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Richard L. Hatch

1927 - 2018
Richard L. Hatch Obituary
Richard L. Hatch
Of Shirley


SHIRLEY - Richard Lindbergh Hatch, 91, of Shirley, passed on Thursday, May 31, 2018. He was born at home in Shirley where he continued to reside for 91 years, sleeping in the same bedroom in which he was born. Richard was named after American aviator Charles Lindbergh and was the youngest of six children born to Roy O. Hatch, Sr. and Eva K. Libby. He is survived by his beautiful bride of 70 years Dorothy E. (Edwards) Hatch. Richard attended elementary school in Shirley, having Lura A. White as a teacher. As a young boy, he used his own wagon to carry books when his classroom moved to the new Lura A. White School. He attended Ayer High School, which he left early to join the United States Navy during WWII, and received an honorary graduation diploma in 1999 recognizing those who left high school to join the war effort. Before joining the Navy, Richard would go to Hunting Hill in Lunenburg with his dad as part of the Civil Air Patrol based in Fitchburg, keeping watch for enemy planes that may approach the area during that wartime. Richard was known by many names: Sparky, Chief, X-Chief, Cap'n Crunch, Dirt Guy & Commissioner just to name

a few.

Richard always had a passion for fire service; as a young boy living near the fire station, he would hear the fire alarm sound and run down the hill from his house to open the fire station doors for the firemen to exit with their trucks. If the fire alarm sounded while he was at school he would allow the custodian, a volunteer fireman, to borrow his bike to ride to the fire station. Richard later joined the Shirley Fire Department in 1946 and went on to earn the role of Fire Chief in 1971. While in high school, Richard worked as a night watchman at the Sampson Cordage Works rope factory, where his father was the Superintendent. He then worked for the P.J. Keating Co., where he always said it was like attending a trade school, as he learned how to maintain and run many types of engines and machinery. Learning those skills led him to start his own business in 1953 known as Richard Hatch Excavating, whose slogan was 'For the latest dirt, call us.' He continued that business for over 60 years.

Richard was very involved with the community, wearing many hats, serving the town of Shirley in various capacities, namely: American Legion Post #183 Commander in 1962, Charter Member of the Planning Board serving for 27 years, Clerk of the Works for the Lura A. White School 1961 Addition, Member of the Shirley Fire Department for 26 years, Chief of the Shirley Fire Department, Chairman of the Fire Station Building Committee, Shirley Water District Board of Water Commissioners from 1977-2018 (Chairman 1986-2018) , Revised Zoning By-Law Citizens Advisory Committee , Zoning By-Law Committee, Master Plan Review Committee, Groundwater Protection Study Committee, Groundwater Protection Overlay District Study Committee, Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB), Recycling Committee, Caretaker of the town landfill for 35 years, trash collection contractor (Cap'n Crunch) for the Town for over 20 years, MCI Community Relations Committee, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission member for 34 years (Chairman 1984-1986), Montachusett Regional Transit Authority Representative from Shirley, 1992 Fiscal Policy Committee, Fort Devens Citizens Advisory Committee, Wastewater Committee, Clerk of the Works for the Sewer Project, New Middle School Site and Building Committee, Clerk of the Works for New Middle School (punch list). Richard received the Robert E. Lewis Award from the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, which is given to individuals who have advanced the community through their contributions. Always available to help, he assisted the town of Shirley with his countless hours of community service, talent, and efforts. Never truly retiring, Richard remained active throughout town and especially with the Shirley Water District, which named a water storage tank in his honor during a surprise ceremony in 2013. The Richard L. Hatch Water Storage Tank is a 750 thousand gallon hyrdopillar located in Lancaster, MA and serves areas in both Shirley & Lancaster.

He had a great wealth of knowledge and a heart full of kindness, coupled with a wonderful sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. In addition to his wife Dorothy, Richard is survived by his son Timothy, daughter Rhonda and son-in-law Louis Caissie, granddaughter Wesley Caissie, sister-in-law Dorothy S. Hatch and many nieces and nephews who thought the world of their 'Uncle Dick'. He was predeceased by his daughter Linda (1949) and son Richard 'Ricky' (1959), as well as brothers Robert, Gordon, Howard II, Roy Jr. and sister Shirley Hatch Griffin.

A memorial service for Richard will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at The First Parish Meeting House on Shirley Center Common, 41 Brown Road, Shirley, MA. All are welcome to attend.
Published in Nashoba Publishing on Oct. 5, 2018
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