CASTINE — Laura Gray Hatch, 95, died June 23, 2015 in Camden, Maine. She was born to Henry and Minnie Clement Gray on Nov. 30, 1919, in Hardwick, Vt., where her father had relocated the family to work as a granite cutter.
Laura moved with her family back to their home on the Bagaduce River in Penobscot when she was a young girl. She was educated in Penobscot, graduated from Clark High School and attended the Eastern State Normal School where she met her husband, Merton “Spunk” Hatch. They were married in 1939.
Laura, who began her career as a teacher, took her first political plunge in 1960 when she was elected town tax collector in Castine. Since there were no offices in the Town Hall, people came to her home at all hours of the day and night to pay their taxes and register their cars, a system that worked well as she was also busy raising four sons at the time. Laura served as town tax collector for more than 30 years and on her retirement in the early 1990s, the Castine selectmen designated Jan. 28 as Laura Hatch Day. Always an active member of the community, she was past president of the Castine Woman’s Club and an honorary director of the Castine Historical Society, she served as a member of the Castine Cemetery Committee, the Mary Cushman Circle and a was longtime member of the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine.
In her younger years, she could often be found playing doubles on the tennis court or traveling the country visiting family and friends. She was known to start a conversation with a stranger wherever she went. Laura’s strong character and determination never diminished.
Laura was predeceased by her husband, her brother Harold Gray, and her eldest son Harold Babcock Hatch. She is survived by her sons, Stephen of North Andover, Mass.; James of Prospect; David (Susan) of Castine; daughter-in-law Andrea of Castine and Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Grammie/Gram/Miggie” was a devoted grandmother to her nine grandchildren, James (Amy) of Tacoma, Wash.; Sarah Hatch-Wright (Fred), Mark (Anne), all of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Marc of Sparks, N.Y.; Marcie Bradley (Devin) of Truckee, Calif.; James (Teri) of Bangor; Matthew (Stacey) of Pittsfield; Betsy Libby (Jason) of New Gloucester, and Joshua (Vanessa) of Sedgwick. She also leaves 15 great-grandchildren who made her smile, Wesley Wright, Adabelle Wright, Katherine Hatch, Heather Hatch, Shauna Hatch, Moriah-May Hatch, AJ Hatch, Jonathan Hatch, Emelyn Hatch, Carter Libby, Jackson Libby, Jameson Hatch, Ellery Bradley, Oakley Hatch and Sarah Hatch.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Windward Gardens in Camden for their support and kindness.
There will be a celebration of Laura’s life on Friday, July 10, 2015, 2 p.m. at the Trinitarian Congregational Parish Church, Main St., Castine. Those who wish to remember Laura in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine, P.O. Box 108, Castine, ME 04421, or to the Castine Historical Society, P.O. Box 238, Castine, ME 04421.