Rachel Hatch, a longtime resident of Eastham, died peacefully of natural causes at the Pleasant Bay Nursing Home in Brewster on May 5, 2021. She was 100.
Rachel was born on Sept. 15, 1920 at home in North Andover, the eighth of Paul and L.C. Khruschwitz’s 10 daughters. She graduated from Johnson High School before attending Essex Agricultural School, where she completed a two-year course in needlework.
In 1939, she married Freeman Hatch III, a member of an illustrious Eastham family that included Capt. Freeman Doane Hatch, who in 1853 completed the passage from San Francisco to Boston in the clipper Northern Light in only 76 days.
Although she was a stay-at-home mom, Rachel helped her husband, who had a construction business, build the Great Pond Cottage Colony in Eastham in 1957. They ran the colony together until Freeman’s death in 1990.
Rachel’s daughter, Paula, remembers her mother as “firm but very fair.” Paula recalled that her mother taught her that right was right and wrong was wrong, and also insisted on her children’s civic participation. Rachel’s own mother had proudly cast her first vote the year Rachel was born, and she instilled in her 10 daughters the importance of that act. Rachel took that to heart and passed on her commitment to democracy to her children.
Rachel loved yard sales (she held many of her own), and she knew antiques. She especially enjoyed the wheeling and dealing leading to a high-quality purchase.
During the 30 years of her widowhood, Rachel loved to travel. She toured Europe by car with a small group of friends, traveled throughout the continental United States, often went to Hawaii with her sisters, and had a special fondness for Bermuda.
She also enjoyed a good game of golf. She played at the Eastward Ho! in Chatham in the summer and at the Myerlee Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla. in the winter.
Each year on her birthday, Rachel’s children would take her out to dinner. She was partial to the Yorkshire pudding at Anthony’s Cummaquid Restaurant and appreciated the free desserts she received at the Lobster Claw. Because of Covid-19, she had to celebrate her 100th birthday remotely from the nursing home.
Rachel leaves her daughter, Paula Dessi, and son, Freeman Hatch, both of Eastham, in addition to six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at noon at Evergreen Cemetery in Eastham. There will be a gathering at 35 Hatch Way after the service. Family and friends are invited to attend.