Lt. Col. William Vaughn Hutchens, USAFR left us on May 6, 2018 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.
Bill was born in Shelbyville, IN on February 1, 1933, and grew up in nearby Manilla. He loved to poke fun at his hometown, claiming that a tornado once roared down Main Street, causing over a million dollars in improvements and proudly playing for the basketball team, the Manilla Folders. Bill graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1951 where he pledged Phi Kappa Psi before heading off to Indiana University. He earned his undergraduate and law degree from Indiana University and was admitted to the Bar in 1963. He joined the firm of Locke, Reynolds, Boyd and Weisell where he practiced law for the next 35 years and was a Senior Managing Partner. He even earned accolades as a Who's Who in plaintiff aviation law.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, he simultaneously studied for and passed the Bar, flew missions as a pilot in the Air Force, practiced law, and was a husband and father to three young boys. Rather than playing golf on the weekends, his idea of relaxation was flying a C-124 Globemaster with 68,000 pounds of cargo to remote locations around the world or tooling around on his pontoon boat at Lake Clearwater. Bill was recalled out of law school for a yearlong active duty commitment during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was one of the few prestigious pilots chosen to fly the Thor Missiles to England. He was an honored Quiet Birdman, and was proud to admit that he completed more landings in his aviation career than take-offs.
Bill was preceded in death by the love of his life of 23 years, Gayle Chadwick Hutchens. He is survived by his three sons, William Vaughn Hutchens II (Mary), Thomas Harvey Hutchens, John Christian Hutchens (Laura), stepdaughter Sandra Lawrence Martin (Jeff), and his baby brothers Gary Hutchens and Steve Hutchens. Best of all, he was "Papa" to five incredible grandkids: Monica Marz Kulikowski (Matt), Julia Nell Hutchens, John Christian Hutchens II, Lucas Benjamin Martin, and Anna Grace Martin. We will all miss him madly.
Visitation will be held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 11th at St. Luke Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St., Indianapolis, IN. Funeral services will follow at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Paws and Think, Inc., c/o Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, 1346 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-2415 or online at www.pawsandthink.org/donate.
He lived by is motto, "Even through the storms of life, he kept his humor dry." In pilot speak, "He Has Gone West."
To share a memory, please visit www.leppertmortuary.com.
Dear Hurchens Family:
You do not know who in **** I am, and, most likely could care Less---but I shall forge ahead: Anyway...
I am a Retiree who, learned how to read everything in general, and newspapers in particular, in the year 1929, and I have read at least one newspaper every day since then---and this includes: Obituaries!! On May 8 of this year, my eye caught the sly Smile, and twinkling eye, evident even through an obituary photo---of L/C Hutchens. My late brother lived in Shelbyville, so I have passed through (quickly) Manilla many times. So, I read:On...
His remarks concerning a "million dollars worth improvements" and " Manillfolders" brought forth enough Chuckles to last a lifetime! I even sent the obituary to my (many) Progeny so they could relish the L/C Humor. I am, even now, chuckling at his remarks, and will do so the remaining weeks/days of my life!
In addition, before being deployed overseas during the Korean "War", I spent six months as a lowly ground-bound 1/Lt USAF(MC) at McChord AFB, an advanced training facility for Globemaster pilots, and was witness to low-flying aircraft 24 hours/day, a sound I can still remember...
So, I am proud to have served with L/C Hutchens in service to America, and only wish I had known him: in person. However, in view of his sense of humor, I suspect he was the Worst of the Worst: a Punster...
Thank you for sharing his life with,
Kenneth R. DeVoe,M.D. (Ret)
I first met Bill during a Premises Liability trial, in which he was the defense counsel and I was the plaintiff in the case. In the years following, our paths would cross at ICLEF seminars quite often. It was then that I began to really get to know Bill, and a genuine friendship developed. Over the years, as I saw the Parkinsons disease develop, Bill's spirit and humor seemed to flourish even more. He never failed to ask how my wife was, and how our kids were doing. We would talk at length about what each other was up to. What an incredible gentleman. I learned so much about civility from him, and what it means to be a compassionate human being. He blessed us during his time on earth, and I cannot wait to see him again in Heaven one day. To the Hutchens family, I am so saddened for your loss of Bill. The bright spot is it is so easy to bring a smile to our faces when we think back about the person he was and the legacy he left for all of us.
Most Respectfully, Jeff Lawson
Dear Hutchens Cousins and your families it was to my great sorrow I learned of your father's passing tonight. We lost contact sometime ago but I have tried to touch base and find you. Tonight I did. Not what I hoped for. I knew your Dad was an exceptional guy we always thought he looked like Jarred Barkley. (old show) but to read what a hero he was as well. On behalf of the Fleming family our condolences from Phx, AZ.
Bill was one of my mentors when I joined the AF Reserves in 1971 and was always a joy to be around. He and his humor will be missed. My condolences to his family.
Bob Nester, Major General, USAFR (Ret)
Bill and I were colleagues and partners at Locke Reynolds throughout his entire professional career. His intellect, wit and charm ingratiated him to all with whom he came in contact. These qualities also made him a terrific trial lawyer. Jurors, both women and men, took to him like bees to honey. He retained those qualities until the day he died which made him a very unique individual. I am glad I knew him and was his friend.
Sad for all those who loved him. Our journey without them is the hardest part. I
I loved Mr. Hutchens! I worked with him at Locke Reynolds 1994-2004. We shared the same birthday of 2/1. He always called me and left me some little birthday jingle on my phone real early in the morning (before I came in so it was on my vmail !). He was wonderful. I want to share my deepest condolences to his family...he will be greatly missed there is no doubt in my mind. RIP Mr. Hutchens Love--Lona Neal
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