Obituary: Harry Hutton
April 18, 1928 – January 23, 2021
Born in Santa Barbara, California, on April 18, 1928, Harry believed himself to be the most fortunate because his family moved to the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies before his first birthday. He was raised in Rifle, Colorado, where he graduated from Rifle High School, married his sister’s best friend, served as a volunteer fireman and was elected to the Rifle City Council. Although he lived in California the last 60 plus years of his life, in his heart he was always a Coloradoan that loved the Rocky Mountains. Harry passed on in Orangevale, California, on January 23rd, 2021 at the age of 92 years. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home.
Harry married Roberta Jo Neal in Denver on July 27, 1949, beginning a treasured lifetime together. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2014, just five days before Jo’s passing.
Always in the mountains when work permitted, he became an active member of the National Ski Patrol, trained in avalanche rescue by the U.S. Forest Service, and enjoyed climbing the “14ers” as a member of the Colorado Mountain Club.
Finding it financially difficult to live in the small town of Rifle, they moved to California where he worked as a technical writer preparing operating and maintenance manuals for engine-driven generators. Their first child, a boy they named Craig Neal Hutton, was born in Long Beach. Unfortunately, Craig was killed in a car accident at the age of 17.
Desiring to raise their family near their children’s grandparents, they returned to Colorado where their second child, Diana Kim, was the first baby girl born in Rifle’s new hospital. Again, difficulty making a living brought the family back to California. Harry received an unsolicited offer from Aerojet-General Corporation for employment as a technical writer at their Azusa facility in Southern California.
In 1958, Harry was offered a supervisory position in Aerojet’s newly formed Division in Sacramento. While living in Fair Oaks, California, their third and last child, Patricia Jo, was born. Harry took his growing family camping in the Sierras, summer after summer. As their children married, their grandchildren joined them on their many marvelous and memorable camping trips.
Harry devoted some thirty-plus years supporting Aerojet’s customers in the use and servicing of the company’s rocket engines. He was ultimately promoted to the executive staff as the Director of Integrated Logistics Support responsible for managing Aerojet’s field engineering offices.
Both Jo and Harry loved to travel and were fortunate enough to visit most of the states as well as enjoying several trips to Europe. The highlight of their travels was a tour of the Holy Land led by their Pastor Henry Wells of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. Both Harry and Jo were baptized by Henry in the Jordan River at the location where it is believed that John baptized Jesus.
Among his favorite pastimes were painting, primarily in watercolors and acrylics; writing, he self-published two family history books; and he was an avid genealogist. He was a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for over 60 years, as well as the Scottish Rite and Ben Ali Shrine.
He is survived by his daughter Kim Cole and husband Jim, his daughter Patricia Jo Goettsch and husband Bob, granddaughter Jamie Dorn and husband Dallas, granddaughter Julie Gray and husband Casey, grandson James Cole and wife Kristen, great-grandsons Oliver Craig Gray, David Neal Gray, and Declan Aiden Dorn, and great-granddaughter Sadie Jo Dorn, his brother Lorry’s wife Dolores, sisters Heather Hoffmiester and husband Carleton and Hallie Holl and husband Bob, and his sister-in-law Martha Kellogg.
He will be laid to rest at a later date at Mount Vernon Memorial Park.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User