Tuesday, July 31, 2012

David Hutt 1936-2012

David in 1960
Updated August 21, 2012 -- Celebration of David's Life info and slideshow added in final paragraph. 

David M. Hutt -- December 5, 1936 to July 29, 2012.  Beloved son, brother, husband, father, uncle and grandfather; successful businessman and politician; inquisitive botanist and tireless farmer. David lived his life at full tilt and chased his dreams until the end.

As a boy he traded London for Pasadena to escape Hitler’s blitz. Schooled at Pasadena Poly, the Governor's Academy and then Pomona College where he met Valorie -- the love of his life to whom he was married 52 years. Grad school at Berkeley preceded a stint with Big Oil. Then he and Valorie started their own agribusiness, reared three sons, was repeatedly elected to the local school board and served the community in countless ways. After selling the family business, they found their way to Santa Fe and became enchanted with New Mexico. David realized his lifelong dream by founding Earth Echo Farm. Sadly, Hodgkin's lymphoma cut his dream short and the farm was sold. But even after returning to California to spend his twilight closer to family, he tilled the soil, raising organic vegetables on a community garden plot.

David is survived by wife Valorie, sons Peter, John and Andy and grandchildren JT, Caitlin, Brian, Matthias, William, Juju and Rex.

My mom asked me to add:
The Gardens of Paradise just gained a new helper. David left us to sojourn there at 11:20 PM on the warm and balmy California night of July 29.
He squeezed my hand and left his breath here to begin to inhale the ethers of elsewhere.
A gentle wave of joyful contentment spread out in ripples of sparkling delight. He was free again and slowly twirling in the softly, glowing wonder of it all. This ethereal mist of farewell whispered through our home for an hour or so and then was gone.
Goodbye for now, David. Goodbye my love.

David, Rex and John on July 21, 2012

We held a Celebration of David's Life on August 18, 2012. Thanks to all who attended and shared their memories of my dad. For those of you didn't make it, the slideshow from the event is posted below. For a larger HD version, click the YouTube button on video below and the slideshow will open in YouTube, then select 720p under settings.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Pasadena Poly, the Governor's AcademyPomona College, or the Quivira Coalition.


  1. Your description of his leaving gave me chills. I don't know what else to say - he just wrote and said he was getting better or did I misunderstand. My heart goes out to you and my vivid thoughts of the two of you throughout your lifetime. How blessed we all are to have known him. Much love, Madi

  2. I still recall the wonderfully vibrant conversation I had with him one Thanksgiving spent at Merilyn's home outside of Santa Fe one year. We were a group of friends who hadn't yet all met, so many wonderful dishes were made and shared, the sun set on the pinons and the conversation, candles and wine glowed. I received your farm updates, always enjoyed the various goings on. I send my love to you during your grieving and loss, for this was one rare man. Hugs and love and gentle things to you ---dear Valerie.


  3. As a fellow Sagittarius, dreamer, idealist, lover of all things natural and beautiful, visionary of the possible to fullest extent in the impossible- especially when it appears to be improbable...as an eternal friend who shall offer water to the chitalpa that was planted into a just hole that you dug for it...David Hutt... I will miss you and feel contentment recalling the total ease I always felt with you on the many many occasions we were together. Profound gratitude my friend- to have those times that are mine to cherish. We shared a nameless entity of something that two rogue souls such as ourselves shall know- heard in the hoot of the night owl, felt as the wind so fresh meets the Chiracahua's ancient face...

  4. David, ah - If I'd had a post-birth choice, it would have been you for my father! Thank you for the Powerful gift you've been in my life these almost 20 years - first at La Madera, later in Santa Fe, and then at Earth Echo Farm. Your 'green thumb' manners have somehow rubbed off on me: I'm now volunteer-teaching 4 and 5 year-olds to grow in daycare classrooms, and on the playground! My fondest memory will be of you scraping seeds out of a giant pumpkin I'd grown - your bare hands all sticky - while we 'adults' had a pumpkin carving party. Thank you, David and Valorie, for playing with me!

  5. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man and singular visionary who was an artful co-creator with nature in the garden of life. May you find a way from the other side, David, to mentor those who follow in your footsteps in concretizing of more sustainable, nourishing, and caring world. I shall miss you!

  6. Your tribute to David is so beautiful, we now can see him working still in the gardens he so loved, this new one a place we all hope to reach, the Gardens of Paradise. No doubt we will feel his spirt when we work in our own gardens. sending love,

  7. Tammy Culver (Gerdes)August 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    On behalf of the entire Gerdes Family, Our prayers are with you all. As a young girl I can remember running through the green houses on a pretty regular basis or playing outside with the boy's. To this day, whenever I'm in a green house filled with tomatoes I think back to my childhood. Thank you for the memories.

  8. What a dear man; a real and rare combination of wisdom, strength and kindness. Since we heard the sad news, we lit a white candle with outlined strong evergreen trees, which has burned in honor,as well as, a sweet reminder of the love we send to Valorie, his sons and their families, and his many friends as we grieve and give thanks for David Hutt.

  9. I remember walking with David through a field and watching him pull some some leaves from a plant and sticking them in his pocket. He was going to look the plant up later to reassure himself he'd identified correctly. He was one of the first adults outside of school who I saw practice the never stop learning philosophy. I was and am inspired by his shining example of knowledge seeking. My thoughts and prayers to the Hutt family.

  10. Bill & Terri GuynesAugust 2, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    I remember the sales meetings we attended and what a great guy to have worked with. Our sympathy goes out to the family. He will not be forgotten,and he will be missed by all who loved him.

  11. Valerie's added comments were beautiful.On behalf of the Jordan family we extend our condolences.He gave this world more than he ever took.Thank you for being a wonderful Murrieta neighbor-boss and friend.

  12. Gabrielle Wagner, Santa FeAugust 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    My heart goes out to you, Valorie as I read about David's passing and the beautiful words you fond to convey how you felt at that moment...they are unforgettable in their sacredness. May you and your family share in the joyful memories of a lifetime together.

  13. David Hutt left his imprint on a small rural school district in Murrieta, CA and went on to leave his imprint in the world of organic farming. He will be greatly missed.
    Donna Brantly

  14. I remember when we first met you and David at Bill and Lorna's Bible study. We also got to know you and your family better working a small "vegetable" plot at your Murrietta farm. We had such fun and learned a lot about farming. We looked forward to Christmas letters every year filled with wisdom and knowledge and words that we had to look up!! Later we looked forward to comments from Earth Echo Farm. Its hard to believe David is gone. Our heart goes out to you Valorie, you've lost a big part of your life, a part of yourself. May God be with you and your family.

    Love, Carlos & Karen Saenz

  15. David and Val - a beautiful couple, two beautiful people. My deepest condolences to one and all. Sending this with love and friendship never forgotten. Martha Woodworth

  16. What a beautiful slide show celebration of David's life. Thank you for sharing so many precious moments I'd never known as well as those I did. Love, Angela

  17. Val
    What a rich and wonderfully diverse life you have had together. Not knowing you for too long, it was heartwarming to see the earlier years of your life together. Seeing him a suit and tie ..... what a different look for him than being in his farm work clothes like I always saw. Loved the whole slide show so much. Thanks for sharing it for those of us that couldn't make the memorial.
    If you are ever in the Santa Cruz area, give a call. I'd love to see you. I wouldn't mind coming up to SF either.
    Much love, Kathy