2017-08-31 / Obituaries

Richard “Hutch” Hemenway Hitchinson

Richard “Hutch” Hemenway Hitchinson, 89, died on his own terms, peacefully, on Aug. 21 during the solar eclipse at the Hospice Care Center in Providence.

After a diagnosis of bladder cancer in June and the discovery of it’s spread to his bones, Hutch had a mercifully quick decline.

Born April 11, 1928, in Detroit, Mich., Hutch was raised in Grosse Pointe Mich. and Jamestown, R.I. The third child of BE Hutchinson, a founder of Chrysler Motors and Helen Monks Hutchinson, daughter of JAS Monks, a prominent 19th century painter, etcher and student of George Innis, member of the Hudson River School.

His home environment of philosophical and cultural conversation and experience shaped Hutch’s world view, grounding him in deep wisdom and a love of life. His brother, John, taught him to sail on Lake Michigan and Narragansett Bay, where Hutch developed a lifelong love of sailing and the sea. An avid yachtsman, he was a member of the Cruising Club of America, and the Conanicut Yacht Club. Hutch was a sought-after tactician, navigator and helmsman racing and cruising all across the world.

In 1951, Hutch married Ann Heywood Hackett of Dedham, Mass. They settled in Dover, Mass and raised four children: George, Sarah, Thayer and Bill. Hutch joined his father-in-law’s firm Tucker, Anthony and RL Day, as an investment banker and broker until retirement.

He acted in Dover Foundation plays and was a board member at the Charles River School and the Dedham Institution for Savings. Hutch regularly escaped to his beloved Concordia “Belles” and was known at ports of call from Newfoundland to Newport.

Ann died in 2008 and Hutch sailed on, spending winters in Stuart, Fla., traveling to visit kids and grandkids, hosting friends and family in Jamestown and getting out on the water as often as possible. Up until a month before his death, Hutch was swimming three days a week and enjoying evening fires on the deck at Bull Point.

He leaves a big family to carry on; his biological children George (Minneapolis, Minn.), Sarah (Mesa, Colo.), Thayer (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Bill (Jamestown, R.I.), nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Hutch’s wise and loving reach brought many others into our family; you know who you are, and you always are welcome at the table.

Hutch was the epitome of the Old Guard; a gentleman and yachtsman, devoted to his family, country and communities.

Hutch’s legacy of generosity, inclusion and selflessness reminds us of what really matters in life.

A memorial service is planned for October. Donations can be made to the Jamestown Historical Society or Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of Rhode Island.

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