Jul. 28—OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — John R. "Hutch" Hutchinson, Jr., a veteran Owens Corning transportation and logistics specialist whose community service included two terms on the Whiteford Board of Education, died Friday at home. He was 59.
He had an apparent heart attack, his wife said. She found him unresponsive in the den, which had been his OC office away from company headquarters during the pandemic.
Mr. Hutchinson in his 26 years at OC had jobs in several aspects of his specialty, including to make sure materials needed for OC-produced fiberglass composites, roofing, or insulation were acquired.
"He was very effective at breaking through the ice with lots of different people," said Mike Iannone, who worked in information technology at OC when he met Mr. Hutchinson in the early 2000s. "It doesn't matter who you were, you were comfortable around Hutch.
"He was the kind of person who put you at ease. He knew we were all accountable and never was rude or arrogant," Mr. Iannone said. "He knew procurement. He knew logistics. When you had questions, you knew you'd get good answers."
He was known for his pranks — but also for recruiting talent for OC from his alma mater, Ohio State University, his wife said.
Mr. Hutchinson, of Monroe County's Whiteford Township, was elected to two four-year terms on the school board and then filled a vacancy on the board for a year, serving from 2000-09.
"He was very professional. He was easy to work with," said Holly Bunge, a school board contemporary. "He'd be the person you'd want to represent your school or school board.
"For me, John was a giver to the community. This is someone who constantly was donating or giving his time. It was at the church. It was at the school. For the football games."
As his daughters were growing up, he officiated at community recreation youth baseball and softball games. He later became a certified high school basketball official and worked games in Monroe and Lenawee counties. As an announcer, his deep clear voice and smooth delivery were constants at home Whiteford football games from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s. He also was called on to be master of ceremonies at school musicals and sports banquets.
"His voice was wonderful and he knew just the right thing to say. He was a pleasure to listen to," Mrs. Bunge said.
Mr. Hutchinson was council president at St. Michael Lutheran Church, Ottawa Lake, where he was a long-term volunteer.
Born Aug. 20, 1961 to Yvonne and John Hutchinson, he was a 1979 graduate of Whitmer High School, attended the University of Toledo, and became an Air Force staff sergeant, serving in Greece.
He received a degree in transportation and logistics from Ohio State. His state of Michigan vanity license plate was IAM4OSU.
Surviving are his wife, the former Janet LaPointe, whom he married June 25, 1983; daughters, Abbey Jennings and Kelsey Kimmelman; father, John Hutchinson; sister, Robin Hutchinson-Bell, and three grandsons.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Michael Lutheran Church, Ottawa Lake.
The family suggests tributes to St. Michael or the athletic or music boosters at Whiteford Agricultural Schools.
First Published July 28, 2021, 12:00am