Robert F. Hatem Print E-mail

Robert F. Hatem

1935 – 2022

Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother


Robert F. Hatem formerly of Lowell, MA, Ogunquit, ME and a resident of Jupiter, FL passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 3, 2022, at the age of 86.

Bob led an admirable life blessed by his loving family and many friends. He leaves behind his beautiful wife, Joanne (Murtagh) with whom he shared 67 years of togetherness.

Born in Lawrence, MA in 1935, he was the son of the late Louise (Bolus) and Ferris Hatem. Bob attended Lawrence High School and was a first-generation 1958 college graduate of Merrimack College with a degree in English. He also served in the U.S. Army reserves.

Bob cherished his children – Milissa Moynihan and her husband, Frederick of Lowell, MA, Robert Hatem, Jr. and his wife, Gail of Scarborough, ME, Michelle Hatem Meehan of Newburyport, MA and Jennifer Carey of Lowell, MA. His pride and joy were his eight grandchildren Daniel Moynihan, Leah Moynihan, Catherine Moynihan, Rachel Hatem, Robert Hatem, Nathaniel Meehan, Jake Robert Meehan and Paige Carey. His brothers Rik Hatem, Ferris Hatem, and his sister-in-law, Loraine Murtagh. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews, including Ron Hatem who was like a brother to Bob.

He was the brother of the late Ronald Hatem. Throughout his life he was touched by now deceased Eugenie and Leo Murtagh and Pauline (Murtagh) Foley.

Bob lived an accomplished life with an incredible work ethic, dedicated to excellence in the work he did. In 1960, he founded and published the Methuen Weekly News. His professional career continued in journalism at the Lowell Sun as a State House Reporter, covering the John F. Kennedy Presidency in 1963. Bob experienced and participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk in Washington. During Bob’s career he worked as a Congressional Aid to F. Bradford Morse and also worked for Massachusetts’ Governors Peabody, Volpe and Sargent.

His professional life moved from Journalism and Government to Higher Education. Bob managed institutional fundraising as VP of Development for Merrimack College (1965 – 1978). He was the first layman to be appointed a Vice President at this Catholic institution. After 13 years with Merrimack College, he joined Raytheon (Missile Systems Division), as Director of Community and Customer Relations and worked there for twenty years. He chaired Raytheon’s national U.S. Savings Bond Programs from 1985-1991. Post Raytheon, Bob returned to higher education and worked with Northern Essex Community College as Executive Assistant to the President. He was Chair of the college’s strategic Workforce and Economic Development Committee.

Bob’s past community activities include Commissioner of the Essex National Heritage Area, Director of the Lawrence Savings Bank, Chairman of the American Red Cross/Merrimack Valley, past President of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Director of Lawrence General Hospital and thirty-year member of Vesper Country Club. He was the recipient of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Citizen Soldier Award and elected to the Lawrence Boys Club Hall of Fame in 1989. He also was a two-time former Congressional Candidate for the 5th District.

Tennis has always been a family sport for the Hatem’s. Bob competed throughout New England individually earning top rankings well into his late 70’s. Father-Daughter tennis was a memorable part of Bob’s life, traveling with Jennifer, from the cracked courts at Lowell’s Shedd Park to the US Open in 1986, the Newport, RI Tennis Hall of Fame, fulfilling a dream in 2005, where they won the cherished gold-ball in Chicago. Bob was awarded a USTA Service Ball recognizing 30 years of tennis volunteerism. He continued to share his love for tennis in Maine, holding free senior clinics for the Ogunquit Lobsters every Wednesday morning. He was a Member of the Jupiter Ocean and Racquet Club where he captained the Men’s’ Team. In January 2022 at the age of 86, Bob played his final round of Tennis. He was victorious.

Bob had a love for the ocean and mountains. Many years were spent enjoying time with family at the beach and on the ski slopes. He was “Gidou” to his eight grandchildren and his greatest pleasure was as their number one fan in their many activities and accomplishments. An avid reader and eloquent writer, he had extensive knowledge about politics, government, and world events. Bob was a man of strong conviction, opinion and determined to effect change. Oftentimes he said what other people thought but were afraid to speak. He was highly intelligent, of great wisdom and a devout Catholic.
Bob and Joanne shared many dances. He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, children, and grandchildren. Summer in Maine will not be the same without Gidou but memories will remain with each passing tide.

Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in LOWELL on Thursday April 21, 2022, from 4 to 7 P.M. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass to be celebrated Friday morning April 22, 2022, at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH in LOWELL at 11 o’clock. Burial to follow. E-condolences/directions at Donations in memory of Robert F. Hatem can be made to:  American Heart Association/Maine Chapter/Team Hatem or Immaculate Conception Church, 3 Fayette Street, Lowell, MA 01852. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O’Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

Condolences (12)
  • Toni and Dot  - So sorry
    Dear Joanne and all the family, please accept our sentiments of sorrow at the loss of dear Bob. We have remembered Bob in prayer as well as all of the family. We have always enjoyed our times together. Remember the good times and there are so many!
  • Dino Sarantos  - Condolences
    Dear Joanne & family, Elizabeth & I wish to express our most sincere condolences for Bob's passing. Ronny called me on Tuesday to give me the sad news. I recall first meeting you both at Ronnie's gym close to 20 years ago. Elizabeth & I both truly enjoyed your friendship. I had the opportunity to serve with Bob on the MV Red Cross Board and having breakfast together receiving his mentoring and guidance. I pray for peace and contentment for you and your family as you mourn Bob's passing. May his memory be eternal. God Bless, Dino & Elizabeth Sarantos
  • Mehmed Ali  - Our condolences
    There was no one like Bob Hatem. I cherished his 20+ year friendship where he was never shy about giving me advice backed up with his strong convictions and a lifetime of experience that is an envy to anyone who wants to have service as their calling. I always appreciated his and Joanne’s open invitation to visit and their open heart and open minds. So sorry to hear of his passing but I know he’d say he had a great life filled with family, friends, and extensive accomplishments. Thanks for the memories Bob! You were one of the greats…
  • Pat McGuirk  - To Joanne, Jen and Paige and the entire Hatem fami
    How lucky are you are to have such a wonderful man in your lives! Bob and Joanne welcomed me into their wonderful retirement community in Jupiter when I first retired. It was a cherished time that I will never forget. Having the ability and luxury to teach swim lessons to his grandchildren Bob and Joanne were very kind, gracious and complimentary! As a member of the Red Cross community Bob appreciated everything that I did and I can't thank him enough!! Condolences to you all, Sincerely, Pat
  • Marteve Williamson and Bobbie
    Dear Cousins We are so terribly sorry we are unable to attend Bob’s funeral mass today. We are praying with and for you. We never knew how much volunteer time and energy Bob expended. We just always loved his spirit and personality. As his campaign slogan said “Bob Hatem , you’ll love him”. We all loved him and we will all miss him. May both Bobs Rest In Peace.
  • Donald C Silver  - Robert F Hatem
    I was sunbathing and reading a novel in my beach chair enjoying a beautiful sunny Saturday at my regular spot at Ogunquit Beach. On that day many years ago, a man unknown to me appeared standing facing me and stated,"May I ask you a question ?"I sated,"Sure ,as long it's not for money".The question was,"Are you a recuse?"I started to laugh and replied. " I have been called many names in my life time,but never a recluse!" That was the begining of great and long friendship with Bob and Joanne,their daughters,their young grand children.especially Nate,Jake and Page. I observed "Gidou"standing watch over his young grandchildren every weekend if they were on the beach or if they were in the water. Bob was like a watch dog and a" Marine Drill Instructor" combined into one individual. In closing,my sincere condolences to all, Don Silver
  • Diana McGowan and Family  - Joanne
    Our heartfelt sympathies go to you and your family. Sending prayers and love. Bob will be truly missed by all. May his memory guide you through the difficult times ahead. God Bless the Hatem family. Love & Peace, Diana McGowan & Family
  • Ann Marie Pizzano Krusell
    An affable and erudite delightful gentleman, Bob enhanced the life of anyone he encountered. He sought me out to teach a course for greater Lawrence in the Prep Club established in the late 60's. As my husband Peter and I are graduates of Merrimack College, we had the joy of knowing him there. We sincerely offer our condolences to the family, especially Ferris and Ronnie. The world has lost a very special man! Ann Marie & Peter Krusell
  • Arnie Mejias, Jr.  - Deepest condolences
    Mrs. Hatem and family, While I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Hatem, I had the pleasure of having Mrs. Hatem as my Junior High teacher at Bartlett JHS. I have never forgotten the encouragement and kindness I received from Mrs. Hatem (in fact, I still have my yearbook with her note to me). I also remember how proud she was of Mr. Hatem and her family. I wish you peace during this time of loss. Arnie Mejias Bartlett JHS '86
  • Steve Panagiotakos
    Joanne and family, Please accept my heartfelt condolences...Bob was the epitome of a competitor on the court and off...and a well received voice of experience for me....I always felt that the times we spoke, were times of learning for me because Bob's opinions on issues were always well thought out and compelling...May his memory be Eternal in the everlasting arms of GOD... Steve Panagiotakos
  • Tony mangini
    Worked with bob for his many Years at Raytheon. He was a close friend and we enjoyed Many activities. He had a great sense of humor and wil be sorely Missed by his family,relatives and friends, I’m sure. Joanne please accept my deepest sympathies. Tony Mangini.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Chris Panagoulias
    Bob was a an remarkable individual.It was an honor to have known such a great person and we will truly miss him.
Write Condolence
Your Name:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.