YARMOUTH - George "Joe" M. Hutchins, 85, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 30, 2013, surrounded by his family at Bay Square in Yarmouth.
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Born in Hiram on Oct. 17, 1927, he was the youngest of the five children of Lee and Maude Hutchins. Joe graduated from Potter Academy in Sebago and attended Northeast Business College in Portland.
As a young man, Joe started his career driving a truck in Sebago for Chute Express. It was along this route that he met Ruth Harmon, the love of his life. His career then turned to the waterfront where he went to work for Fulham Brothers managing their processing plant in Portland. In this position, he recognized the need to get their products to Boston and Gloucester, Mass., and decided to start Hutchins Transportation in 1960. It was his strong focus on customer service that encouraged him to move full time into the trucking business with "You Call We Haul" as his motto. Joe would do whatever it took to get the job done, even if that meant that he and his brother Lee had to jump into a truck and head out on the road. In 1968, he started a second company, Columbia Transportation, to haul groceries for a regional grocery chain. When that chain was eventually acquired, it led to a long relationship that continues to this day between Hannaford Brothers and Joe's merged companies now called Hutchins Trucking Company.
Throughout the years, Joe was involved in or started many other business ventures. He was one of a group of local business owners who together owned Pleasant Mountain now known as Shawnee Peak. He operated Hutchins Data Systems, Hutchins Used Car Sales, Reliable Fasteners, HR Development and in 1988, co-founded Atlantic Great Dane. He also bought some farmland with his father-in-law, Harry Harmon, which was developed into Stroudwater Estates on outer Congress Street. It eventually included many buildings that he owned and managed.
Joe was a member of many organizations throughout his life as well. He was a member of the Falmouth Lions Club, the Masonic Temple, was a lifelong member of the Kora Shrine in Lewiston and a charter member of the original Mini Bike Corp., which participated in parades and other events. Joe was on the board of the Maine Motor Transportation Association and served as its President from 1975 to 1977. He was also a member of the Portland Country Club for over 40 years.
Joe was very active person throughout his life. As well as being a lifelong avid deer hunter, he enjoyed skiing, golf, snowmobiling, boating, playing cards, bowling, riding his Harley Davidson and hosting fun-filled family picnics in the summertime. These activities took him to many of his favorite locations including Sebago Lake, Shawnee Peak, Moosehead Lake, and Swan's Island. At one time, he and friend also became involved in horse racing and owned a horse that raced in the New York and New Jersey area. The predominant reason he enjoyed these activities was not so much the activity itself, but doing them with his family and many friends. He was considered the consummate friend because, if you were one of his friends, you were one for life. As anyone who knew him would tell you, Joe's kindness, generosity and humor were boundless.
Joe was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Lloyd and Lionel and his sister, Barbara Minervino. He is survived by Ruth (Harmon) Hutchins, his wife of 63 years; sons, Richard and his wife Sheryl of Windham, Stephen and his wife Cynthia of Falmouth, and Mark and his wife Christina of Falmouth, daughters, Deborah Cadigan and her husband Skip of Cumberland, and Leslie Wallace and her husband Len of Falmouth; brother, Lee Hutchins and his wife Flo of Leesburg, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Scott, Todd, Allison, Melissa, Cale, Dane, Erin and Katie, four great-grandchildren, Colby, Ella, Jackson and Addison; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Bay Square in Yarmouth for their dedicated, compassionate and loving care given to Joe throughout the past year. We would also like to thank Hospice of Southern Maine for their assistance to Joe and our entire family during the last few weeks.
Relatives and friends are invited for a time of visitation on Thursday, April 4, 2013, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland. Interment services will be private for Joe's family. Those wishing to send a tribute in memory of Joe may do so at www.jonesrichandhutchins.com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Joe's memory to:
The Shriner's Hospital for Children 51 Blossom St.
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
383 U.S. RT #1
Scarborough, Maine 04074
or Hospice of Southern Maine
U.S. RT #1
Scarborough, Maine 04074
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street
Portland, ME 04103
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Apr. 2, 2013