Hutcheson Death Shocks Bentonville
November 10, 2009
FACILITIES DIRECTOR SPENT 33 YEARS IN SCHOOL DISTRICT
BENTONVILLE Gary Hutcheson, facilities director of Bentonville’s Tiger Athletic Complex and a longtime employee of the school district, died Monday morning from the complications of an aneurysm. He was 61.
Hutcheson was riding a bicycle through Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon when he crashed after su◊ering an aneurysm.
He was flown toSt. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Mo., Bentonville athletic director Lauren West said. He was unable to survive the trauma.
“It’s been very solemn around thecomplex today,” West said Monday. “I think really people are in a bit of shock that he passed so suddenly. I don’t know that it’s really set in with us all yet.”
Hutcheson spent 33 years in the school district and was the facilities director at the TAC since it opened in 2005.
He oversaw the maintenance of the district’s fieldhouse, football stadium, baseball and softball fi elds and track and soccer complex.
“He was always such a kindperson, a gentle person that took great pride in the athletic complex,” West said. “He never forgot that our No. 1 reason for being there was to take care of the kids that we served. He did it with a smile on his face.”
Wayne Zumwalt, longtime friend of Hutcheson and assistant principal at Bentonville’s Spring Hill Middle School, said Hutcheson was proud of the district’s athletic facilities.
“He knew the ins and outs of that thing,” said Zumwalt, who coached with Hutcheson before both became administrators in the district. “He could tell you where every light switch was and every nook and cranny. He knew everything you’d want to know about that facility and was always finding ways - even as nice as it is - to come up with something to improve it every year.”
Hutcheson started working in the Bentonville School District in 1977 as a physical education teacher at the high school. He moved to Walton Junior High School - now Washington Junior High School - in 1980 to teach and coach eighth-grade football, eighth-grade basketball and track. He became an assistant principal at Washington Junior High School in 1991 and stayed in that position until the TAC opened.
“There’s not enough good things to say about him,” said Ruth Barker Middle School principal Donnie Myers, who also coached with Hutcheson at the junior high school. “He’s one of the few people that when he tells you something, you can take it to the bank because that’s the way it is.
“He would go out of his way to do anything for anyone. He’s going to be missed.”
A visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Church of Christ on North Walton Boulevard. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of Christ.
Sports, Pages 7 on 11/10/2009