Sermon and Eulogy for E.L. Hatch, by George W. Hirst
Lee Hatch was born Nov. 7,1917 in Plymouth lll to John K. and Bessie M. Powell Hatch. He married Nina L. Guess on September 11, 1942 ln Kansas City, Mo. Survived by three sons, Thomas L. (Stephanie)Hatch of Dunlap, Dennis E. Hatch and John M. (and Kandas) Hatch both of Wyoming. Seven grandchildren, one great-granddaughter; two sisters, Ruth Curlew, Tuscola, and Lois Dowell, Falls Church, Va., and several nieces and nephews.
Schooled in Plymouth, spent one year at Western lll University, Macomb. Served 4 and 1/2 years in the US Army with the 715th RR BN in Africa and Italy. Retired in 1979 from the CB&Q Railroad after 40 years as an agent and telegraph operator.
A longtime member of 1st Cong'l UCC, Wyoming on the Trustee and Deacon Boards, taught Sunday School, was SS Superintendent. Past Master Wyoming AF&AM and served as secretary for many years. An honorable member of Galva Lodge and past patron of Wyoming Ch. 8 of Order of Eastern Star. Helped organize Cub Scouts in Wyoming. A life time member of Wyoming American Legion, Post 91 and served on Stark County Relief Board.
He died Sept 16th, 2007 Visitation 9/19 - 6-8PM and Wyoming Funeral Home. Services at Ist Cong'l UCC on 9/20 at 1 PM (with The Rev Joe Ballard. Burial in Wyoming Cemetery.
Celebration of A Faithful Servant
"Who is the faithful and wise Servant? He is the one his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of food in the proper time. How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home. Indeed, l tell you the master will put that servant in charge of all his property." Luke 12:42-44
Before l share my thoughts about Lee and, his church and his community, l want to say something to his sons and their wives and children. He was a hard working man.
He taught you all the value of work. He, like all other fathers loved you all in various ways. Do not mourn his loss, celebrate his life with you and for you - and remember him as a man of community ..... who always did what he thought was best.
To Nina: You know, dear friend, he was a good husband and friend. Be glad for. who he was and what he did.
To the rest of us, l will share with you how Lee related to me as a faithful servant. Not just in the congregation bbut also with each of us.
Lee and I had problems from the very beginning - I missed the point, I failed to see the greatness in this faithful servant. I was awakened this morning and jolted into truly appreciating what and who Lee was and that he did things-- often in spite of me
Let me see if I can make you hear. Servants don't create jobs, they do the jobs, do the menial tasks that must be done for the sake of the world. Our Master gives us — love - He gives us inspiration - We need to love and inspire others — providing the muscle and the work that completes the love. Now for my stories of my fellow servant.
Lee came up to me after I had finished preaching my candidacy sermon in 1971. The vote to call had not yet been taken. He said, "What do you mean by Liberal, by Social Action, by Community Involvement? Since I had successfully served two churches in Illinois, had helped both of them build buildings and had at least ten years serving in the Illinois Conference, I gave him "short shrift" Ã¢â‚¬â€ I said, "you will find out if you vote to call me as your pastor."
Now. I knew he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees but I did not know (until now) about his service on the Diacon Board, Teaching Sunday School, Sunday School Superintendent. Lee's and my relationship turned on that answer the whole time we worked together in our church. I had used the questioned terms because I wanted to be sure that this congregation knew about my theology and how I served a church and its community. My liberal theology and my practice of being involved in community affairs kept our relationship on an edge. I treated him as a Trustee (who wouldn't trust)- when actually he was a servant who worked in the congregation wearing many hats and who
wanted to know what changes might occur.
The way I worked with the young people-- I brought in teens from all over the community, we had the only youth group in town for awhile. We had a few teens, but the group numbered as many as thirty for awhile. We had all sorts of gatherings including all night meetings. I met with people who had concerns for people in need and I did counseling outside our congregation. All of this, of course, made him uneasy. Apparently no one had ever served our church that way. So he was right to ask the questions.
By the time we got to solving the leaky roof problem and carried it out by redoing the tower and adding a new inside entrance, Lee and I were working together. He learned what my approach to ministry meant and how it worked. He still was not sure, but it worked- but being a faithful servant of the church, he accepted our ministry as it changed.
But he also taught me ...... Of all the Trustee Board chairpersons, Lee was the best. He taught me that those of us (he and I and all the rest) were servants of the Church, who then performed the tasks of helping Go's people. In my years as Pastor of this congregation, Lee always kept an eye on our buildings doing whatever was necessary
During the Cold War (remember those years? Lee was an airplane spotter. I will cherish the years of effort with Lee --I will remember him as a quiet spoken man whose thoughts, words and deeds were always to the point. And who Nina reminded me had winning ways.
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