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Obituary – Daniel “Doc” Hatch

Daniel Edwin Hatch (Doc), son of Joel and Aileen (Meadows) Hatch, was born on June 9, 1938, in St. Louis, Missouri. He passed from this world on January 17, 2024, in Columbia, Missouri, at the age of 85.

Dan was united in marriage to Josephine (Cookie) Hatch on August 8, 1974. They enjoyed 49 wonderful years together. Dan was a long-time member of the Licking United Methodist Church and a devout Christian. He taught Sunday school, gave numerous lay sermons, worked with the youth, and served on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee.

Dan is preceded in death by his parents, Joel and Aileen Hatch, and brother, Robert Hatch. He is survived by his loving wife, Cookie Hatch; children, David Hatch (wife, Pam) and Melissa Lewis (husband, Randy); grandchildren, Brooke Offutt, Ginger Smith (husband, Ryan), Tim Lewis (wife, Chelsea), Angela Gossett, and Tala Woodham (husband, James); great-grandchildren, Camden, Cason, Aubree, Liam, Jev, Judith, Brayden, Chelsea, Courtney, and Ophelia.    

Dan went to Licking High School and graduated in 1956. Upon graduation, he decided he wanted nothing more to do with education so moved to Bakersfield, California, to work. After a time, he moved back to Columbia, Missouri, and started taking college classes at the University of Missouri. He liked them so much he ended up with a Master’s Degree in Biology and Wildlife Management (class of 1965). He then took a teaching job in Chadron, Nebraska, and taught for three years. After that, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and obtained his PhD in Biology and Zoology at the University of Nebraska (class of 1972). Dan moved back to Licking in 1972 to take over his father’s insurance agency (Hatch Insurance Agency) but decided he was not an insurance agent. He wanted to teach! Dan began teaching at Licking High School in 1976, teaching Biology courses, Chemistry, and Speech. He retired in 2001 but continued to teach part-time. He “officially” retired in May 2020. During this time, Dan sponsored and advised many clubs and organizations at school, including Speech and Debate, National Forensic League, National Honor Society, Science Club, Stream Team, and the Envirothon Team. He started annual projects such as science fair and insect collections. The kids loved him for making learning interesting and fun. Dan received Teacher of the Year in 2009-2010 and again in 2018-2019. He also received Conservation Education Educator of the Year in 2015.

Beyond teaching, Dan enjoyed conducting bird surveys for the Department of the Interior, was a compiler for the Texas/Dent County Christmas Bird Count, served on the board for the Texas County Museum, was a member of the Ozark Rivers Audubon Chapter-Rolla and the Missouri Trout Fisherman’s Association, was a field consultant for the Missouri Department of Conservation, managed Shadowmere Forest Farms, and participated in community theatre productions. He loved bird watching, turkey hunting, fishing, hunting morel mushrooms, looking for Indian artifacts, and a good Mizzou or Kansas City football game.

Dan was a beloved husband and father. He was also a beloved teacher, colleague, mentor and friend. He touched so many lives and was always willing to share his knowledge and love of life, leading us all to be inspired to be better “huuuuumaaaaans!” 

A memorial visitation for Doc was held on Monday, January 22, 2024, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Licking United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life was held on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at 11 a.m. at the Licking United Methodist Church with Pastor Bob McQueen officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dan’s name can be made to the Licking Sonshine & Rainbow Day School or Ozark Rivers Audubon Chapter-Rolla, Mo. Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at

1 Comment

  1. Moloney’s ofFlorida on January 23, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    Such a Beautiful Memorial! How fortunate we are…that WE have crossed paths!
    Our deepest condolence’s and prayers!
    Bob and Sally Moloney

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