Robert Griffiths "Hutch" Hutchings was born the youngest of four siblings on June 29, 1921 to Alice Maude and John Mason Hutchings in Anyox, British Columbia.
The Hutchings family first came to Stewart when Bob was 7 years old where they lived and ran the Bayview Hotel. His parents engrained a work ethic at a young age that would stay with him for the rest of his life through his many and varied careers.
Bob was a man of many trades and talents. His first job was working for his mother in the Bayview Hotel carrying coal to heat the hotel. He enlisted in the army at the age of 18 but was soon discharged as a result of rheumatic fever. It was in the 16th platoon of the Rocky Mountain Rangers First Battalion that he first discovered his talent for the harmonica which he played into the last months of his life.
While still living in Stewart, Bob worked for Western Woods on the Portland Canal, tried his hand as the owner of a dairy farm and even proffered his services as the Stewart undertaker.
In 1948, Bob met Louise Marie Morrison [ne: Lindseth] and he two daughters Patricia and Ann. They married in 1950 and John and Shirley soon followed. The family moved between Stewart and Prince Rupert a few times while Bob supported the family working in the mining industry and as a butcher. When the family finally settled in Stewart he bought the local grocery store which he named Bob's Mercantile which was Stewart's General Store at the time.
In 1965, he moved to Vancouver where he was again involved in mining. For a brief period between mining, he settled in Christina Lake where he owned a local restaurant by the name of Bob's Place. After selling the restaurant, he went back to mining which took him to Nevada where he met Alice Ginnis in 1977 whom he married six months later.
In the years following his marriage to Alice, Bob worked as foreman of roads for the Department of Highways. This job took them around the province between Stewart, Christina Lake and the Queen Charlotte Islands. While living in Christina Lake in 1986, Bob was devastated by the loss of his only son John.
Bob first retired to Christina Lake but his heart always remained in Stewart where they would live out his final years. Even after his formal retirement, Bob could still be found running the King Edward Hotel when hotel owner Ian McLeod was away. For many years Bob enjoyed his mornings with the local coffee club at the King Eddie Coffee Shop whom he always spoke fondly of. When he could no longer make it to the coffee shop, the coffee club came to his home.
Hutch will be remembered for his strong values, his quick wit, and his keen sense of humour. Even in his final days, he had an acute memory for enlivened storytelling. He was generous of spirit and always tried to lend a hand where he could. He taught honesty, compassion, and tolerance by example and ensured that he instilled these values in his children. Bob was a pillar of the Stewart community for many years and he will be missed dearly by all those who knew him.
Bob is survived by his wife: Alice; Children: Patricia, Ann, John [deceased], Shirley, Linda, Robert; Grandchildren: Keith [deceased], Wendy, Chris [deceased] Alicia, Megan, Daniel, Jason, Samantha, Amanda, Terry, Darren, Lance, Leanne, Bobby, Sandi, Laurie; Great Grandchildren: Kayla, Megan, Ashley, Kyla, Jade, Colin, Lannae, Kayden, Landon, Logan, Marcus, Brayden, and Dane.
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