NASHVILLE, TENN. And SURRY — Thomas William Hutchison, 60, of Nashville, Tenn., and Surry died May 28, 2012, at his home in Surry from sudden cardiac arrest. Hutchison was born Aug. 25, 1951, in Texas, the son of William and Helen (Weider) Hutchison, but lived most of his life in Tallahassee, Fla.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s and Ph.D. in mass communication from Florida State University. Hutchison, known to friends and fans as “Hutch,” played bass guitar in several popular country and rock bands. He opened, backed or played on recording sessions with Kathy Mattea; Steve Wariner; Billy Dean; The Drifters; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Bachman-Turner Overdrive; Ray Charles; Johnny Paycheck; Terry Gibb, Billy “Crash” Cradock; and Restless Heart. He was a favorite performer of Florida Gov. Bob Graham and played for President Jimmy Carter. In 1993, Hutchison moved to Nashville, where he rose through the ranks to become a professor in the Department of Recording Industry in the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He directed the Music Business Internship Program, the Executive Online Music Business Program and launched a songwriting degree that brought the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy University Network to MTSU. Hutchison mentored many students who went on to successful careers in the music industry or as Grammy or CMA award-winning songwriters. During his academic career, Hutchison authored five textbooks on marketing in the entertainment industry and served as consultant to RCA Records, the Country Music Association, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal/MCA Records. In recent years Hutchison became a national expert in online education, winning awards for Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology and Distinguished Educator in Distance learning, as well as developing online curricula for three universities. In 2010, Hutchison moved to Surry, where he owned a home on Newbury Neck. He joined Husson University as professor of marketing, director of School of Business and Management and executive director of Academic Affairs. He also taught at New England School of Communications.
Hutchison is survived by his wife of 20 years, Lynne Walker Hutchison, formerly of Canton. Lynne was the love of his life, soul mate, best friend and constant companion in enjoying Maine’s beauty, whether hiking or snowshoeing Acadia National Park, kayaking Blue Hill Bay or photographing seals, osprey and eagles. Tom loved animals, and owned golden retrievers his entire life. His last activity before his death was paddling Patten Bay, where he watched over a flock of newly hatched ducklings until their mother returned.
Hutchison is survived by his mother, Helen Hutchison; sister, Jean Hutchison Smith, both of Tallahassee, Fla.; a sister, Susan Hutchison Johnston of Houston, Texas; and brother, James Hutchison of Deltona, Fla. Hutchison leaves behind thousands of friends, students and fans. All recall Tom as a true gentleman, a kind and laid-back friend who saw the best in all, and one of the most charming and humorous souls ever to walk this earth. He is deeply grieved and will be desperately missed.
Donations may be made in Hutchison’s memory to the SPCA of Hancock County, 141 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, ME 04605 or The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main St., Box 610, Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled light
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there; I did not die.