Ronald Ray Hatch

December 28, 1938September 25, 2019
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Ronald Ray Hatch, age 80, of Wilmington, California passed away on September 25, 2019, in Torrance, CA. Ronald was born December 28, 1938 in Alva, Oklahoma to Richard & Elma (Carberry) Hatch.

Ronald is survived by his spouse, Nancy Hatch; son Rick (Pam) Hatch; daughter Becky (Dave) Friese; daughter Sondy Eklund; daughter Wendy Swee; son Randy (Vickey) Hatch; son Ron Hatch; son Jeff (Kelly); son Nathan Hatch; daughter Abby Hatch; son Peter Hatch; son Robert (Laura) Hatch; daughter Marcy (John) Ratcliff; and daughter Melanie Hatch.

Ronald leaves his legacy on this earth through his 14 grandchildren, who will cherish the memories of their grandfather.

A Graveside Service for Ronald will be held Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Wilmington Cemetery, 605 East O Street, Wilmington, CA 90744. Following the graveside service will be a Memorial Service at 1:00 PM at Arbor Road Church, 5336 E. Arbor Road, Long Beach, CA 90808.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Hatch family.


  • Nancy Hatch, Spouse
  • Rick (Pam) Hatch, Son
  • Becky (Dave) Friese, Daughter
  • Sondy Eklund, Daughter
  • Wendy Swee, Daughter
  • Randy (Vickey) Hatch, Son
  • Ron Hatch, Son
  • Jeff (Kelly) Hatch, Son
  • Nathan Hatch, Son
  • Abby Hatch, Daughter
  • Peter Hatch, Son
  • Robert (Laura) Hatch, Son
  • Marcy (John) Ratcliff, Daughter
  • Melanie Hatch, Daughter
  • Ronald leaves his legacy on this earth through his 14 grandchildren.


  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, October 10, 2019

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, October 10, 2019


Ronald Ray Hatch

have a memory or condolence to add?

Eric Derbez

November 10, 2019

As with so many people, I was fortunate to have worked and learned from Ron. A gentle giant among giants.

The one the thing that was stuck with me, is how down to earth and caring he was. A few years before he passed, I had the good fortune of sitting opposite Ron at a conference. While he was happy to expound on the lofty possibilities of a Global RTK, but what really preoccupied him was the day to day care for his wife Nancy. He opened up about that and about health care issues at large.

A true gentleman and a scholar through and through. You will never be forgotten.

Ray Eastwood

October 10, 2019

My condolences to Ron's family from former colleague Ray Eastwood

Donna Wolf (Bates)

October 9, 2019

Ron was my brother in law for 59 years but I never thought of him as an "in law". He was my brother. I've never known a more intelligent man or a more humble, kind, caring person. Even though I haven't seen him in many years my heart is saddened knowing he is gone. I will never forget his great smile.

Lisa Beaty

October 9, 2019

Ron served the Institute of Navigation (ION) extensively throughout his professional career, both as Chair of the Satellite Division (1998-2000) and as ION President (2001-2002). Ron also contributed regularly to the ION's professional technical journal, NAVIGATION, The Journal of the Institute of Navigation; the ION’s Red Book series on GPS (editing volume IV on DGPS); authored many survey and navigation papers; and held over two dozen patents involving GPS processing techniques. Ron was the recipient of the Thurlow Award (2000), Kepler Award (1994) and was an ION Fellow (2000, the posted photo is taken of him with his ION Fellow Award).

However, beyond the technical achievements and professional accolades, Ron was a consummate gentleman and all around nice guy. Ron may have been the smartest person in the room, but he was unconcerned that anyone acknowledge this - and humble enough that to do so would have made him uncomfortable. Ron was genuinely interested in the technology he developed being used to better the human condition. He is in a very elite class of men – technically and otherwise – and he will be missed and remembered.

Scott Burgett

October 9, 2019

I am so sad that Ron has passed. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met, and was both a friend and mentor to me. He was a titan of the GPS world. I always enjoyed talking to him about GPS, and he freely shared his knowledge with me. His love and passion for GPS always shone through. But his love for his family also shone through in our conversations. I was deeply moved by his devotion to his wife and her care. He was such a role model for me, and I will sorely miss him. I send my deepest sympathy to the family.

Elmer Hatch

October 8, 2019

Ron was my closest brother older than me. We were both born in Alva, Oklahoma. We spent many hours discussing the Bible, and his favorite verse was Proverbs 25:2. He spent many years searching out the secret things that GOD had not revealed but had left as evidence in his creation! When we lived in Nash, Okla. I was in the first grade. He asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to be a scientist and a Greyhound bus driver. It turns out that David, (my younger brother) was the bus driver and Ron was the scientist!
When I moved my family from Phoenix, Ariz. to Seattle, Wash. I had car trouble in central Ore. Ron sent me enough money to fix my car and put me up for three weeks in his house in Seattle until I got my first paycheck from Boeing. Ron gave me a magnifying glass and a slide ruler.
In about 1969 Ron moved to Kent, Wa. and I moved about half a mile from him. I would often go over to visit him in the evening, but many times he would be working . While working at Boeing flight test I was parking one of Boeing's small jet planes when the pilot asked me if I was related to Ron Hatch. I told him that I was Ron's younger brother. He told me that he would often take Ron up above the clouds at night. Ron would always have his sextant and slide ruler with him to figure out the orbital mechanics Boeing needed for the satellites they were going to launch. This was before computers, so Ron had to do this with his math calculations.
Besides being my older brother, Ron was also my best friend. I am looking forward to meeting him in heaven!

John Lavrakas

October 7, 2019

I knew Ron from my involvement with the Institute of Navigation. In the early 1990's I first met him when I was asked to run a conference of the ION in Santa Monica. Ron was the General Chair for conference and I was the Program Chair, which meant I had all the work to do and he had to make sure I got it done. He was a wise, thoughtful, and encouraging guide for me, a young engineer trying desperately to do a good job and not mess up. I'll never forget his kindness and help through this process. The people he knew! When I needed to find someone to chair a session, he connected me with a great expert in the field. Over the years, Ron provided me encouragement in the development of my career, and I will continue to hold him dear in my heart.

Ian Cowan

October 6, 2019

I had the honour of meeting Ron - a most friendly gentleman - at the VIII International Scientific Conference 'Space, Time, Gravitation', August 16-20, 2004, St. Petersburg, Russia, where we were among the few participants to present papers in English. Since then I have always found his significant contributions to our 'Dissident' Physics discussions most interesting.

I attach a photo of the attendance at the 2004 conference; Ron is seated in the second row beside one of the organizers, Svetlana Tolchelnikova, of Pulkovo Observatory (I am second left in the front row beside another presenter in English, Frank Meno).

Jim Litton

October 5, 2019

Ron and I were friends and colleagues for nearly fifty years, starting at Magnavox in the late sixties and continuing at Litton Consulting Group , Leica and he co-founded NavCom Technology with me. In 1994. We continued through my retirement from Jahn DEERE and after his retirement, we were associated again at iPosi. Always modest and always inventing , being a great father and grandfather, he was honored by the world of Navigation and deserved every award . We have lost a true genius who was still creating solutions to important problems in his final days, God Rest a noble soul.

Line Moisan

October 5, 2019

I met Ron at NavCom in Redondo Beach. What a pleasure and an honor to work with him! A wonderful example of a great scientist who can blend science and believing in God. And a gentleman! I’ll be forever grateful that our paths crossed. My dearest sympathy to the family.


December 30, 1960