Love strikes in a bowling alley: The Hatchers celebrate 60 years

Meeting a lovely girl named Carol in a bowling alley forever changed Ora Hatcher’s life. When he got home that night, he told his mother he had met the girl he was going to marry.

And marry they did, in 1960, in a small Catholic Church in northern Ohio.

Four daughters later — in 1969 — they moved to Michigan, bought a two-room cottage on Crooked Lake, and welcomed a fifth daughter into their family.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, the Hatchers celebrated their 60 years together in a socially distanced marriage blessing at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Howell.

While they still live in the same place on Crooked Lake, the cottage — which went through several expansions and renovations over the years — became a home.

Ora Hatcher, who was an engineer at GM, started his own automation and robotics company in 1984. He sold his business in 2007 and retired so he could spent time on the lake with his grandchildren.

Carol stayed at home to look after their five daughters, and spent a lot of time volunteering in their classrooms when they were enrolled in the Howell Public Schools District. All five of them graduated from Howell High Schools, and all had choir with Rod Bushey. Carol took great pride and joy in watching them perform; these days, she enjoys watching her grandchildren perform in their own concerts, plays, and sports games.

The Hatcher’s daughter Rhonda died in 2005.

Daughter Melissa is an audiologist at a VA hospital in Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Joe. They are both veterans.

Daughter Melanie is in human resources, and lives in Florida.

Daughter Sandi lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris.

Daughter Anni lives in Howell with her husband, Kevin, and she teaches at Glenn’s School of Dance, where she also directs PADT.

There are 11 grandchildren in total: Jeremy, Aspen, Angelique, Danyelle, Devin, Drake, Jens, Lars, Claire, Emma, and Ellie. And there are also three great-grandchildren: Johnathan, Lillian, and Rozylnn.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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