OLD BRIDGE – William Hutcheon Sr. was a familiar, friendly face near the Old Bridge Ice Arena, directing traffic along Route 516.
Hutcheon, 83, passed away at home on Feb. 18 surrounded by family and loved ones. Mayor Owen Henry said Hutcheon served as a special police officer with the Old Bridge Police Department for 58 years.
Henry and the Township Council recognized Hutcheon in a prayer before the council meeting on March 2.
“Last year we recognized Mr. Hutcheon as one of our hometown heroes, having served in the U.S. Navy for many years. Then he continued to service his country in the [U.S.] Merchant Marines for four years,” he said.
Hutcheon served during the Korean War.
Henry joked Hutcheon was so well-liked he caused six-mile traffic back ups on Route 516 – in each direction – on Sundays because everyone, including himself, would pass and stop and say “Hello.”
Hutcheon grew up in Brooklyn. After his military service, he met his wife Barbara Ritter and they moved to New Jersey in 1962, lived in Keyport before settling in Old Bridge in 1967.
He was a member of Teamsters Local 469, and drove for Leaseway Auto Carrier in Linden. He was also a member of the Old Bridge Special Police.
He loved playing softball, and organized different teams, more recently the over 60 and over 70 softball teams locally.
Hutcheon was a longtime member of the Old Bridge BPO [Benevolent and Protective Order] of Elks, and also a member of the Old Bridge Veteran of Foreign Wars. He enjoyed spending time with his family.
He was predeceased by his daughter Kelly Ann Rost, who passed away in 2003; his wife of 55 years, Barbara, who passed away in 2018; his brother Ian Hutcheon and sister Carol Escabar. Hutcheon is survived by his children, Tracy Ann McDermott, Kimberly Ann Chiappetta and her husband Michael, and William R. Hutcheon Jr., by his grandchildren, Nicole Summer, Richard Roessner, Keith Rost, Sara Rost, Kayla Rost, Rebecca Chiappetta, Steven Chiappetta, Michael Chiappetta Jr., John McDermott, Paul McDermott, Jordyn Hutcheon, and Reilly Hutcheon, by his great grandchildren, Jeffrey, Nicolas, Christopher, and Caitlin, and by many nieces and nephews.