April 29, 1940 - June 15, 2023
Bennie Richard Hatch, 83, of Edgemont, S.D., passed away June 15, 2023, at his home in Edgemont.
Bennie was born April 29, 1940 in Edgemont but spent most of his formative years on Fresno Street in Hot Springs. According to his sisters, he was ornery and mischievous and full of fun. He enjoyed working in his father’s salvage yard and racing cars on the ice at Stockade Lake.
He spent 13 years active duty at 7 different commands in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy and deployed to Vietnam multiple times. He was aboard the USS Graffias (AF-29); USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931); USS Yosemite (AD-19);USS Willis A Lee (DL-4) and USS Cascade (AD-16).
Bennie and Shirley were married in 1964 and moved to Newport R.I. He and Shirley spent his last enlistment in Naples, Italy which was the source of many family stories and memories.
Bennie was self employed and operated Village Repair for 50 years, first in Smithwick and later in Edgemont. He was always there for anyone that needed help with their automobile, tractor, truck, or custom welding needs. For many years he operated 24-hour towing, rescuing stranded motorists in the local area. At one time most of the area race cars and demolition derby cars were sponsored by Village Repair. With his children and extended family half of the demolition entries were built at Village Repair. He sponsored many trophies at the Fall River County Fair and local car shows.
Bennie collected and restored classic Fords throughout his entire life and really became active in car cruising and car shows after meeting his second love, Judy Finch. Events included Edgemont, Hot Springs, Gering, Neb., Cody, Wyo., Chamberlain, New Castle, Upton, Alliance, and Lusk, Wyo., Newell, Deadwood, and Rapid City.
Bennie and Judy created and lived a fun filled and adventurous life. Judy says Bennie made her laugh from the first day to the last. Bennie and Judy embraced each other’s children as their own; the new larger extended family had many fun times together.
Bennie is survived by his spouse, Judy Finch; children, Lisa (Robert) Shannon, Wade (Joyce) Hatch, AJ (Natalie) Hatch;, Adriana (Adam) Lalicker, Amanda (Joe) Hatch, Malissa (Curtis) Alexander, Tom (Sherry) Petrizzo, and Brett Jarman; sisters, Phyllis Muhm, and Lola (Lyle) Warner; 12 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Bennie is preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Lou (Rumsey); parents, Walter and Martha (Benton) Hatch; brothers, Walter, Alfred, Angelo, Melvin, Harry, David and sister, Lillian Fowers.
A private family service will be held at the Black Hills National Cemetery. A celebration of life will occur September 2nd in Edgemont and will open to all whose lives were impacted by Mr. Bennie.
In lieu of flowers the family has created the Bennie Hatch Memorial Fund at 1st Interstate Bank in Edgemont, donations can be made at any branch. This memorial will be dedicated to a worthy cause related to Bennie’s many fields of interest.