Under the Hardhat: In Memory of Hatch

William Harold Petty, born June 14, 1939, in West Sanford, North Carolina moved to Maryland in 1960; where he began his 62-year career as a laborer at Gray & Son. Hatch retired from Gray & Son as a Skilled Laborer for the Stone/Concrete Division. Members of the team remember how diligently he always worked. 

Throughout his employment, he received recognition for his dedication and hard work. Where he mentored other employees toward the belief that the road to success was always under construction. Even after becoming ill, Hatch would still start his day at 3 am. He loved sharing stories about his daughter and grandchildren and “wrestling with the young folk.”

“He helped me and was always a good groundsman,” recalls Stone and Concrete Division Superintendent Mike Davis, who worked with Hatch since 1973. “A lot of us came up with him. He was a very dedicated worker who looked to help others, and I don’t think I can ever remember him missing time. Always on time or early.” 

Davis, who started as a groundsman and then moved up to being a motor grader, said Hatch was well-liked because of his work ethic and easygoing nature. 

“Everyone wanted Hatch on their crew,” he said. “He was friends with everyone and didn’t need a lot of direction to do his job well.”

As he became sick, his co-workers were none the wiser. 

“Wrestling with the crew and coming into work as if nothing was different is a testament to the type of worker and even more importantly, man, he was,” Davis said.

When he wasn’t at work, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends–although he still loved talking about the job and pointing out the projects he’d helped to complete. 

A natural carpenter, he could build and fix just about anything and would spend his spare time building and repairing things around the house. He also enjoyed helping others with their home repairs.

Imparting lessons onto others and sharing his knowledge did not stop at his coworkers.

“I will never forget the lessons you taught me and our special times together,” said his daughter, Pam Petty (Jasper), in his memorial program. “I can’t say I won’t cry but I will hold my head high and smile to the sky as I know you’re in a better place without pain or worry.”

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