William Jeffery HUTCHINSON

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HUTCHINSON, William Jeffery 15 December, 1928 - 16 October, 2013 Survived by his wife, Dr. Sandra Sudmant, and family members who reside in British Columbia, Scotland and England. Jeff was born in the house of his parents at Gosforth, Newcastle, Northumbria, England on the 15th day of December, 1928. As a young man he joined the Royal Navy, serving from 1947 until 1949. He immigrated to Canada in 1950 and joined the R.C.A.F. His military career as a transport pilot took him around the world. Flying the Hercules Transport C-130 on missions to trouble zones like Korea, Kashmir and Cyprus, he became part of the renowned Canadian Peacekeepers. In 1988 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, and Jeff, along with those who served with him, was named as sharing the honour. A modest man, he rarely mentioned the recognition of his contribution, and many who knew him were unaware of this part of his history. In 1974 he ended his military career, retiring as a Squadron Leader. During the ensuing years, (1974-1986) Jeff flew for the Department of Transport as a check pilot. Flying across the country, he felt a particular attraction to the Arctic and Coastal B.C., hearing the siren call of ocean scattered with islands, and determined to live on the Pacific side of the continent. He landed into full retirement on Saltspring Island, then later in Duncan. He loved to look out across the water and monitor the passing boats. His life settled into happy quiet routine, the enjoyment of literature, travelogues and walks along native trails. He was a learned reader as well as a devoted cryptic crossword player. He loved the hunt for words, and kept a reference library devoted to the cause. All who knew him recognized him as a gentleman of thoughtful good taste and kind consideration. His last days ended as he wished, shared lovingly with Sandy beside him. He walked along the beach watching the water lift the boats at their mooring. He settled into his favourite chair. Just as life began for Jeff at home, so too, it quietly ended, his last breath taken in the comforting surround of home.

Published in Cowichan Valley Citizen from Oct. 25 to Oct. 26, 2013