In Loving Memory
Retired Army Colonel John Michael Hutchison, age 72 of Orlando, FL, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Colonel Hutchison, known by most as Mike, was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother as well as a beloved friend and loyal comrade to all who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Janet Hutchison; daughter, Elizabeth; sons, Michael and John; grandson, Conrad James and sisters, Beth, Mary and Jo.
Mike married his beloved wife, Janet, on June 28, 1974 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Father to three children - Elizabeth, Michael and John as well as several dogs and cats - Mike was a devoted family man. When his children were younger, he spent countless hours playing in the pool with them, teaching them the art of the jumpshot in the driveway, taking them to the movies and enduring roller coaster rides on family vacations. He was the dad who would rouse his children out of bed when it was still dark outside so they could be the first ones on the ski slopes. Whenever mom was busy and he was in charge of dinner, he would order pizza. As his children grew, he would go for long runs with them as they trained for their various sports teams, braved the treacheries of teaching them how to drive, proofed their high school term papers and invested hours bestowing his life lessons and wisdoms upon them. After "having to wait 10 years too long," he fulfilled his final dream of becoming a grandfather when his daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Derek, welcomed their son Conrad James in June 2018.
Born in Blacksburg, VA in January 1947 to the late Dorothy Carrick and Howell Hutchison, Colonel Hutchison earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Oklahoma State University and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Air Defense Artillery in the U.S. Army in 1969. He went on to earn a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of South Carolina. His military education included the Army War College and Defense Language School.
During his distinguished 28-year military career, Colonel Hutchison completed multiple tours in Germany, Korea and at the Pentagon and he commanded Patriot missile battery and battalion units as well as the 11th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. His military decorations include three Legion of Merit awards and the Bronze Star Medal, which he received for his heroic service during the Gulf War in 1991. Upon retirement in 1996, he continued to serve and protect his country by serving in various senior leadership roles within the air defense sectors at Lockheed Martin Corporation and the Raytheon Company.
If you were ever looking for Mike, you'd likely find him in his office reading one of the hundreds of hardback classics that lined his mahogany bookshelves. Or he would be studying the atlas and memorizing every major city, river and notable landmark of every country in the world. Or he would simply be watching sports or listening to music. At any given moment, you could hear anything from the Beatles or the Police to Bruce Springsteen, U2 or ACDC. He was an intellectual with a passion for history and military strategy, and he was a deep thinker who could easily shift from pontificating about the ethics of taxation in the U.S. (he was a Republicans Republican) to giving you his analysis on the most recent class of all-star college basketball players. His demeanor was serious, but there was always a dry joke simmering just under the hood of his solemn facade. He was thoughtful and meticulous. Stern but kind. His favorite holiday was Christmas and he never met a Scotch he didn't like. If you were ever confronted with a challenge you couldn't solve, you could sit in the wingback chair that sat across from his desk and he'd listen. Then he would gently probe and question until you had figured out the solution yourself. He inspired self-reliance, but you could always rely on him. In the off chance you did not find him in his office, then you'd find him in the driveway, meticulously washing and waxing his beloved red Mustang, whom he affectionately called Kathleen.