In Memoriam: Rodney E. Hutchinson

Former judge Rodney E. Hutchinson, a lifetime member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association, died October 14 at the age of 100.

A native of Cheboygan County, Hutchinson received a B.A. degree from Eastern Michigan University followed by a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force in the Office of the Trial Judge Advocate and was honorably discharged at the war’s end.

He opened his law office in Ypsilanti in 1951, and continued his law practice until being elected Judge of the 14th District Court. In May 1969, he was appointed Washtenaw County Probate Judge by Governor William G. Milliken and served until his retirement in 1986. As probate judge, he was recognized for his leadership in improving probate court administration and for timely disposition of all cases he heard.

Hutchinson was active in community affairs; six years on Ypsilanti City Council and four years as mayor; president of Ypsilanti Jaycees and president of the Chamber of Commerce.

He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus and American Legion. In recognition of his community service, he was named the community’s 1956 Outstanding Young Man of the Year and in 1964, was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010, Hutchinson and his wife Dorothy moved to Silver Maples of Chelsea retirement home where he continued to live after her death.

He is survived by daughters: Karen (William) Lawrence and Lynn (Richard) Pattison; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and was preceded in death by his wife and eight siblings.
A Memorial Gathering was held Oct. 20 at Silver Maples of Chelsea.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Oct. 21 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ypsilanti, followed by burial at St. John Catholic Cemetery, Ypsilanti.