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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

William Orville Hatch

William O. Hatch passed away in the early morning of April 2, 2024 with his loving wife,
Donna, by his side.

Bill, born on May 15, 1947 to William and Irene Hatch (Hallett), was the firstborn of five children.The eventual Eagle Scout, gave his parents and grandparents, Orville and Eleanor VanZile, a run for their money, right up until he left high school early to enlist in the United States Marine Corp.

While serving from 1965-1968, Bill earned both his high school diploma and obtained the rank of Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp. During his time in the Marines, Bill was deployed to Vietnam and has always been extremely proud of serving his country. “Once a Marine, always a Marine” was something that Bill would often say and he lived that motto, embodying all the characteristics of a Marine throughout his entire life. Battling cancer not once, but twice, he displayed courage, grit, strength and tenacity; an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corp, Bill attended the Automation Institute in Anaheim, CA, where he earned a Data Processing Certificate. Bill knew his home was always meant to be back in the Canisteo Valley, so he returned to the East Coast shortly after finishing his certification. Settling into a career working with computers in the early 1970’s was risky and many told him to get out of that field, but Bill saw future potential for the technology.

As any brave Marine would do, he ventured out on his own and built his payroll company, calling it William O. Hatch Enterprises, later to be changed to Staffing and Payroll Solutions, Inc. With the support of his wife and many hard-working employees, his business flourished through the decades. Bill’s largest client was the McDonald’s fast food chain and thus refused to eat at the competition, going to his grave never having eaten a Whopper.

While building his business, Bill decided to move his family to the most remote place in Steuben County he could think of, Howard, NY. It was there that Bill and Donna acquired 20 original acres of land and then proceeded to add hundreds of additional acres throughout the next 40 years.

Bill was an avid hunter, fisherman and champion of wildlife preservation. He knew it was our
responsibility to preserve land for generations to come, so Bill spent a lot of his time conserving and enhancing his land, building ponds for fish to flourish and creating an animal sanctuary. This little slice of Heaven that he cared for and protected, allowed him to offer guided hunting excursions for Veterans and other like minded sportsmen.

Early in his life, Bill became interested in the political arena and after running a successful
campaign for a family friend, he decided to throw his hat in the ring. Bill became a member of the Steuben County Republican Committee and held different positions in the party right up until his retirement. One of his most memorable moments was greeting President George W. Bush as he disembarked from Air Force One on a visit to NY many years ago.

He was most proud of his time spent as the elected Chairman of the Steuben County GOP and admired many of the folks he met and worked with during his tenure. A lifelong Republican, Bill knew that it was ok to agree to disagree in politics, and that no matter your political affiliation, an educated argument was a good argument. In addition to holding elected positions, Bill believed in giving back to the community by volunteering for many organizations such as the Rotary, Boy Scouts, VFW, Legion and many others.

Bill is survived by his wife of 49 years, Donna Hatch (Peek), whom he married in an elopement to Las Vegas and where their car promptly broke down on the strip, possibly foreshadowing their wild, crazy and wonderful life together. Bill and Donna missed their 50th anniversary by less than two months, but in true Bill fashion, he made sure to get his blushing bride a gift before setting off into the sunset.

Bill also leaves behind his 3 children, Sara Balliett, Richard Young (Nancy) and Bruce Crane (Dawn); his grandchildren, Amelia Balliett, Meghan Young, Nicholas Young, Benjamin Young, Brayden Young, Matthew Crane, Joe Feligno and Megan Belanger; his great grandchildren, Elliott Young, Madelynn Young, Owen Young, Maia Crane and Theodore Feligno.