John D. Hutchinson, a long-time resident of Henderson, Nevada and a friend to us at 10-4 (as well as many other truckers in the area), passed away on April 8, 2016 at St. Rose Siena Hospital. His cause of death was a weak heart and a pulmonary embolism (blood clot). At only 44 years old, like so many others before him, John was way too young to pass away, which just proves the point that every single day is a gift – and something we should never take for granted.
Born in Nicosia, Cyprus on June 28, 1971 to parents Daniel W. Hutchinson and Sharon L. Hutchinson, John was a Foreign Service “brat” (his parents are now retired from the CIA). After his first year in Cyprus, his family moved to Africa, and then to Turkey, the United States, Honduras, Bolivia, Korea and Italy. John graduated from high school in Rome, Italy in 1989 and was educated in the culinary arts, motorcycle mechanics and audio technology.
John’s trucking career began in 1996 when he went to work for C.R. England out of Salt Lake City, Utah, where he learned how to drive a truck. A year later, John switched over to Pride Transportation, another Salt Lake City company. John had a passion to drive the nicest and cleanest trucks on the road, which is what pulled him to Pride (they have very nice equipment). While at Pride, John drove a variety of different makes and models of trucks, but Peterbilt was always his favorite. John always kept his truck very clean and polished – trucking was not just a job for him, it was one of his hobbies. During his time at Pride he mainly pulled reefer freight, but there were a few years that he worked with the Trade Show Division, as well.
John worked at Pride until 2003, when he left to explore his passion for cooking – he and his father opened a restaurant in Bolivia. John was also very passionate about serving his country, but due to a medical history that once was epilepsy, he wasn’t eligible to join (his epilepsy was cured with brain surgery in 1990). Since he couldn’t join the military, he took a position as a private contractor with Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) and went to Iraq in 2004. While there, among other things, he drove jet fuel trucks through the war-torn streets of Iraq. John worked in Iraq until 2012, when his love of driving truck brought him back to the States. Upon his return, he went to work for K.N.D. Trucking, hauling crude oil and reefer freight, until 2015.
Like most company drivers, John had always dreamed about owning his own truck, and in December of 2015, that dream became a reality. Of course, that truck was a Peterbilt. Sadly, John’s time was cut very short, but he still had enough time to put his “blue” touches on the 2006 Peterbilt 379 he had purchased (mostly inside the cab). If you knew John, you knew that everything he touched had to be blue – his cars, trucks, clothes, and if he had it his way, his house would be blue, too. Sadly, John never got the chance to paint his white and yellow rig his favorite color.
Always an upbeat and positive person, John touched the lives of countless people. He would give you the shirt off his back, and then some, and he could see the positive in every situation – no matter how bad it was. He had a love of cooking, sports cars, motorcycles, dark beers, stinky cheese, really hot sauce/peppers (he even once tried the infamous “Ghost” pepper), Bourbon, wine, travel, music and spending time with friends. He touched the lives of people all over the world.
His funeral service and “celebration of life” party were held on Friday, April 15, at the Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas, Nevada. A “last ride” procession was arranged by his trucker buddies, which included several of their rigs. John and his casket were carried to the grave site atop a step-deck trailer being pulled by his treasured Peterbilt. The family was deeply touched because they knew John was glowing ear-to-ear with pride over such a beautiful and fitting tribute.
The sentiments shared by all who knew John were much the same – people said things like: he always had a smile on his face; he gave great hugs; he cheered me up when I had a bad day; he was so kind; he had a great laugh; he was the most genuine man I’ve ever known; he was funny; he was my best friend; he was like a brother to me (just to name a few). John is survived by his mother Sharon, father Dan, sister Traci, sister Kimberly, brother Evan, sister Michelle and niece Sophia. He will be missed by many.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bryan Pfersching, a fellow trucker and good friend of John’s, and the owner of Big Strappers Apparel, has made a special shirt in honor of John. If you would like to order some of these limited shirts, please visit www.bigstrappersapparel.com or find them on Facebook. All of the proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go directly to John’s family. Thanks and credit goes to Eric Arnold, along with members of John’s family, for the photos