Former Pierce County Judge A’Lan Stanton Hutchinson, who served in the Eatonville area for 20 years in the 1980s and ’90s, died December 1 at the age of 92 at his home in Edgewood. Widely praised by attorneys and local police for his fairness and attention to detail, Hutchinson was voted in 1997 Outstanding District Court Judge by the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Hutchinson was born in Tacoma on August 22, 1927, the only son of Agnes Grimm and Alan Stanton Hutchinson. He was raised in the Greenwood District of North Seattle, and attended nearby St. John’s Catholic School until, in 1941, he was sent as a boarding student to St. Martin’s College in Lacey, run by the Benedictine Order. After attending St. Martin’s secondary school, where he was named class valedictorian, Hutchinson earned a B.S. degree in mathematics and chemistry at the college. He then served a brief stint in the Merchant Marine at the end of World War II that took him to Hawaii and Japan.
In 1948, Hutchinson moved to Washington, DC, where he worked part-time as a member of the U.S. Capitol Hill police force while attending George Washington University Law School. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, Hutchinson worked as an attorney in private practice at his office directly across from the County-City Building on Tacoma Avenue.
In 1981, Hutchinson ran for the newly-created position of District Court Judge in Eatonville. He continued to win reelection throughout the 1980s and ‘90s. Following his electoral defeat in 2001, at age 74, Hutchinson continued working as a part-time traffic court judge and then as a court-appointed mediator until his retirement at age 80.
Hutchinson died peacefully in his sleep after a brief illness. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years Soon Hutchinson, 82, of Edgewood and by his ten children, twenty grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at All Saints Catholic Church in Puyallup.
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