In Memory

Sandy Hatch

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

03/23/14 08:45 PM #1    

Bruce McCormick

I knew you from grade school; you were my friend.

Until we meet again-

06/13/14 07:41 PM #2    

Debbie Wagener (Mumm)

So sorry to hear of Sandy's passing.  She had the same spinal surgery as me and we drew comfort from each other that we had to wear horrible casts for most of a year in high school.

Debbie Wagener Mumm

10/12/14 09:13 PM #3    

George Drew

I was at NTE reunion this weekend.  At the time of Sandy's passing I wrote this eulogy of sorts and posted in the class website created at the last reunion.  This Saturday I was asked by many to re-post it.  I do hope it reflects how many loved and cared about Sandy.  From 2006...


Dear Classmates,


On Wednesday, our classmate, Sandy Hatch died in Glenview, IL.  I was at her funeral yesterday and as I drove back to Michigan last night, I reflected on her life and death.  As a physician that makes his living on the midnight shift in an inner city emergency department, her death seemed familiar to me. However, having been this particular “patient’s” high school boyfriend and having grown up with her now grieving sisters, I was afforded a completely different perspective on an all to common occurrence in my professional life.  

After a long and unhappy struggle with alcoholism, Sandy finally succumbed to an illness that had claimed both her mother and father. She was 49.

Although Sandy and I had a sputtering young kid’s relationship during and after high school, we stopped dating each other for good the summer after college.  This is not unusual; I imagine many people reading this can smile at such a relationship in their own youth. What was fun and worthwhile was that we stayed in touch and interested in each other lives throughout the years. We were present at each other’s weddings and she was an important guest at the Drew family parties that marked graduations and children’s christenings.  She and her grandfather watched and gave me support as my medical education progressed. “Pa,” as he was known, proudly hooded me at my at my medical school graduation and I was one of his pallbearers one year later.  During this time, Sandy started down that path her parents had walked and it claimed a heavy toll on her family and relationships.  It also arrested a career that never really started.  Alcoholism is not an express trip, but rather a slow bus ride. Sandy was on the local and made every stop. 

I need to point out it is not my intent to relate all the details of her life the last 30 years.  Quite frankly, I don’t know them all and it would be a violation of her privacy to attempt to do so.  Perhaps I have violated that privacy even up to this point.  However, it is very important to set the stage so that all of you reading this can understand just how important you were to her.

You see, Sandy never had children.  She never had a happy marriage.  She never drove a mini van full of little leaguers or hockey players.  She didn’t cut up orange wedges and she never explained the facts of life to a girl that looked just like her. She never stared down an obnoxious antagonist in a tense corporate board room.  She never had a lake house or took trips to Europe.  She had her beloved aunt, her sisters and… you.  As the years progressed, there were family estrangements, but she always had you.  One of the compelling aspects of her illness is that it often retards any real, permanent and measurable personal growth.  As such, it makes the previous happy times even more precious and valued.  I know from our many Christmas visits how much she cherished her high school and college years.  But most of all, she cherished her high school friends.  You.

Don’t be confused or misled.  This is not homage to a Springsteen’s “Glory Days” kind of life.  It is so much more that that.  As her life progressed, it was just evident that her most happy times were her youth.  Without the life events we have all had and perhaps even taken for granted, the relationships of her younger years commanded a much more important part of her life.  I think this is why she was so resistant to attend the reunions.  There was no shame on her part. That was NOT it.   She carried her head high her whole life.  I think it was much more to keep intact the world she loved so much.  In many ways, her life with all of you was her high water mark.  This is the important message I want to share with all of you.

It falls to me to thank all of you.  If you were in her corner during hard times, thank you.  If you laughed with her in her classes, thank you.  If you laid out by the pool with her, thank you.  If you danced with her at proms and graduation, thank you.  If you didn’t even know her and yet one day while walking by her in an empty hallway you smiled and nodded a greeting, thank you.  You were all so important to her.  You.

Besides her three sisters, there were eleven of us at her funeral.  There were five at her burial.  This is really not sad; this is timing.  Her illness took from her the future and made the present what it is.  In the end, it made her life small and private, but by no means did it make it insignificant. If she had had a tragic accident in 1974, there would have been hundreds at her service. She was loved by many.  I am quite sure she knew this and she was at peace at the time of her passing.

The pastor at her funeral made a point to offer that God does not see us as we were in the past, or as we are in the present or even as we will be in the future.  He simply sees us at our best.  Our very best.

As for me, I see Sandy flying down Sheridan Road in a bright orange Firebird.  Blonde hair and rock and roll spills out of the open driver’s window into the warm late May evening.  A forgotten winter is behind her and an endless summer is just two weeks and four exams away.


Go in Peace, Sandy; rest healed and whole.


12/29/19 06:29 PM #4    

Joe Goldman

George, that has got to be one of the most eloquent and superbly written eulogies I have ever read.  It hits with the force of a freight train.  Your writing skills are astounding.  Thanks for sharing all that.

go to top 
  Post Comment