Freeman C. Hatch IV of Eastham died peacefully on Sept. 21, 2022 of pancreatic cancer at the McCarthy Care Center in Sandwich. He was 82.
The son of the late Freeman Hatch III and Rachel J. (Kruschwitz) Hatch, Freeman was born on April 9, 1940 in Lawrence but lived in Eastham for most of his life. He was a descendant of Freeman Doane Hatch, a ship’s captain from Eastham, famous for an 1853 voyage of the 180-foot clipper Northern Light from San Francisco to Boston in record time.
After studying at Northeastern University, Freeman returned to Eastham. With his father, he founded a construction company called Freeman Hatch and Son. They built the Great Pond Cottage Colony and many other cottages and houses in Eastham and elsewhere on the Outer Cape.
His daughter Johanna recalled driving with her father near Drummer’s Cove in Wellfleet, where he casually pointed out a cottage he had built. He was modest about the extent of his construction work, she said.
Eastham police records show that from 1968 to 1983 Freeman served as a nighttime summer patrolman and special forces police officer.
According to his son Matt, Freeman loved being on the marsh looking for ducks with binoculars. He also loved duck hunting in season. He would hang the ducks he bagged on the side of the house, a visual memory that remains vivid for Johanna.
Matt recalled how Freeman would take him for rides to his favorite beaches, and Johanna remembered how much he loved to fish. He would charter a boat in the summer to take his family out on the water. Those trips often turned into contests. He wanted to land the biggest fish, and when he didn’t, he reacted with exaggerated, half-humorous unhappiness, Johanna said.
That competitiveness extended to games, and he would get upset when he lost at Monopoly. “It was really only a show,” Johanna noted. One of Matt’s fondest memories is of his father teaching him to play cribbage.
Freeman loved rooting for the Red Sox, but his greatest joy was his family. He was the father of a blended family, Johanna said, who treated his biological and stepchildren exactly the same.
“He never separated the kids as his and hers,” Johanna said. “He loved us all and took great pride in every one of his seven children and his grandchildren.”
“He was a great father,” Matt added.
He is survived by his sister, Paula J. Dessi of Eastham; his children, Christopher Hatch of Eastham, James Hatch of Biddeford, Maine, Matthew Hatch of Eastham, Johanna Hatch and husband Evan Creed of Verona, Wisc., Miranda and husband Kevin Stewart of Horsham, Pa., William Caron and wife Patty of North Eastham, and Charles Caron and wife Linda of Mooresville, N.C.; his longtime companion, Jean Torppey of Eastham; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews across the country.
Freeman was predeceased by his wife, Claire E. Hatch.
A graveside memorial will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Eastham at 11 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2023, followed by a reception.
Editor’s note: Because of incorrect information given to the Independent, an earlier version of this obituary, published in print on Oct. 6, gave the wrong date for the memorial in Eastham, which will take place on Aug. 19, 2023. Also, Freeman Hatch served as a police officer in Eastham until 1983, not 2003.