Thomas Clark Hutchison, son of Giles Virgil Hutchison and Rosella McKeown Hutchison, passed away November 22, 2020. He was born in Washington, PA, on September 25, 1926, and graduated from Findlay Vocational High School, Imperial, PA in 1944.
Following his freshman year at Muskingum College, Tom enlisted in the Navy, becoming an electronics technician then instructor in the Navy’s electronics training program at Wright Junior College, Chicago, Oklahoma A&M College, Stillwater and the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC. After discharge, he enrolled at Washington and Jefferson College’s new engineering program before transferring to Penn State where he graduated in Physics in 1949 and earned his Masters in Electrical Engineering in 1951.
Tom worked with Haller, Raymond and Brown, State College, PA on reconnaissance projects while in grad school, and in 1951, he went to work with Sperry Gyroscope Company on Long Island, NY. At Sperry, he worked on radar and missile guidance, supported Sperry’s computing gunsight for the F86 fighter aircraft on a tour in Germany with the Air Force. Returning to New York, he helped lead an extensive program developing electronic countermeasures before participating in a range of programs related to ring lasers, laser radars, optical guidance for missiles, buoys for gathering weather data at sea, computer aided research facility for ship handling (one of the first stimulators using computer generated daylight outdoor visual scenes located at Kings Point, NY), then a number of flight simulators.
After retirement, Tom consulted with several other companies in the fields of military electronics. Tom met June Abercrombie while in Maine during a vacation on the windjammer Enterprise in August 1953. They were engaged in September and married in January 1954, almost 67 years.
Husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he shared his many skills and hobbies with his family and others including gardening, woodworking, skiing, hiking, photography and developing pictures, family history and genealogy, flying and bread baking. He taught his family problem solving skills and life’s lessons. Tom could be found on many fall days driving to Happy Valley for Penn State Football. He shared his love of his alma mater with his family hosting tailgates and cheering for the Nittany Lions. His Penn State legacy included his four children and nine of his 11 grandchildren graduating or soon to graduate, adding to the 41 Nittany Lions in the family over four generations. He was a registered professional engineer, life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, elder and active member of his church, an instrument-rated pilot, and a former Boy Scout Leader.
He is survived by his wife, June; four children, Peter (Debbie), Susan (Mark), Thomas (Kathy) and Kim; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s name can be made to the “College of Engineering Future Fund” at Giving@Engr.PSU.edu or by check sent to: Penn State Donor and Member Services, 2583 Gateway Drive, Suite 130, State College, PA 16801.