SHIRLEY -- The selectmen on Monday night noted with regret the loss of Richard Lindbergh Hatch, 91, who died in late May, shortly after marking his 70th wedding anniversary with wife Dorothy, who survives him, along with their son, Tim and daughter, Rhonda

"He put together this town's water system," Chairman Enrico Cappucci said of Hatch. "He was proud of it."

A former firefighter who once served as chief, Hatch also served on various town boards and committees over the years, including several terms on the Planning Board.

In recent years, he represented the town on the railway advisory committee of the Montachusett Area Regional Transit Authority, or MART.

For decades after he retired from the excavating business he owned and operated, Hatch was probably best known for his work as a Water District Commissioner showing up at the district office most days, as regular as clockwork.

"He was recognized as a leader," Cappucci said, noting that the Water District is an independent entity, separate from town government. "He worked hard at it."

Water Commissioner Anne Towne, who worked with Hatch for many years, recalled his long term dedication to public service. "He will be missed," she said.

In a brief chat after the meeting, Towne recalled Hatch's historic knowledge, how well he knew the town's geographical layout and how he could retrieve data on cue.


If someone came in asking for a district-related fact or a figure that Hatch couldn't come up with off hand, he'd pull out the notebook he kept in his shirt pocket. The information you were looking for would usually be in there, she said.