Thursday, January 4, 2024
12:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)
Thursday, January 4, 2024
3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)
With immense sadness, we announce the death of Alexander Hutchings at midday on December 31st, 2023, in his 96th year, after a short illness but very long and well-lived life. Husband of 67 years to Wendy (née Simpson), father of Jeffrey (predeceased), Stephen, Roslyn (predeceased), Julia (Brian Montgomery), and Jamie, and grandpa of Alexandra Hutchings. Known as Alex to his Newfoundland kin and Al to everyone else, his modesty, grace, and concern for others formed the core of his character, always guiding him to do what he felt was right.
Born May 8, 1928 in the small fishing outport of Sunnyside, Newfoundland, Al always lit up at the mention of home - and his pride in the place he was raised was evident to anyone hearing the many stories he told of his youth. As a young man he trained as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, and it was during his time stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia that he met the love of his life, Wendy Simpson (on a blind date arranged by her friend!). A year later they were married, and in 1958 moved to Orillia, where they made their home together and raised five children.
Al loved teaching. During the 28 years he taught high school - 26 of which were at Orillia District Collegiate & Vocational Institute (ODCVI) - he taught countless students not only how to type and to grasp basic finances, but also what it meant to take on responsibility and to keep one's word. He was always fair, gentle, and eager to help young people learn the skills that would help them succeed.
He was also a lifelong learner, and kept busy after his retirement in 1986. He loved books so much he even maintained a reading log over the next three decades! Dad enjoyed spending long summers at the family cottage in Gravenhurst, taking trips both nearby and afar, walking, cross-country skiing, and learning to play bridge. Even at age 90 he would join a group of friends regularly to spend time learning something new together.
Service to others was very important to him, from his term as Orillia City Councillor in the 1960's, through his many years with the Orillia Y's Men's Club (including a year as President), and chairing the City's Committee of Adjustment for many years after his retirement. And when the Cancer Society or Salvation Army asked for volunteers to help raise money, he answered the call for as long as he was able.
The day before his passing, Al reflected on his situation in a moment of perfect clarity and softly pronounced - true to character - "Well ... it could be worse."
Goodbye Al, Dad, Grandpa. You will live in our hearts forever.
Visitation will be held at the Mundell Funeral Home, 79 West St. N., Orillia on Thursday, January 4th from 12 noon until time of memorial service in the chapel at 3 p.m. For those unable to attend the service at the Funeral Home, you may watch via Livestream, by clicking on the following link to register your device. https://event.forgetmenotceremonies.com/ceremony?c=70899c57-433e-47ab-9392-b43eaceff942
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sharing Place Food Centre, St. James Anglican Church, or a charity of your choice. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.mundellfuneralhome.com