John Morrell Hutchison

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Thursday, June 6, 2024
Chapel of the Cross
304 E. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Obituary of John Sands Morrell Hutchison

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John Sands Morrell Hutchison, or “Hutch” as he was affectionately known, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday, May 31, 2024. After struggling with multiple health issues and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, his health took a sudden decline in recent weeks. 

He was born in Asheville on May 6, 1955, moving to Chapel Hill at the age of eight. This is where he would call home for most of his life. 

Hutch attended Durham Academy before boarding at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, where he made many of his closest friends. As a lifelong Tar Heel, Hutch earned his bachelor’s in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after which he attended the MBA program. It was also in Chapel Hill where he met Robin, his best friend and wifeof 43 years.

Following business school, Hutch and Robin moved to New York and started a family. Between Manhattan and Bronxville, they experienced some of their happiest times together. After a decade up north, they moved their family back to Chapel Hill where Hutch started his travel business.

Hutch is survived by his wife, Robin of Chapel Hill, and three children: Katharine Merritt (Spencer) of Raleigh, Dorothy Driscoll (Sears) of Charlotte, and Wylie Hutchison (Kate) of Raleigh. He leaves behind six loving grandchildren who called him “Schmutz”: Janie, Henry, and Will Driscoll of Charlotte; Joe, Robin, and Phoebe Merritt of Raleigh.

He is also survived by his sisters Margaret Hart (Eric) of Hickory, and Anne Adams (Lee) of Fearrington; along with his sister-in-law Kathy Watson (Drake) of Richmond, VA, brother-in-law Jim Richards (Mary Lib) of Davidson, and his many beloved nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Anne Gibson Hill, and stepfather, George Watts Hill of Chapel Hill. 

Hutch was a rare breed and there will certainly never be another like him. Family and friends will remember his dry sense of humor, quirky and extensive trivia knowledge, and persistentfollowing of current events. Robin introduced him to his culinary passion, which ranged from cooking, to recipes, to an extensive collection of kitchen gadgets. He loved the beach, even long after he could catch a wave or do the shag. Hutch was an avid theater and film critic and may have missed his calling writing for his adored New York Times. But above all else, his greatest joy and love in life was his family. 

His family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all those who cared for Hutch in his final days in the ICU at Rex Hospital of Raleigh, including the palliative care team and Heartland Hospice.

A service will be held at The Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hillon Friday, June 7 at 11am. Arrangements are by Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Hutch’s memory may be made to Virginia Episcopal School, 400 V.E.S. Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24503.

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