October 9, 1949 – May 21, 2021
Although we have just lost him, we are so blessed to have known him. Andrew John Hutchins, “Andy” to everyone who had the joy of meeting him (and occasionally Brother John to his siblings), always stood out in a crowd. Andy was a friend to all that knew him, his sense of humour and his laughter overflowed and touched everyone around him.
In his honour, flags flew at half-mast in the Cowichan Valley on the day he died. He would have loved that and would have stood just a little taller with appreciation and humility.
Andy started his life on a dairy farm in Devon, England and at the age of 7 travelled with his father across the ocean to Montreal. They drove to Toronto and picked up the other seven members of the family.
That was the start of a journey across Canada to Calgary. Imagine the sights of this huge country in 1957 to a young boy. After two more sisters arrived and eight years passed the family moved to a farm in Mill Bay and they began a life in a rural Vancouver Island community.
Andy met the love of his life, Kathleen, and they married in 1969. During their 51 years of partnership they built a family. Daughters Andrea (Martin), Jodi (Clinton); grandchildren Alex, Sydney (Richard), Emily, Ryan (Lauren), Jacob and great-granddaughter Olive Rose.
Andy was a dedicated community volunteer and gave countless hours to a host of organizations and projects. These included the Maple Bay Rowing Club, the Cowichan Sportsplex, the Maple Bay Fire Hall, the Cowichan Rugby Club, and most recently for the last 10 years with Kidsport Cowichan.
He also received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for Service along with his brother Rob. He was a volunteer fireman for over 45 years and fire chief for 23 of those years. His working career began at the Youbou Sawmill for BCFP and later he transferred to Crofton Pulp and Paper where he worked for over 35 years.
Starting in Kraft Operations, Andy was heavily involved in the mill safety program and later became an Instrument Mechanic. Always wanting to see things improve, he moved into management becoming first a Foreman and later on a Superintendent.
Andy is survived not only by his family mentioned above but by siblings Jane (Roger), Sue, Kit (Dave), Filly (Pat), Simon (Hedda), Rob (Sue), Tina (Jim) and Fiona (Jim); Kathleen’s siblings Pat (Rob), Shannon (Calvin), Paul (Shelley), Jennifer (Rick) and their extended and ever-growing families. His love of life and community will live through his family and the example that he set for us all.
Rest in Peace, we love you.
An event to remember Andy will be held at a later date. In memorial, donations to Kidsport at email@example.com would be appreciated by the family.
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