Robert's Story

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Robert (Bob) Dean Hatch of Willsboro, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 1st, 2017, from complications due to Alzheimer's Disease. He was 89 years old. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Moses Hatch, and three children from previous marriages: Roberta Hatch of San Bruno, Calif., David Hatch of Astoria, N.Y., and Irene Hatch of Middletown, Conn. He also has two granddaughters, Julia and Johanna Thelen, who reside in Connecticut.
Bob was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on June 26, 1928, to Kenneth Gallagher and Victoria Louise Gallagher. His childhood years were spent in various locations, including Syracuse and Albany, N.Y.; Pittsfield, Mass.; and Yonkers, N.Y. Summers were spent in Willsboro, N.Y., at the "camp" overlooking Lake Champlain. Willsboro was a beloved destination for Bob and his family and descendants for nearly 90 years.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after graduation from high school and spent several years working for General Curtis LeMay at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC. The general offered him an appointment at West Point, but he turned this down in order to attend college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He graduated in 1953 with a BS in Electrical Engineering.
After graduation Bob worked for North American Aviation in Los Angeles, in charge of recording and photographic equipment on fighter jets. After a year he returned to the Albany area to work for General Electric. In this position he was assigned work on several "top secret" projects for the government, designing and installing surveillance antennas in Greenland and on Ascension Island off the coast of Africa.
In 1965 he earned his Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from RPI and took a professor position at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich. This is perhaps when his lifelong love for teaching began. He was a professor there for 30 years, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1996. Even after retirement, he still taught as an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona during his winter visits there. He also taught at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Throughout his life Bob was known for his optimistic, affable personality, his good sense of humor, and his ability to start a friendly conversation with just about anyone. He found his "one true love" later in life through his 1997 marriage to Barbara Moses Hatch. Barbara and Bob ran a bed and breakfast together for many years from that time until 2013, and he very much enjoyed helping around the property and chatting with their various guests.
Sometimes it seemed like his second true love was golf, which he played regularly beginning at the age of three until just a couple of years before his death.
A fortune he saved from a cookie was taped to the lamp on his desk: "The purpose of life is to love and be loved."
A memorial service will be held in early summer in Willsboro, N.Y.
Published on October 21, 2017
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