Robert Bates Hutchins, 75, of Nellysford, Va., passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Born in Norwalk, Conn., on August 2, 1944, he was the son of the late Francis and Florence Bates Hutchins. Bob spent his formative childhood in Connecticut and Maine. Immediately after completing high school, Bob joined the Air Force, served four years, and spent time in Europe and Northern Africa. Once honorably discharged from the military, Bob moved from the northeast to the suburbs of Chicago. He enrolled and received a bachelor's degree at Elmhurst College and met the love of his life and best friend, Sandy. They settled down in Saint Charles, Ill., and raised their two children in the western suburbs of Chicago. Bob enjoyed a forty-year career with Material Control, Inc., a leading manufacturer of conveyor controls and accessories, in Batavia Illinois. He was also a regular volunteer at Special Olympics in northeastern Illinois for more than three decades. Following his retirement, he and Sandy moved to central Virginia.They spent seven happy years living near their daughter in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For two of those years, he thoughtfully helped his son-in-law launch a start-up business and served as the company's Director of Operations. In addition to loving his family, Bob had many passions in life. He was a talented cook and baker, enjoyed shopping at the local farmers' market, and was a passionate organic gardener. He loved watching his two children and his grandchildren play competitive sports, especially soccer. Bob loved building Legos and playing games with his grandchildren. He was a skilled wood and stone craftsman and would thoughtfully give carved gifts to his family every Christmas; he also hand-built a rocking chair and a sea kayak out of wood. He was an avid runner and enjoyed annual vacations with his family on the beaches of Long Boat Key, Fla. He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Sandra J. Hutchins; a daughter, Amy E. Winter and her husband, Colin; a son, Matthew R. Hutchins and his wife, Sara; a sister, Betty Karau; and his five grandchildren, Jackson Winter, Anna Winter, Will Winter, Grayson Hutchins and Elliott "Ellie" Hutchins. At this time, a memorial service is not able to be scheduled. Instead, the immediate family is spending a few weeks together, reflecting on the incredible man, husband, father, and grandfather Bob was during his 75-year life.
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