Robert A. Hutchins, Sr., of Enfield, CT, formerly of Longmeadow, Wilbraham and Blandford MA, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, February 14, 2021, Valentine’s Day, at the age of 86.
Bob was born to Arthur and Mildred Hutchins in 1934 and raised in Springfield, MA, graduating from Technical High School in 1952. While in high school, Bob enjoyed a variety of sports, but particularly excelled at track. At one time he held the Western Mass record in the 800M. Bob matriculated to Cornell University, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and earning the prestigious Harvard Book Award. While at Cornell, Bob played soccer and lacrosse. He was also a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, where he fostered many lifelong friendships.
By far Bob’s most significant accomplishment during his Cornell years was meeting the love of his life, his Queen, Susan Perrin Howe. “Hutchie and Hutchie” married on July 26, 1958, settling in Springfield, starting a family, and eventually planting roots first in Wilbraham, then Longmeadow.
An engineering draftsman at heart, Bob entered the business his father started, Hutchins Tool & Engineering, where he would build his career. Under his leadership, and that of his brother Donald, the business expanded and thrived. Outside of work, Bob’s interests were varied and his accomplishments estimable. He served as president of the Cornell Club of Western Mass, president of The Blandford Club, and president of Longmeadow Country Club, where he received their highest honor of “Mr. Longmeadow” for his contributions and service. He served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Golf Association, frequently chairing or officiating events across the state. Bob was an accomplished golfer, winning two club championships at The Blandford Club and a Father-Son tournament at LCC in 1982. Other activities included cross country skiing, swimming, platform tennis and travelling, especially to Marco Island, Florida.
Bob was a devout parishioner at St. Mary’s Church, where he served as Lectern and dedicated himself to going to church every day. He raised funds for many years during the Catholic Charities Appeal drives and other causes dear to his heart, such as the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund. Throughout his life Bob followed his pursuits to as high a level as possible. He was never satisfied with simply participating.
Bob had quite an excellent singing voice which he loved to share. In his golden years he enjoyed performing with the Melody Boys at local nursing homes and other venues, sharing his gift with others to help bring light and memories of days gone by. His signature song was “You’ll Never Know”, a Bing Crosby cover that he would memorably sing to loved ones, young and old.
Bob cherished the many friendships he built throughout his life. He loved and thrived in his role as husband, son, brother, father, uncle, grandpa and great grandpa. He could always be counted on for a sweet smile, a twinkle in his eye and kind word. To have known the ol’ R.A. was to have loved him.
Bob is survived by his loving wife Susan, to whom he was married for 62 years; son Timothy and his wife Donna of East Longmeadow, MA; son Christopher and his partner Ann Lombardi of Longmeadow, MA; daughter Jennifer and her husband Lee of West Springfield, MA. Bob was predeceased by his son Robert, Jr. in 2016. Bob will be fondly remembered as a loving, gentle and happy grandfather to AJ, Robert, Sarah, Apryl, Christine and Zachary, as well as by his great-grandchildren Austin, Naevia, Dominic and Vivian. Bob will also be remembered by many nieces and nephews, and the many fortunate ones who knew Bob and called him friend.
As Bob prayed many times, God bless all the souls who can’t be with us today, all those who have gone on before us, and God bless the U.S.A.
Family and friends are invited to gather on Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 4 – 7 PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main Street, East Longmeadow, MA. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021 beginning at 10:45 AM at the funeral home followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 12 Noon at St. Mary’s Church, 519 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. Burial will be private in the Longmeadow Cemetery. Masks and social distancing will be required while attending services.
Memorial donations in memory of Bob can be made to the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, 300 Arnold Palmer Boulevard, Norton MA or Ouimet.org. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.forastiere.com
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