Ralph Hutchings Obituary
 
In Memory of

Ralph L Hutchings

February 16, 1938 - June 29, 2014
Obituary

Ralph L. Hutchings, M.D. February 16, 1938 – June 29, 2014 Ralph L. Hutchings, M.D., passed away at home in Beverly Hills on June 29, 2014, after a yearlong bout with cancer. “Hutch” was born on February 16, 1938, in Madison, Illinois, to parents Ralph and Minnie Hutchings. The family soon moved to Detroit, where he grew up. A natural athlete, he distinguished himself in all sports but eventually concentrated on baseball. As a youth, he demonstrated the energy and dedication that would characterize his life. He sold newspapers, seated fans at Tiger Stadium, did construction work, and sold men’s...

Ralph L. Hutchings, M.D.



February 16, 1938 – June 29, 2014



Ralph L. Hutchings, M.D., passed away at home in Beverly Hills on June 29, 2014, after a yearlong bout with cancer. “Hutch” was born on February 16, 1938, in Madison, Illinois, to parents Ralph and Minnie Hutchings. The family soon moved to Detroit, where he grew up.



A natural athlete, he distinguished himself in all sports but eventually concentrated on baseball. As a youth, he demonstrated the energy and dedication that would characterize his life. He sold newspapers, seated fans at Tiger Stadium, did construction work, and sold men’s clothing. There was never as idle moment in his life.



Hutch attended the University of Michigan, where he initially played football and basketball before devoting his time fully to baseball and his pre-med studies. As captain of the baseball team, he displayed his outstanding athletic skills which landed him on the cover of the Ann Arbor newspaper sports section with great regularity. He continued his education at Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit. After internship, Hutch served as a physician for an armored battalion, stationed in Germany at a U.S. Army base.



Toward the end of his Army service, he received a telegram from the pre-eminent heart surgery pioneer, Dr. Michael DeBakey, advising him that he had been accepted into the cardiothoracic surgical residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The next six years were spent in the operating room, where his passion for perfection and tenacity made him uniquely suitable for the emerging field of heart surgery in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The prospect of starting his own heart surgery program brought him to California. During his years as a cardiothoracic surgeon in Southern California, he lived completely in the service of others. He had a busy and highly respected practice at a number of hospitals, including Brotman Memorial Hospital, Santa Monica Hospital, St. John’s Hospital and UCLA, where he taught residents for five years before his retirement in 2001.



After retirement, Hutch was able to devote more time to golf and to his beloved cattle ranch in Central California. His attention to detail found a new outlet as he meticulously maintained and cared for every aspect of this property. He was a member of the Los Angeles County Club where he made many enduring friendships. His love of the rules of golf led him to serve as the Rules Chairman at LACC and was also a volunteer rules official or the Southern California Golf Association. He was very close to the PGA Tour Rules Committee and, on two different occasions, served on that Committee at the World Golf Championship Match Play events.



Hutch will be remembered as a loyal humble man of uncommon integrity. He rarely spoke of his accomplishments in the transformative early years of cardiac surgery. He was knowledgeable and conversant on a variety of subjects but his true strength was in listening to others. He treated everyone he met with equal importance and respect.



He was married to Audrey for over 40 years. He leaves family members Janice Harrison (Hudson), Cheryl Howarth (Norman), Deborah Hoehl (Jack), Robert Hutchings (Julie), numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. The family is grateful to the UCLA neuro-oncology department, to his caring and compassionate caregivers and hospice nurses, and particularly to Jerry, Willy, Cynthia and Juanita. A memorial service will be held at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church at 505 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the Church in his memory.



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Los Angeles Times
February 16, 1938 - June 29, 2014 Ralph L. Hutchings, M.D., passed away at home in Beverly Hills on June 29, 2014, after a yearlong bout with...

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