Mr. Thomas Alphonso "Al" Hutchison was born May 13,1940 to the late Charles Edward Hutchison and Ophelia Whiteside Hutchison of Brevard, NC. He departed this life on Monday, January 25, 2021 at Mission Health. He is preceded in death by two brothers, George Edward Hutchison and Earnest Jerell Hutchison, two sisters, Annie Marie Hutchison Hailey and Lois Lucille Hutchison, and one son, Gregory Lee Irby (Elmerette). In addition, he is preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Alice W. Ware, and brother-in-law Reverend Otis Ware. He leaves behind two brothers, Robert L. Hutchison of Brevard and Elder William H. Hutchison of Asheville, and one sister, Edith H. Darity (Claude) of Brevard, NC.
Al was married to the late Mary Frances Ware Hutchison, the love of his life, for more than 50 years. He is survived by his children Dr. Alice-Marie H. Cambridge (Samuel) of College Park, GA, Alden Roland of Raleigh, Elder Thomas Bradford Wynn (Romelia) of Asheville, Brendon Anthony Crite of Brevard, Darryl Jenkins Stallings (Felicia) of Greensboro, James Vincent Logan (Wendy) of Simpsonville, SC, Maceo Boston (Timika) of Durham, Shawn Falan'do Smith of Asheville, and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family and dear friends.
He was a graduate of Ninth Avenue High School in Hendersonville. Upon completion of high school, he attended Harris Barber College in Raleigh where he received his barber's license. Shortly thereafter he opened his first barbershop on The Block, then later opened another location on South Side Avenue. With drive and determination, Al owned and operated two to three businesses simultaneously in North and South Carolina for nearly forty years. He established Al’s Janitorial Services which was one of the first Black-owned businesses to receive city and state contracts that provided steady jobs for people of color. He provided a safe haven for Asheville’s Black community, celebrities and professional athletes to organize, socialize and mobilize. Before integration, The Cage (South Side Avenue) and The House of Soul (Depot Street) were the most famous nightclubs in Western North Carolina where you would meet Major League Baseball player Willie Stargell or Professional Golfer Lee Elder. A few other popular neighborhood establishments were Al’s Discount Beverage Store (North Market Street), Al’s Amusements (Eagle Street), Fran’s Lounge (Eagle Street) and The Wheel of Fortune (Biltmore Avenue). Al also owned Al's Used and Classic Cars (South Market Street and Riverside Drive) for more than thirty-five years. In 2020, he closed his beloved car lot, along with his other remaining businesses, and officially entered into retirement.
Al worked faithfully and tirelessly as a trustee of Community Baptist Church in West Asheville for many years. He was also an active member of the Stephens-Lee Class of 1957 Alumni Association. In his free time, he enjoyed playing golf. He was also an avid bid whiz player, but his passion was classic cars.
He participated in several community organizations, was a mentor to many young entrepreneurs, and served on various committees within the local area. His kind heart and generosity will be remembered in the hearts of the many lives he touched. Al truly made an impact in the city of Asheville and across the states of North and South Carolina through his business and philanthropic endeavors.
The family is thankful for the doctors, nurses, and essential workers of Mission Health who tenaciously took care of him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests making donations to The Mary W. Hutchison Legacy Scholarship Fund established by Al and his family to support students interested in pursuing higher education in the nursing and medical field. Donations can be mailed to: The Mary W. Hutchison Legacy Scholarship Fund, PO Box 7231, Asheville, NC 28802.
Mr. Thomas Alphonso "Al" Hutchison will lie in honor at Avery's Memorial Chapel for viewing Thursday January 28, from 4pm tp 7pm, Friday January 29, from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday January 30, from 9am to 11am. He will be laid to rest during a private family service, which will be live streamed at 1pm Saturday on Avery's Memorial Chapel's Facebook page.
The family of Mr. Thomas Alphonso Hutchison will host a public memorial service at a later date.
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