Wilson Van Hutchison, a lifelong resident of the South Bay area, passed away on Sunday, June 28, 2009. Van was born on March 17, 1922 in Los Angeles, California. He enjoyed and appreciated his friends, family, community and church. Van was a proud World War II veteran, serving both in the Navy and the Merchant Marines. He retired from McDonnell Douglas Aircraft (33 years) where most of his co-workers knew him as "Hutch." He enjoyed music, woodworking, nature and anything "automotive." He had a passion for violin and guitar music and played both. He was an active member of two local cactus clubs which support the South Bay Botanical Gardens. Van is survived by his wife of 59 years, Cleo; son Michael; daughter Ilene Aldrich; two sisters, Mary Perry and Helen Lewis; four grandchildren, Angie, Gary, Michele and Glenda; two great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Services will be held on July 3, 2009 at 11:00am at the Sovereign Grace Bible Church, 101 S. Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach, followed by a short graveside service at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach.

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  1. Dear Cleo & Family, You are in our thoughts & prayers as you mourn the loss of Van. May God comfort you and keep you in His tender care. Love & Prayers, Keith & Betty Sears

  2. Dear Cleo and family, Van was one of the first members to welcome me when I showed up at my first meeting of the South Coast Cactus and Succulent Society at the Botanic Garden a few years ago. He (with you at his side, Cleo) always greeted me warmly, and shared my wonder at, and (spoken in his heart) praising of the Creator for, these curious and beautiful (some people think “strange”!) plants. A smile would beam across his face when his name was called as a winner of a free plant in the door prize drawing, and that smile would stay all the while he was walking to the counter, picking out his plant, and returning to his seat with a prized specimen to add to his collection. I shall miss seeing Van Hutchison there at the monthly meetings. If there are gardens in the heaven world (and they must be marvelous), I am sure he is enjoying peaceful strolls through them, still praising the Creator (and having more time than ever to discover amazing plants he never knew existed!). Sincerely, Philip Johnston Ross Secretary, South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society

  3. Dear Cleo & Family, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend the services. I shall miss Van at our Cactus & Succulent Club meetings. I’m sure other members will too. He enjoyed socializing with the other members and sharing his plant growing and collecting experiences. I think he also enjoyed getting the occasional “Free Plant”. God bless, you Cleo. I hope you will continue to attend our meetings in the future. Dale La Forest President South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society

  4. Dear Cleo, Ilene and Mike, What a beautiful service you had for Van. My deepest condolences to you all.

  5. Dear Cleo, I always looked forward to seeing you and Van walk into the SCC&SS meetings with your warm smiles. (This will not be forgotten.)

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. Do not forget, call me anytime you want to talk. We will miss Van so much at the meetings but hope to see you there when you feel up to it.

  7. You have my sincerest consolescenses. I’ll keep you and your family in our prayers. I’ll always remember Van’s smile and kind demeanor. Gary Duke

  8. Cleo, Please accept our sincere condolence for such a profound loss. Van always shared that wonderful smile, with such a sparkle in his eye with excitement when we were running around during the annual South Coast Cactus & Succulent Club show. It was always such a treat to have a few minutes at lunch to catch up with you both on your latest activities. There is no easy way to travel this path, but Van knew how much he was loved, and we know how happy and fulfilled a life he lived. Harry and I admire you both for your endearing relationship. We are sure that this gift in life will be the foundation for your strength and the source of many wonderful memories. Our thoughts are with you and your precious family. Sincerely, Harry and Sandy Fletcher

  9. To the best brother-in-law. We love you & will miss you but we will never forget you in our memories. Our Love Gary and Brenda

  10. My greatest condolences to all of the family. I will never forget how he was able to make all of us smile with his Donald Duck impersonation and his contagious smile. We will all miss him so. love you, Danielle, Jon, Jaxen, and Ryann Unruh (Frieling)

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