Durwood B. Hatch

Nov. 18, 1925 – March 28, 2019

Durwood B. Hatch, 93, Huntingdon, left this temporary dwelling place to enter his heavenly home on Thursday.

He was born in Altoona, son of James L. And Cecilia (Trout) Hatch.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Patricia (McQuillen); a son, Keith (Mary); a daughter, Amy (Gary); and three grandchildren: Ben (Sarah), Ryan and Emily.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jim; and his son, Mark.

Durwood was a wonderful, loving husband, a good father and role model and a true example of a sincere believer in Christ.

After graduating from Altoona High School, Durwood joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, serving as a flight engineer and gunner aboard a B-24 Liberator. When the war ended, he returned to Altoona where he met his future wife and attended college on the G.I. Bill. Pursuing a course in mechanical engineering, he graduated from Penn State in 1951 and married Patty a month later.

Shortly thereafter, Durwood joined the National Security Agency of the Department of Defense, assigned to the Russian section. He held that assignment until 1954, when, with a child on the way, he decided to change his career path. He was hired by IBM and was employed there as a systems engineer during the majority of his career.

Toward the end of his working life, seeking a change of pace, Durwood left IBM and joined the computer department in the administration section at Penn State, where he designed systems and did some programming. He retired from there in 1987.

Durwood enjoyed Penn State football and was a season ticket holder for more than 40 years.

Other than his family and Penn State football, Durwood’s main preoccupation was chess. An excellent player, he played first board for Penn State from 1947-51, won tournaments in several states and defeated two Grandmasters, including Samuel Reshevsky, and three International Masters in simultaneous exhibitions. He was twice named Pennsylvania State “Rapid Play” Champion and has had several games published in books and magazines. He was the chess champion of Altoona from 1947-93.

However, those who knew him best knew that the most important thing in Durwood’s life was his strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Durwood loved the Scriptures and studied them diligently. He taught Sunday school at several churches, served on the board of the Altoona Bible Institute for many years and was on the faculty there for three of them.

Durwood stayed active in his later years, writing occasional editorial pieces that were featured in the Altoona Mirror and authoring, at age 83, a book defending the Biblical view of creation.

Friends will be received from 2 until the 4 p.m. memorial service on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Mauk & Yates Funeral Home Inc., Juniata, Pastor Ben Hoover officiating. Interment will be made at Logan Valley Cemetery, Antis Township.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations for the Democratic Republic of Congo Project may be sent in Durwood’s name to Hope Builders Ministries, P.O. Box 317, Greenwood, VA 22911.