Sheila B. Hatch of Eastham and Stratham, N.H. died peacefully on Oct. 23, 2023 at Cedar Healthcare Center in Portsmouth, N.H. The cause of death was not reported by the family. She was 80.
The daughter of Walter L. Benedict and Patricia G. Benedict, Sheila was born on April 30, 1943 in Stoneham, where she grew up. She graduated from Stoneham Senior High School in 1961.
During her school years Sheila was a Girl Scout and received the Girl Scouts’ highest award, the curved bar. She spent many years doing ballet and often was the lead dancer in performances. She also played basketball and was on the carnival ball and yearbook committees.
Sheila had early ties to the Outer Cape. Her grandparents, Walter and Margaret Gavin, had a summer cottage on the bay side of Eastham, and her parents built a cottage nearby. They spent many summers together. Sheila often spoke about a little boat named Sandy from her childhood years.
The Gavins opened a coffee shop by the Eastham windmill, where Sheila and her best friend, Ada, worked during the summer while in high school.
As an adult, Sheila held many jobs from housecleaning to retail positions, including working for Watson’s clothing store in Orleans. She later opened her own shop on Brackett Road in North Eastham called Special T’s, which offered custom-made T-shirts and gifts.
After her father died, Sheila sold her house and moved to New Hampshire to be closer to her son Jim and his family as well as her friend Ada, with whom she lived in her later years.
“My two older brothers, Chris and Jim, and I remember our mom as a kind person and hard working,” Sheila’s son Matt wrote in an email.
She is survived by her three sons, Christopher and Matthew Hatch of Eastham and James Hatch of Saco, Maine, and by her longtime friend Ada Dolloff of Stratham, N.H.
Sheila is also survived by many grandchildren: Rhyanna and Katrina Hatch of Eastham; Stephanie Speckin and husband Steve of Kennebunk, Maine; Kimberly Beaupre and husband Brian of Biddeford, Maine; Natalie Hatch and husband Owen of Biddeford; and Delaney and Becks Hatch of Biddeford; in addition to four great-grandchildren: Charlotte, Ayla, Emme, and Kennedy.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on May 18, 2024 at the Evergreen Cemetery in Eastham. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Sheila’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 15 Constitution Drive, Suite 1G, Bedford, N.H. 03110 or to the American Cancer Society, 38 Chauncy St., Suite 700, Boston 02111.