Robert Brainerd Hutchinson

Robert Brainerd Hutchinson was born on September 24, 1951, and died peacefully at home in Hanover IL on December 10, 2021 after a long and valiant fight with cancer.  In honor of his wishes, there will be no formal ceremony and his ashes will be buried in the Casper Bluff Natural Cemetery, Galena, IL.   


Robert was born in Los Angeles, CA. His family moved to New Zealand for several years before returning to live in New Jersey and finally settled in New York City.  He graduated Collegiate high school in Manhattan, before attending Reed College, finally graduating from Columbia University with an MA in Geology.


His true passion was the outdoors. He was never without hiking boots, running shoes, kayaking paddles and his beloved bicycles. He participated in several triathlons in New York State and Illinois. 


While working for Brown Trout Publishing (CA), he wrote several books which ranged from a children’s book to a geological guide through the Grand Canyon.  He worked for Praeger Publishing (CT) as an acquisition’s editor until his retirement in 2016.


Robert will be missed by his many friends as a gentleman and a scholar.


Family who will cherish his memory include, his beloved wife, Ruth, son Blaed and mother Joyce. Loving sister Pam (Carl), niece Noor (Nick) and aunt Sandy. Cousins David, Ann, Susan, Debbie and Anne.


The family would like to extend special thanks to the nurses and staff of Hospice of Dubuque. Their dedication and care carried us through this most difficult time.


Online condolences may be shared with Robert’s family at

We would like to sincerely thank Jason at Tri-State Cremation Services for all his help.

In honor of his wishes, there will be no formal ceremony and his ashes will be buried in the Casper Bluff Natural Cemetery, Galena, IL.   

10 comments on “Robert Brainerd Hutchinson
  1. Maurice Grafton says:

    Robert’s was as kind, invigorating, erudite, and attention-focusing a spirit as has ever wafted through my life. He was a disincentive to becoming computer-literate because he was one of my personal Googles, able and willing to supply more ancillary information on more topics than Microsoft, but you had to listen up and listen fast. Robert walking to the Apple River with his aluminum kayak on his head is as strong a symbol for Hanover as the crescent dam and bridge, or Ruth walking with Kohl, come to that. I will miss him much, but I have for some time–he always seemed so far ahead of me, and moving away fast. We won’t see another…

  2. Blaed Hutchinson says:

    I love you, Dad.
    Thank you for being such a wonderful, brilliant, fascinating man. Looking back on your life, I am in awe of the feats you’ve accomplished and the heights you climbed.
    You were such a good father to me and a loving husband to Mom. It will take time to wade through the grief we feel, but it will be easier knowing you are no longer in pain and knowing you led a good life. I will hold you forever in my heart, forever in my memory, forever in my soul, and I will Love You Always.

    Your Son,

  3. Anne Hutchinson says:

    The world has lost an incredible individual who is and will be missed terribly. His wonderful sense of humor and extensive vocabulary were over my head at times, but it pushed me to dust off the old Webster. Robert was the strongest, most adventurous, and most knowledgeable person I shall ever have the honor of knowing. Visits with him were always a joy and full of activity. He had a great love and pride of his ancestry and was a fine example of the Hutchinson integrity. He has enriched the lives of all who have known and loved him.

  4. Barbara Richardson says:

    When I hear the description “a happy warrior” I think of Robert. We met nine years ago in the wake of Newtown’s school shooting tragedy, when we both channeled angst into letter writing and picketing the national trade association for the firearms industry, located in our town. Robert’s letters were powerfully erudite, incisive and hard hitting. With his presence and his words, he helped pass a local ordinance on firearms in the face of aggressive push back from gun enthusiasts, and helped pass some of the strongest new state gun safety laws in the country. What a loss it was to our town and for many friends when he and Ruth moved in 2014.
    Still, correspondence has its benefits – instead of flying over my head, his written words allowed time to research vocabulary and references to history, natural science, geography, geology, literature, anthropology and politics. His generous, erudite responses to my husband Mark’s books and artwork were deeply appreciated. How he will be missed, and never forgotten. Much love and deepest sympathy to Ruth, Blaed and all of the family.

  5. Peter Boden says:

    The Boden have had the privilege of having Uncle Robert in our lives for a long time, 40odd years for myself. Truly one of the smartest people I have ever met. Uncle Roberts quick wit and always well thought out perspective made for engaging and thought provoking conversations in which you always walked away with a greater understanding and fuller perspective on virtually any topic. No one I knew could keep up with his accelerated pace, neither his thoughts, quick speech patterns or his physical prowess. We were just lucky enough to try to ride the wave of his wake. Uncle Robert will be missed greatly by the Boden’s. Peter, Debbie, Millie and Hamish are grateful to have Uncle Robert as a part of our family.

  6. Helen Westgarth says:

    One could only want to wish to meet and know such a distinguished intelligent and humble gentleman as Robert who also had film star looks. He was fun, witty and idolized the two people in his life, Ruth and Blaed. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him since the 90s and only sorry he is no longer with us. Rest in peace Robert I’m sure he’ll be navigating and climbing the clouds in heaven now. Much love Helen

  7. Terry and Germaine says:

    You were a perfect host & delightful friend, with a keen wit and droll sense of humor. We miss you and your martinis.

  8. Aaron Copeland says:

    Uncle Robert was legendary. His wit, his charm, his intellect, and his fortitude were the things stories are made of. With all of those potentially overwhelming qualities, though, he was able to sincerely connect with those who were fortunate enough to be around him, and he always knew what to say or do to make others laugh and be at ease. Most importantly, though, Uncle Robert lived. He lived in a way and with an intensity few others are able to and while he will be sorely missed, we are each fortunate to have him as an example of what it is to live. We love you Uncle Robert, and you will live on in our memories, hearts, and stories.

  9. Clarissa Burrows and family says:

    Robert always made family gatherings more fun. I will miss his sense of humor and knack for telling an entertaining story. He will be missed but I know we will remember him with a smile and laugh. Thoughts and prayers are with all who loved him.

  10. Susan and Dave Woodruff says:

    Sincere condolences to family and friends of Robert. I always called him Bob as he was named after my Dad, his uncle. I always loved to talk and email
    with Bob, but knew I needed my dictionary close by. Our chats were fun but informative . He loved to inform about our family tree of Hutchinson’s and believe it brought us all closer. I will keep Bob in my heart and will cherish his quick wit, smile and love of his family❤️ RIP Bob❤️

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