Col. John Franklin Hatch, Jr., (Ret), died at home in peace, surrounded by family, in The Woodlands, Texas, on Tuesday morning, August 25, 2020. He was 85.
Hatch was an honest and principled man who loved his wife, his family and his country.
Born and raised in Middletown, Rhode Island, Hatch was a career military officer, combat engineer and veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1969. He proudly served as district engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District in Memphis from 1981 to 1984. He earned numerous commendations for his service, including a Bronze Star.
Retiring after 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, he began his second career as an engineer, working overseas in the Middle East and later in Houston. He passed the Texas Board of Professional Engineers exam after he returned to the States to continue his civilian career. He led the construction team for the Houston Astros ball field, Minute Maid Park.
Hatch earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Rhode Island, where he was a member of the ROTC and earned his commission as a second lieutenant upon graduation in 1957. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Texas A&M in 1961 and a Master of Business Administration from Columbus College (now Columbus State University) in 1987.
Hatch loved the game of golf and its camaraderie. He regularly enjoyed a round with his friends and family. His wife, Anne, often joined him on the course, as well as on trips to play world-renowned courses. For years, he refereed youth basketball games and umpired Little League ballgames. He adored his grandchildren and loved watching them play soccer, basketball and golf.
Hatch is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Anne, his daughter, Cheryl, of Middletown, RI; son, J, and his wife, Birgit, of Idstein, Germany; son, Michael, his wife, Christa, and grandchildren, Alison and Christopher, of The Woodlands, TX; his brother, Robert Hatch, and his wife, Jessica; his brother, Richard Hatch, and his wife, Joyce; and numerous nieces and nephews.
His daughter Karen Hatch, of Houston, TX died on January 8, 2021 after a brief illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in John Hatch’s name and memory to one of the following: the Fisher House Foundation https://fisherhouse.org/ for military families; M.D. Anderson Center https://www.mdanderson.org/ for cancer patients and research; Trinity Church https://www.trinitynewport.org/give/; or to the charity or hospice organization of your choice.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Trinity Church, Spring Street, Newport. A private burial with military honors will follow.