James R. Hutchinson


(Nov. 29, 2006)

James ("Jim") Ray Hutchinson, 86, died in his home in Rapid City, South Dakota on Wednesday November 29, 2006, following a valiant two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by family and friends. Born on July 4, 1920 in Kansas City, MO, to Noble Max and Mary Emma (McCluskey) Hutchinson, Reverend Hutchinson was raised in Bartlesville, OK. He courageously served his country as a B-17 navigator and Army Air Corp officer (2nd Lieutenant) during World War II.

He received his education at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and graduated with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1943. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Following graduation, he was employed as a petroleum district engineer for the Cities Service Oil Company for 20 years before entering seminary.

He married Virginia ("Vickie") Varnell in Oklahoma City, OK on November 27, 1949. From this union, three children were born: Robert Ray, John David, and Pamela Lea. Vickie’s unexpected death occurred in 1975, the result of a cerebral hemorrhage. Pamela lost her courageous battle with scleroderma in 2003.

Following graduation in 1969 from Dubuque Seminary in Dubuque, IA, he was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. He moved to Minneapolis, KS, where he was installed as minister for the First Presbyterian Church. Over the ensuing years, Jim served many churches as an interim pastor throughout the Presbytery of Northern Kansas. He moved to Salina, KS in 1976, where he obtained his Senior Certified Alcoholism/Drug Addiction Counselor’s certification. He provided substance abuse treatment services at St. John’s Hospital in Salina and pastoral counseling services as an interventionist at the Central Kansas Foundation, a drug and alcohol treatment organization.

Following retirement, Jim continued to maintain his previous level of commitment to the ministry, serving as an active member of the Committee on Ministry in the Presbyteries of Santa Fe, NM, Wyoming and South Dakota, ministered as a supply pastor, in addition to serving the denomination as liaison for the National Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

His accomplishments include his many years of service as a Dale Carnegie Course Instructor (1958-1968), membership in the Kansas and National Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors Associations (1976 – 1993), and membership of Rotary Club International for many years in the communities of Santa Fe, NM, Laramie, WY, and Las Vegas, NM.

While in Salina, he married Mary Catherine (Craig) Selby in 1990 after a twelve-year courtship. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of South Dakota in Rapid City.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Catherine, son Ray Hutchinson (Dubuque, IA), son John Hutchinson and his wife, Dr. Kathy Platoni, (Beavercreek, OH), son-in-law Mark Collison and three grandchildren Joshua, Melissa, and Micah Collison (Sioux Falls, SD). Also mourning his loss are two stepchildren, Michael Selby, his wife Michelle, and their daughter Amanda Brown of Santa Fe, NM, and Kathleen Selby and her husband, Don Lamoureaux and their children - Teela and Rose Lamoureaux of Mission, SD. He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter, Pamela Lea Collison (Sioux Falls, SD). Jim’s infinite gifts permitted him to touch scores of lives and to generate lifelong friendships among each of the many places he called home.

Funeral arrangements will be conducted by the Osheim-Catron Funeral Home, located at 2700 Jackson Blvd. Rapid City. Visitation is scheduled for Monday December 4, 2006, 4 PM to 7 PM at the funeral home. Funeral services will held at 11 AM on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Rapid City. Following cremation, Reverend Hutchinson will be inurned at Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD. Memorial gifts may be made to Hope Lodge (American Cancer Society), 411 2nd Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901 or to Hospice of the Hills in Rapid City, SD.

Friends may offer condolences and sign Jim’s online guestbook at www.osheimcatron.com.