Hutton, George

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  • Hutton, George

George N. Hutton Jr. HICKORY George N. Hutton Jr. passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, after a brief illness. George was born Nov. 27, 1929, to G. Norman Hutton II and Opal B. Hutton. He attended Hickory public schools, until high school where he attended Sewanee Military Academy, graduating in 1948. While at Sewanee, he was an accomplished athlete excelling in boxing, as a Golden Glove and at football. He married Martha (Muggins) Bowman, his childhood sweetheart, Dec. 27, 1950, who he cherished for more than 63 years. George attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a football scholarship, but was sidelined due to illness. While at Chapel Hill, he was the Battalion Commander of the University Air Force ROTC unit. A true entrepreneur, he worked for the local telephone company, as a lineman, while in school, as Muggins taught piano and made sandwiches, which George sold at fraternity houses. When he graduated with a BS degree in economics, he and Muggins left Chapel Hill, in a new Cadillac convertible purchased from the fruits of their labors, to start their life in Hickory. George managed Hutton and Bourbonnais Company, a successful wood products and building supply firm, founded by his grandfather, George I in 1898, for 21 years. His entrepreneurial spirit not completely satisfied, George participated in the founding and operations of many businesses over the years including: Decor Originals, Hyland Porcelain, CommScope Corporation, Hutton Furniture Company, Hickory Telephone Company, Catawba Concrete Products, Precision Industries, Children's Park and G.N. Hutton Company. His business acumen was well known and his counsel much sought after. He served as a director of Centel Corporation, which was acquired by Sprint Corporation, for 26 years, where he chaired the audit and finance committee and was the youngest director in its history. He also served on other boards, as a director and chairman such as chairman of CommScope for two years, M/A Com, Inc. for 15 years, chairman of Diamond Communication Products for two years, and the First National Bank of Catawba County for six years. An avid pilot for most of his life who learned to first love aviation from one of the first pilots in Hickory, his uncle Ralph Warren Hutton, George was a multi-engine rated pilot and became jet qualified, at age 60. Always interested in water sports and activities, he was an accomplished sea captain and navigator. George was a Korean War veteran and dragged Muggins in the trailer they lived in from Maine to Florida, while a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. What mattered most to George was his family. Muggins and George have four sons, George (Rusty) Hutton IV, R. Bryan Hutton, Warren A. Hutton and J. Wood (Woody) Hutton. They have 10 grandchildren, Stacie Amanda Williams, Ashley Stringfellow, Courtney Lea Hutton, Emily A. Hutton, James W. Hutton, George N. Hutton V, Betsey S. Hutton, Bryan J. Hutton, Martha (Maggie) A. Hutton and Jackson R. Hutton. Muggins and George are also blessed to have four great-grandchildren, Anna Claire Stringfellow, Samuel H. Williams V, E. Hutton Stringfellow and Harper Hutton Williams. As interested in giving back to his community as he was in business, he served on the boards of numerous civic organizations and was a lifelong generous supporter of Sipes Orchard home in Conover, the first orphanage in Catawba County. The family will receive friends Thursday evening, Feb. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Howard Price Funeral Home, 754 US Hwy. 1, North Palm Beach, Fla. The family will inter his ashes in Oakwood Cemetery in Hickory, after a memorial service at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m. and receive friends in Hickory at Bass-Smith Funeral Home, following the interment from 2 to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made in George's memory to Sipes Orchard Home, 4431 County Home Rd., Conover, NC 28613.

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