On May 16, 2019, from the comfort of his own bed and surrounded by his family Colonel William (Bill) Hatch ultimately conquered the brain cancer he had valiantly fought since September of 2018.
Bill or “The Colonel” as his friends referred to him, graduated as a “Distinguished” West Point Military Academy graduate in 1972. He went on to earn a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and another Masters in National Security from the US Naval War College. He served 28 years of Active Duty Service as an Officer in both the Army’s Armored Divisions (tanks) and then later as an Army Aviator. During his career, he was recognized as a decorated Combat Commander of an Apache Attack Helicopter Battalion during Desert Storm. Upon retiring from the Army, Bill served an additional 10 plus years in the California National Guard in various capacities that included the Commander of the California National Guard’s Officer Candidate School, Commander of Camp San Luis Obispo and Commander of Camp Roberts in addition to other senior positions he held. His final assignment before retiring a second time was as the Director of the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) in San Luis Obispo, Calif. which trains California’s First Responders.
Bill’s service didn’t stop when he took off the uniform. He found a way to continue “giving” by becoming a member of the Atascadero Kiwanis Club and a board member for The American Red Cross. He would tell you though that one of the most rewarding times was leading the efforts to build the world-class “Faces of Freedom” Veterans Memorial now located in Atascadero, Calif. He spent two years working shoulder to shoulder with some of the most talented, committed and hard working patriots you could imagine and that their efforts brought that Memorial to life. Today it stands as a tribute to our nation’s military
Therefore, it seems only fitting that we should hold Bill’s Last Farewell at the Memorial that he so loved. The Public is invited to attend his Military Honors Ceremony and a reception on Saturday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at the “Faces of Freedom” Veterans Memorial located at the Atascadero Lake Park.
Bill is survived by his wife of 38 years Ann (Castles) Hatch from Stockton, Calif. Bill and Ann met in 1978 in Monterey, Calif. while Ann was attending a Registered Nurses Convention and Bill was stationed at Fort Ord. He is also survived by his three children: William J. Hatch II of Orcutt, Calif., Ashley A. Silveira of Templeton, Calif. and India L. Furber of Orcutt, Calif., and their families.