Mary Kate Hatcher

10/05/2011 9:38 AM |

Mary Kate Hatcher of Aquebogue died Sept. 30 at the age of 86.

She was born Nov. 15, 1924, in Cumberland, Va., to Moses and Elizabeth (Brumskill) Goff, the third of five children. She graduated from Pocahontas High School in Powhatan County and was baptized into the fellowship of the Center Union Baptist Church at an early age.

She married Frank Loving Hatcher in Baltimore in January 1945, and they moved to Long Island, where they lived and worked on the Young farm in Aquebogue. She also took sewing classes and became an accomplished seamstress. According to family, she loved sewing and for many years worked from home providing contract sewing services to local businesses, including Syms Men’s Store and Vojvoda’s Cleaners.

She also believed that a good education was essential, they said, and exemplified that with her continual efforts to further her own education. She received an associate degree from Suffolk Community College in 1983, and later earned a real estate license and worked for many years as a realtor.

Ms. Hatcher had been a member of First Baptist Church of Riverhead since 1953. She served on the church Usher Board for over 50 years, taught Sunday School for over 30 years and was church secretary for over 25 years, until she retired in 1996. She was a member and past president of the Pfc. Langhorn Library, the Mary’s Club and numerous special committees. Family members said she loved her church and attended Bible study faithfully until her health began to fail.

According to family, she gave her all in whatever she did and was very involved in the community, volunteering at Riverhead Free Library and working for the Suffolk County Board of Elections for many years. Always an advocate for a good cause, they said, Ms. Hatcher joined the Negro Business and Professional Women Clubs in the 1960s. After hearing about the National Council of Negro Women, she brought the organization to the attention of her pastor, and soon thereafter its Eastern Suffolk Section, which she served as president for many years, was established at First Baptist Church. Under her leadership, family said, a Saturday morning reading program was created that provided tutoring services to elementary school-aged children.

Predeceased by her husband and her son Vernon, Ms. Hatcher is survived by her children, Terry, of Virginia Beach, Va., Alan, of Riverhead, Kim Stephens of Aquebogue and Troy, of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; her sister, Jane Green of Brooklyn; 15 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were handled by O’Connell Funeral Home in Southampton.