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Obituary | Father William J. Hutchison, SJ

Fr. Hutchison
The funeral Mass for Father William J. Hutchison, SJ, will be celebrated at 7:15 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 7, at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in St. Louis. He died Oct. 19 at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis. A long-time professor and administrator at Saint Louis University, Father Hutchison was 83 years old, a Jesuit for 65 years and a priest for 52 years.

Born March 21, 1935, in St. Louis, he graduated from St. Louis University High in 1953 and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant on Aug. 17, 1953. He was ordained June 8, 1966, at College Church and pronounced final vows on Feb. 2, 1975, at St. Matthew Church in north St. Louis.

After first vows and juniorate studies at Florissant, he graduated from SLU with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1959. His spent his regency at St. Louis University High (1961-63). He then studied theology at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s, Kan., finishing with an licentiate in sacred theology in 1968. He also earned a master’s sociology in 1964 and a licentiate in philosophy (1964). He earned a doctorate in social work and sociology from the University of Michigan in 1972.

Father Hutchison was a professor of social work and administrator at SLU for more than 30 years, first 1972-96 and then 1997-2005. At SLU, Father Hutchison served as a professor and administrator, serving as dean of the University’s School of Social Work.

Between tenures at SLU, Father Hutchison did work for Catholic Charities USA and was interim secretary for social ministries at the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C.

While at SLU, he also served nearby at St. Matthew Parish and the surrounding Ville community. He was an assistant pastor 1973-89, including the final three years as superior of the Jesuit community. He engaged in pastoral ministry at St. Matthew from 2005 until his assignment to the Fusz Pavilion in 2013. He was instrumental in founding the Northside Community Center and served as board chair for years. He was a major factor in helping the organization flourish in the Ville neighborhood around St. Matthew, providing programs such as social services for the elderly, youth recreation and summer employment, and affordable housing. Through his link with SLU, many university students became friends with the residents of the Ville.

He is survived by a brother, Robert. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. at College Church before the funeral Mass.

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