time winner of the Mount Marathon Race, an avid reader and once remarked that of anything in the world, music gave him his greatest joy!
He loved having family near and kept his treat drawer stocked with candy and gum. Sunday brunch after church was a time anyone could come and enjoy sourdough pancakes. Fourth of Julys were special, turning into family reunions and visits with friends from far and near. Always happy to welcome yet another great-grandchild, the little ones gravitated to him and he loved them very much. He often made milkshakes, ice cream cones and floats to share. He kept a skiff on the lawn so kids could pile in and play, he mounted a buoy swing in the cottonwood tree, and took them hooligan fishing. He was always ready for a game of cribbage or Panguingue, and his baked beans were famous.
In addition to Anne, his beloved wife of seventy years, he is survived by his sister, Julia (Robert) Keefe; his five children, Carol, Barbara, Arne (Melody), David (Robyn) and Elizabeth; thirteen grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Seward Memorial United Methodist Church, Box 5, Seward, AK 99664 or Seward Area Hospice, Inc. (SAH) Box 1331, Seward, AK 99664 in his memory are welcome.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Nov. 28, 2018.