Louis J. Hutchinson II was an asset on and off the tennis court. It would be hard to find a member of the tennis community who doesn’t know his name.
The Freeport native trained hundreds of students of all ages, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities in Long Island and New York City. He died July 7 at a hospital in Washington, D.C., from multiple myeloma and cardiac amyloidosis. He turned 79.
“Throughout his life he always believed that with hard work, perseverance, patience and drive all things were possible. Nothing more than home and on the tennis court,” said Hutchinson’s son, Rev. Louis J. HutchinsonIII of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. “I gave him his last rituals as a pastor and prayed with him during the transition. I will never forget that moment.”
Louis Johnny Hutchinson II was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 16, 1944. The eldest of 11 children, he and his family moved from Charleston to the Bronx when he was 8. From an early age, Hutchinson excelled academically and followed his passion for baseball, later followed by a love of basketball.
Hutchinson met his future wife, Roberta, who lived across the street when he was 16. They married in June 1965 and raised three children.
In 1968, Hutchinson entered SUNY Old Westbury, where he studied philosophy. He received a master’s degree in philosophy and social work from Fordham University in 1980, and shortly thereafter earned his license as a psychotherapist.
During his college days, Hutchinson was introduced to tennis. He and his family moved to Freeport in 1975, and Hutchinson began his career in counseling at the Lower East Side Counseling Center in Manhattan a year before becoming involved with the USTennis Association, which would become a part of him for the rest of his life.
“My dad taught tennis since I was a youth until last summer at age 78. He taught from age 4 all the way up to students close in age to him,” said his son. “His counseling background showed in all of his teaching relationships. He was very involved; it was much more than tennis to him.”
In 1982, Hutchinson took a job in Glen Cove with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he established and delivered a variety of counseling and athletic programs. In 1990, he began teaching individual and family counseling at the Alliance Counseling Center in Hempstead, while also teaching tennis as a USTA instructor to those who could not afford lessons.
Oceanside’s Corey Aronin met Hutchinson in 1992 and knew him as a teacher and eventually as a friend. “He was a respected, wonderful human being who was also a very well-educated tennis coach and competitor,” said Aronin. ”
Naseem Sadik of Malverne recalled helping Hutchinson run tennis camps and programs, saying his coach and friend “had the biggest smile, but an even bigger heart”.
In his athletic career, Hutchinson II would coach more than 30 teams, win state and regional championships and take them to USTA National events across the country, his son said. Many of Hutchinson’s players ranked regionally and nationally, played college tennis, and some played as professionals.
“The most important thing for Dad was that he gave others confidence and made a difference in the lives of those he taught and those he coached,” said his son.
In addition to his wife and son, Hutchinson is survived by his daughters, Shane’t Hutchinson and Reverend Kim Hutchinson, both of Bowie, Maryland; four grandchildren; and more than 100 cousins. Funeral services were held on 22 July at The Bridge Church in Malverne, followed by a private funeral.
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