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Pat L. Hatch was born at home in Grand Junction, Colorado to Thelma and Clyde Hatch on April 4,1931. He spent his early years around the Grand Valley, camping and fishing on neighboring Grand Mesa. He spent his early school years in Los Angeles, California during WWII. Upon returning to the Grand Valley, Pat attended middle school and high school in Fruita. He played center on the Fruita Union football team and earned his letter.
After high school, Pat joined the Army and served overseas in Korea during that military action. Upon discharge, he attended Mesa College for two years, focusing on geology. The cowboy life was always an extremely important part of Pat’s youth and still attracted him as a young man. He joined a friend working on a dude ranch in Rifle, Colorado. While there, he met Sarah Holliman and they married September 18, 1958.
Shortly thereafter, Pat began a long career with the State of Colorado. He joined the Division of Wildlife in the fish division, moved to the game division, then transferred to the parks division where he served as the State Boating Law Administrator in the Denver office. He eventually returned to the fish division before retiring in 1991 after 30 years of service.
He and Sarah moved from Denver to Mancos, Colorado in 1994. In retirement, Pat volunteered at the Anasazi Heritage Center, Mesa Verde National Park, and the Colorado Welcome Center, Cortez. He was also an active member of the local archaeological group, Hisatsinom Chapter, Colorado Archaeological Society.
Pat had a wonderful and often self-deprecating sense of humor. He recounted funny stories about his cowboy and army days, and how he spent his career in charge of boats and fish, but he hated the water. His friends and family were favorite targets of constant teasing.
Pat died at home on January 6, 2021 after a slow, years-long decline from heart disease. His parents precede him in death. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sarah H. Hatch (Hollie) and his daughter, Sharon Kay Milholland, son-in-law David Milholland, and son, James Alan Hatch. A service is not planned in honor of Pat’s wishes.
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