Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Hatch to mark 100 years next week

FALLBROOK – Betty Hatch was born May 19, 1924, in Troy Ohio, the daughter of Harry & Blanch Helmick. With the famous depression in full swing the family, including her brother Maynard Helmick, moved to Glendale where her dad secured a job with Universal Studios.

There, she met her future husband Stephen Hatch Jr., and they were later married in 1943 before her husband's deployment to France with the U.S. Army. Her brother Maynard enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Unfortunately Maynard was "missing in action" in 1943, but he was not officially declared by the military as being dead until Jan. 30, 1944, which was one year and one day after he went missing as was the custom.

Maynard served as a machinist's mate second class on the U.S.S. Chicago (CA-29) with U.S. Navy during World War II. The U.S.S. Chicago was in the Battle of Rennell Island and it was first hit by two torpedoes, Jan. 29, and disabled. Multiple crewmen were lost in this first attack.

On Jan. 30, she was being towed to port when she was hit by four more torpedoes which caused more crewmen to be lost and the U.S.S. Chicago to sink. Maynard, who was in the engine room, was declared "missing in action" in the first attack on the Chicago. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Her husband Stephen was deployed to Antwerp Belgium for the march to Berlin in early 1945. At the same time Betty had her first child Stephen III Jan. 28, 1945. It was nine months before her husband would see his son upon return from the war.

The family settled in Sherman Oaks for a while and had a daughter Pamela. Later they moved to Northridge where the children grew up and went to college. They had a small ranch where they raised turkey's chickens and a herd of goats as well as fruit, walnut trees and a large vegetable garden.

Her husband worked for Marquart Aircraft Company while Betty began working with the Superior Optical Company. During this time the family enjoyed weekend trips throughout California and the Southwest.

In November 1989, her beloved husband contracted cancer and later died, leaving her a widow. That event prompted her to volunteer as a grief counselor at the Northridge Hospital.

On Jan. 17, 1994, her world was rocked by the Northridge earthquake. While the house suffered some damage, with the recent Northridge fires and the windy weather, Betty decided to move on to Simi Valley and later in 2009 moved to Fallbrook to live with her daughter Pamela.

There with her husband Donald Bullock, Pamela raised and bred basset hound puppies. Many of the dogs were featured in numerous dog shows and Betty became the center of attention. She loved to get out and visit with all the dog owners.

Betty also volunteered her time at the Angel Shop in Fallbrook helping with the displays.

With her limited mobility now, she spends her time reading and having visitors and grandchildren Rosie and Stephen as well as great grandchildren Lolo, Declan, Fiona and Ainsley stopping by sharing time together.

After her birthday in May, the family is planning a buffet luncheon at the Ponte Winery Barrel Room, June 2, where friends and relatives can enjoy getting together and visiting. Music will be provided by Randy Seymon, a well-known performer from Palm Springs.

 

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