James Samuel Hutchison, 1923-2012
James Samuel Hutchison, 89, passed peacefully away at The Romberg House in Gonzales on the evening of Thursday July 26. He was born July 24, 1923 at his Grandmother’s home south of Montell in Uvalde County to Robert Emmett Hutchison, Sr. and Nancy Hathaway Smith Hutchison.
He was raised ranching a small-owned and very large-leased acreages near Uvalde. After the U.S. entered WWII, Jimmie quit high school in November, 1942 and along with ten buddies joined the Marines; they were sent off with great fanfare. The rigors of boot camp re-injured a cracked hip from pole vaulting in school and being told he would be limited to office duties for his military career, he accepted an honorable discharge. Until recent days, he has said returning home alone was the most embarrassing experience of his life.
After several interesting and educational jobs which later yielded many entertaining stories, he bought out a retiring Humble service station operator and began a long career selling oil products and accessories. Not long after, he met and later married Elizabeth Evelyn (Dubba) McClure on July 14, 1946 in Honey Grove.
Jimmie loved to tell people that the new teacher had a good job as a high school P.E. coach and she quit it after the first year to join him in the service station, but he did badly need a bookkeeper. He owned and operated service stations for almost 20 years until he accepted the Exxon wholesale consignment agency and leased his stations to other operators.
During those years, he became active in the Uvalde Rotary Club serving terms as President, was instrumental on the hospital board in enabling a new hospital to be built, served on the Board of Directors of Medina Electric Co-op and got back into ranching on the side. At age 55, Jim retired from the oil business and devoted his time to his family, fishing and his cattle in Utopia and Uvalde. He also served as a Road to Recovery Volunteer transporting cancer patients to San Antonio for treatment, joined the Retreads Motorcycle Club touring the U.S. with Dubba on a Gold Wing pulling a trailer, and learned to play golf, racking up three “hole in one” achievements over the years.
One might wonder if Jimmie Hutchison was the guy that they had in mind when coining the phrases “never let his shirttail hit his back” and “never met a stranger”.
In 1990, Jim and Dubba followed their only daughter Sharon to the Austin area, making their home in Lakeway on the 15th fairway and making a multitude of wonderful new friends. Then in 2004 they followed her again to Gonzales, and continued making friends through golf as well as through First Baptist Church and the Men’s Fellowship.
After overcoming shyness as a child, throughout his life, Jimmy (who changed the spelling of his name at Lakeway to make it easier for his new friends) quickly made long and lasting friendships. He always valued integrity and looked for the good in people. On rare occasions he would refer to someone as a “sorry so and so” regarding bad behavior, but he would be quick to follow up acknowledging their redeeming qualities.
Left to cherish his memory and celebrate his life well-lived are his wife, Dubba Hutchison; daughter, Sharon Pirkle and son-in-law Ashley Pirkle of Gonzales; sister-in-law, Evelyn Trahan Hutchison of Uvalde; grandchildren, Tracey Zientek and husband John of Sealy, Sally Basche and husband Andy of Taylor, and Megan Hackworth and husband Corey of Columbus, Ohio; and great-grandchildren, Jaclyn Zientek, Abigail Zientek, Bethany Basche, Nathan Basche and Annabelle Hackworth. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Robert Emmett Hutchison, Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home in Gonzales with Rev. Dr. Travis Burleson and Rev. Steve Faulkner officiating. Internment will follow in Gonzales Memorial Park. Pallbearers include John Zientek, Andy Basche, Sam Hutchison of Uvalde, Jeff Hutchison of Victoria, and Bill Quinney, Floyd Rogers, Sam Turk, and D.E. (Sonny) Weathers of Gonzales. Honorary pallbearers are David Thiede, the Men’s Fellowship, and his adopted family of the residents and staff of The Romberg House.
Memorials may be made to Norma’s House or the First Baptist Church of Gonzales. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday evening at Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, provider of the arrangements, care and direction of services.