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Richard Chauncey Hatch

Norwich, Vt. — Richard “Dick” Chauncey Hatch passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, surrounded by family and friends. Born Aug. 1, 1925, in Fairlee, Vt., the son of Chauncey Hatch and Elsie Porter,

Dick grew up in Fairlee and Thetford, Vt. with his younger sister, Marjorie. He served in the US Army during World War II from 1943-1946 in the Military Police and the Corps of Engineers, with stations in Germany, France, and the Philippines. Returning to Thetford after the war he was happy to find his childhood sweetheart Carolyn Ruth Jones had “waited for him.” They were married Sept. 25, 1949, in Carolyn’s backyard in East Thetford, Vt. They had a son, William Russell, in 1951, and another, Richard Calvin, in 1954, after which they moved to Norwich, where his family had founding roots and which was his residence until his passing.

From 1961 until 1996, he was a custodian and crossing guard at the Marion Cross School in Norwich. Generations of children there remembered him as “Mr. Hatch,” someone who cheered them up with high-fives, lighthearted jokes, and affectionate nicknames. According to Hanover High School English teachers, every year without fail at least one freshman would fulfill their assignment to write a speech about someone they admired by writing about “Mr. Hatch.”

It was Dick’s disarming combination of playfulness, humility, and affection that won him such admiration. He was rarely upset; instead the world seemed to eternally keep him amused. He was generous with old Yankee phrases and in his company there was always a reason to laugh, and if there wasn’t he invented a reason. His favorite hobbies were collecting license plates, listening to country and bluegrass music, watching Patriots football, and feeding the birds in his yard, which knew where to come for the good stuff.

In his 88 years he was blessed with family and friends who recognized how special he was. He formed especially close bonds with several of his neighbors, who were like family to him and who cared for him as such. He was proud to be living independently and still driving until his last month. He was predeceased in 1990 by his wife of 40 years, Carolyn, and is survived by: his sister, Marjorie Holmes; his son, William and daughter-in-law, Jill; his son, Richard and daughter-in-law, Deborah; his grandson, Michael, his grandson, Christopher and his wife Laurie, his grandson, Jeremy and his wife, Megan; his granddaughter, Katherine Martin and her husband, Christopher Martin; and his two great-grandchildren, Brayden and Layla.

Memorial calling hours will be held 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home in Hanover, N.H. Condolences can also be left at www.rand-wilson.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to VINS in Quechee or The Wounded Warrior Project. He will be interred in the East Thetford Cemetery, next to his wife, whom he loved every day until his last.